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Tweaking the Beamdog NPC's a bit

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Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Yulaw9460 said:

    Am I really the only person, who actively hire the new EE-NPC's just to kill them off?

    Except for Neera for the gem bag, I just try and ignore them.........

    unfortunately for some unknown reason, that's been made harder to do than it should be across both games.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,223
    edited February 2018
    @lujo Careful dude.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,571
    @UnderstandMouseMagic "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)"

    Because her dialogue ISN'T different. She is just another character in the vein of Jan Jansen, or an Imoen that actually talks.

    As for her intrusiveness, my point is that Neera can't be criticized for this without also criticizing half of the BG2 npcs for the same reason. And 90% of the time, the same who complain about this, praise the Bioware npcs, making the entire argument entirely hypocritical. Which, again, just leaves the "She isn't one the original npcs and therefore bad."

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic "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)"

    Because her dialogue ISN'T different. She is just another character in the vein of Jan Jansen, or an Imoen that actually talks.

    As for her intrusiveness, my point is that Neera can't be criticized for this without also criticizing half of the BG2 npcs for the same reason. And 90% of the time, the same who complain about this, praise the Bioware npcs, making the entire argument entirely hypocritical. Which, again, just leaves the "She isn't one the original npcs and therefore bad."

    Which other NPC trigger a cut scene?

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic "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)"

    Because her dialogue ISN'T different. She is just another character in the vein of Jan Jansen, or an Imoen that actually talks.

    YES! But the thing is that Imoen gets away with it because she's a hyper-useful character AND she doesn't talk. Imoen's not a 4 hp spellcaster who can randomly mess things up!

    So ignore all the dialogue/personality comments, they are not the root of why people raeact to Neera the way they do.
    ThacoBell said:

    As for her intrusiveness, my point is that Neera can't be criticized for this without also criticizing half of the BG2 npcs for the same reason. And 90% of the time, the same who complain about this, praise the Bioware npcs, making the entire argument entirely hypocritical. Which, again, just leaves the "She isn't one the original npcs and therefore bad."

    Again - very few things in this system are as unappealing as a wild mage.

    Two characters in BG sold more copies of BG2 than anything that's actually in BG2. Minsc - due to being funny - and Edwin, who is a cardboard plank of wood which happens to be able to cast more fireballs. And this makes him a character people have on their screensavers and steam and forum avatars to this day. He's nothing special in any way - but he's overly powerful and useful due to a stupid gimmick. Believe it or not, the decision about whether to make BG2 or not hinged more on how much gamers loved Edwin and Minsc than pretty much anything else in either of the two games.

    Is Neera a mage? Yes. Is Neera a better mage than Edwin? No. Will she compare badly to "original characters", meaning a plank of wood which can RELIABLY cast MORE FIREBALLS. No. This means that pushing her into people's face is going to cause a negative reaction. But if you don't push her into people's face, folks will consider her and some will find her fun some wont.

    Anywho, I wrote you a 7 point list of non-subjective things on why all this happens. It's worth a read if you want to understand.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,571
    tbone1 said:





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

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

    @UnderstandMouseMagic All of the npcs above call out to your npc and drag charname over unavoidably to talk. Viconia and Rasaad come with cutscenes. The npcs who don't start cutscenes still have more dialogue and clicking than even the dreaded BG1 Neera cutscene.

  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 401
    Also wild mages are *super* powerful.

    Neera literally gave me the best ToB moment ever when she cast wish using a level 1 spell slot (to renew her spells), and ended up causing an area of effect surge which caused her to spawn no fewer than 10 genies all of whom granted her wishes lol.

    I don't find her dialogue to be any more jarring than some other characters (particularly if you use the NPC mods or modded NPCs that talk more). I especially liked an encounter she gets that's not part of her story based quest line in the city of Baldur's Gate itself which I think is probably one of the better displays of a chaotic neutral alignment in the series or any of the IE games really.

    I was partial to her upon her being added because I so often played a wild mage myself in BG2 because they're great fun.


    I also don't particularly agree with the argument that they stop people from finding Minsc or Edwin - assuming you stay *fairly* close to the canonical path and don't meet Ajantis or VIconia prior to reaching Nashkel, and aren't using an NPC mod that moves Tiax and/or Quayle, you're going to encounter: Xzar and Monty, Khalid and Jaheira, Imoen, Kagain, Garrick, and *probably* Kivan too. Then upon reaching Nashkel you find Rasaad, Minsc, Edwin, and probably Branwen at the carnival.

    They'll still likely talk to Minsc regardless and see he's a funny hamster loving man or talk to edwin and go "cool" and pick him up.

    Hell, some first time players would probably still have Xzar and Monteron in the party and will be treated to K&J and X&M duking it out to the death sometime on the way - talk about jarring cutscenes! :D

    ThacoBell
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    @ThacoBell I see a difference between BG2 Neera and the rest of the cast. Not only her initial cutscene is very long, but she also interrupts you during an area of transition. And it all starts almost as soon as you enter the Bridge District, making it more or less mandatory. That's a bit much in my opinion. On the contrary, Rasaad cutscene is not very long and you can ignore him after that if you want. Neera is the most intrusive npc of the lot.

    And, in my case, it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a new npc, because I like and sometimes use the others. For instance, I like that with Dorn we finally have a completely evil character without any redeeming quality whatsoever. He actually fills a void. If Neera would simply triggers her dialog when we talk to her, I wouldn't mind her at all.

    joluv
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,223
    edited February 2018

    Which other NPC trigger a cut scene?

    Ummm, Viconia? I have to avoid a whole side of the government map just to go pay for my magic license, even though I can plainly see something is going on with torches and pitchforks at the edge of the fog of war. It's super annoying - exactly as annoying as avoiding Neera's part of Beregost in BG1.

    And yet Viconia is everyone's favorite NPC in BG2. I've never heard anyone cry "FFS just make it a PID!!"

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    ArctodusThacoBelltbone1
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    I agree with @subtledoctor on that one, except for the fact that you can entirely avoid the Viconia side of the map if you want.

    However, even though I feel that Neera is indeed the most intrusive, I think the matter is a bit overblown right now. It's not THAT bad for me, because she's not ruining the game for me. I consider that a minor annoyance at best. I'll probably download the mod that triggers her cutscenes when you talk to her and be done with it.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018
    It's because Viconia is a magic resistant healbot drow. I was saying it up above - when something is highly useful and appealing you can introduce it however you want. Drizzt sold forgotten realms, drow are so appealing you got people having them on avatars even now because they're, like, elves, but like so much cooler and edgier and stuff. I had to institute a house rule with every playgroup of pen and paper D&D I ever DM'd for that noone's allowed to play any kind of Elf, because most of the time everyone wanted to be an Elf, and if Forgotten realms were being played, it was drow or thiefilng (but mostly drow).

    You can pass off something belonging to a cool monster race, with inate magic resistance which heals and also fits into a niche (evil party healer) - then people won't notice it and she'll be popular as all hell. You do have to put her off the beaten path, though, make her cool secret character for those in the know. You can't do this with something which has 4 hp and turns itself into a squirrel randomly.

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,026
    edited February 2018
    Screw it. Why even leave it at joinable NPCs, if the intrusiveness is the only thing to complain about? May as well include every BG1 assassin, Teyngan, Zargal, Neville, Slythe, Krystin, Cohrvale, Tarnor, and probably a ton of other hostile encounters I've forgotten the names of into the argument. Should we make them all PID? I mean, you get very little out of half of them so what's the point? No, we shouldn't, because that'd be a terrible design decision considering the roles they fill.

    Does an NPC being joinable suddenly make it a problem? Hell no. So why is this suddenly a problem?

    ThacoBell
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    What are you even talking about?

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,026
    What are you? You seem to be changing arguments every other minute in order to share your own grievances. First it's about how the EE NPCs don't fit in, now it's about how the NPC in question is somehow, in your opinion, objectively undesirable (which is entirely a subjective opinion, I'd rather take Neera over Edwin or Viconia). If you can't stick to a consistent argument to defend your point, how do you expect anyone to argue with you?

    ThacoBellSkatan
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018
    I'm not changing arguments at all. EE NPC's obviously stand out becuase they have a lot more interactions than the original ones. This is fine, not everbody likes every one of them, but they wouldn't like some of the original ones if they talked, too. I wouldn't mind it if they all talked. The problem is that they initiate dialogue way too often, which is can be annoying even if you do like them.

    Then there is the question of the placement and introduction of Neera and Rasaad. Neera's introduction is done in a technicque otherwiese reserved for necessary characters. She's not. She's an unreliable spellcaster, which is something objectively undesirable. Some may like it, but most don't, and being guilted into accepting her (I mean what are you going to do, let her be killed?) is not something people like. Her very early introduction, same as Rasaad's, also interferes with the original flow of the game in that it inflates the number of NPC's you can get before Edwin and Minsc. I can't advise this, and she'd cause way less backlash if she was PID.

    That you would take Neera over Edwin and Viconia is subjective. Why? She's less reliable than Edwin, this is indisputable. You might like her personality better, but that's you. Or me. But it's not objective. Choosing her over Viconia... is comparing apples and organges. Viconia is a healer, Neera is not, again, mechanically you're not supposed to choose one over the other. If you do, you're choosing over backstory, and that's subjective.

    What's confusing you?

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594
    lujo said:

    and she'd cause way less backlash if she was PID.

    I rather doubt it...

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

    lujo said:

    and she'd cause way less backlash if she was PID.

    I rather doubt it...
    There's people in this very thread who don't seem to like me much at all who've literally said that the only real problem with her in BG 1 is that her intro isn't PID. On this page, even, I think. The problem people have with her is the forced/pushy nature of her introduction. Change it to being PID, and at the very least folks can time it better to get a spellcaster who has more than 4 hp. Levels do wonders for wild mages.

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594
    lujo said:

    Tresset said:

    lujo said:

    and she'd cause way less backlash if she was PID.

    I rather doubt it...
    There's people in this very thread who don't seem to like me much at all who've literally said that the only real problem with her in BG 1 is that her intro isn't PID.
    I have seen more than this thread and that is why I say I rather doubt it. People complain about all kinds of things about Neera. I could practically write a book of complaints about her. Yet this is the first time I have heard your specific complaint.
    lujo said:

    You can pass off something belonging to a cool monster race, with inate magic resistance which heals and also fits into a niche (evil party healer) - then people won't notice it and she'll be popular as all hell. You do have to put her off the beaten path, though, make her cool secret character for those in the know.

    You more or less just described M'kiin. I don't think she is anywhere near "popular as hell".

    ThacoBellSkatan
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018
    People are not game designers and they're not pro playtesters. They think they like Edwin and that Edwin is the best ever. Edwin is just a bunch of fireballs. Ignus in PST is a bitter parody of Edwin and people's tastes in mages. I just sat down with a lot of Neera and Beamdog complaints and sorted out what's causing them. That's causing them. People are forced to interact with a niche character in a game which is fondly remembered for a character who can reliably cast the most fireballs. It's not rocket science. Make her properly optional, and things will swiftly improve.

    M'kiin is a goblin. Drow is what everybody and their aunt wants to be. I had people walk out on playgroups because someone else in the group wanted to play a half-orc. "Half-orcs are evil, I won't play with one". Like, actual racism towards somebody's choice of RPG character, but IRL. I wrote about it in a book I published. Magic resistant healbot drow woman is going to be popular. A goblin isn't. I love them, and wrote about them (in the same book the protagonist of the final story is a goblin bard girl terrified of going on stage due to fear of rejecion), but people are people.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,223
    I have to say I agree with @lujo in that Viconia gets a pass because she is cheese incarnate, even violating the PnP lore about drow (no MR outside the Underdark) - but then, that's Bioware for you.

    Of course there's a strong argument to be made that NRD is way cheesier than illegal MR. So... poop now I don't know what I believe

    Tresset
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594
    I am not sure where you are finding these cookie-cutter people that all think the same way about Neera and the rest of this. I am not seeing them anywhere...
    lujo said:

    People are not game designers and they're not pro playtesters.

    I must disagree. Game designers and especially playtesters are indeed people; and are as varied as most other groups of people are. As a side note: I am neither a game designer nor a pro playtester.

    ThacoBellSkatan
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141

    Which other NPC trigger a cut scene?

    Ummm, Viconia? I have to avoid a whole side of the government map just to go pay for my magic license, even though I can plainly see something is going on with torches and pitchforks at the edge of the fog of war. It's super annoying - exactly as annoying as avoiding Neera's part of Beregost in BG1.

    And yet Viconia is everyone's favorite NPC in BG2. I've never heard anyone cry "FFS just make it a PID!!"

    Which other NPC trigger a cut scene?

    Ummm, Viconia? I have to avoid a whole side of the government map just to go pay for my magic license, even though I can plainly see something is going on with torches and pitchforks at the edge of the fog of war. It's super annoying - exactly as annoying as avoiding Neera's part of Beregost in BG1.

    And yet Viconia is everyone's favorite NPC in BG2. I've never heard anyone cry "FFS just make it a PID!!"
    I see.
    So if a player finds one specific cutscene that affects the player negatively in one game, you can't complain about that unless you mention all of them in all the games.
    Regardless of whether you can avoid them more easily or they block you from going somewhere you want to go.

    And what has Viconia being a favourite NPC got to do with criticism of Neera and her implementation in game?

    Sounds like a lot of whataboutery.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141

    Screw it. Why even leave it at joinable NPCs, if the intrusiveness is the only thing to complain about? May as well include every BG1 assassin, Teyngan, Zargal, Neville, Slythe, Krystin, Cohrvale, Tarnor, and probably a ton of other hostile encounters I've forgotten the names of into the argument. Should we make them all PID? I mean, you get very little out of half of them so what's the point? No, we shouldn't, because that'd be a terrible design decision considering the roles they fill.

    Does an NPC being joinable suddenly make it a problem? Hell no. So why is this suddenly a problem?

    I think you will find that it's not the only thing that people complain about with Neera.

    I've pointed out quite a few issues I have with with Neera in this thread, as have others.

    So why jump to this extreme?
    Are people not allowed to dislike her as an NPC, not complain about the design and implementation of the character?

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,026
    edited February 2018


    I think you will find that it's not the only thing that people complain about with Neera.

    I've pointed out quite a few issues I have with with Neera in this thread, as have others.

    So why jump to this extreme?
    Are people not allowed to dislike her as an NPC, not complain about the design and implementation of the character?

    Sure, that's fine. It's great, even. Everyone has that NPC that gets on their nerves and don't like. But that's not what he said.

    Has this person said one thing about Neera outside the mechanics that, apparently, are only a problem if you don't like the NPC in question and perfectly okay otherwise?

    ThacoBell
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    Allright, allright, I'll admit it. I don't just "kill off" the new NPC's. I let them tag along for a while. After I get whatever nifty items their quests have to offer, THEN I kill them off.

    UnderstandMouseMagictbone1
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    edited February 2018
    bob_veng said:

    I agree with this ticket. it should cause neera to die however

    If Beamdog used this suggestion, Neera would leave when CHARNAME responds to her initial dialog with "I would like no part of this. Stay where you are.". You can then assume the Ekandor catches up with her shortly, but since the player has rejected her from the party, there's no need to show that "on-screen".

    Tresset
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    @lujo

    you said,

    "So ignore all the dialogue/personality comments, they are not the root of why people raeact to Neera the way they do."

    You are incorrect.
    That's exactly the root of my problem with the b....NPC.

    Nails on a blackboard are Mozart in comparison. The accent, the phrasing, the timing, the pitch, everything about her voice is awful. And to overlay the pain, I get the impression she (or the writer) thought they were amusing.

    ThacoBell
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    lujo said:

    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.

    Changing her to a PID makes her initial line not make sense. It's a line spoken by someone who just rushed up to CHARNAME, not someone who CHARNAME walked up to and started a conversation with.

    Re-writing the initial dialog is likely not feasible. It would cost $$ to re-write and re-record the dialog (actor fees, studio rental, etc..).

    My suggestion means the player can avoid the cut-scene that you find so annoying with a simple response. Then, the encounter is reduced to a short dialog before Neera goes away. It gives the player agency without altering the encounter or requiring any new VO work.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,571

    @lujo

    you said,

    "So ignore all the dialogue/personality comments, they are not the root of why people raeact to Neera the way they do."

    You are incorrect.
    That's exactly the root of my problem with the b....NPC.

    Nails on a blackboard are Mozart in comparison. The accent, the phrasing, the timing, the pitch, everything about her voice is awful. And to overlay the pain, I get the impression she (or the writer) thought they were amusing.

    See this is perfectly understandable. I don't like x because y about them annoys me. My problem is when I see so much criticism justified by "Neera is bad because x." when "x" is shared by a large number of npcs, but its somehow okay that they do "x". That smacks of hypocrisy to me.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    ThacoBell said:

    @lujo

    you said,

    "So ignore all the dialogue/personality comments, they are not the root of why people raeact to Neera the way they do."

    You are incorrect.
    That's exactly the root of my problem with the b....NPC.

    Nails on a blackboard are Mozart in comparison. The accent, the phrasing, the timing, the pitch, everything about her voice is awful. And to overlay the pain, I get the impression she (or the writer) thought they were amusing.

    See this is perfectly understandable. I don't like x because y about them annoys me. My problem is when I see so much criticism justified by "Neera is bad because x." when "x" is shared by a large number of npcs, but its somehow okay that they do "x". That smacks of hypocrisy to me.
    I think you have to accept though, that if somebody has multiple gripes about an NPC, then when that NPC does something annoying it hits harder.
    Kind of the last straw that breaks the camel's back type of thing.

    And you have to admit, Neera does that a lot.
    BG the issues with the fight/Beregost (and even her having the only gem bag available, just tiresome).
    BG2 the cut scene in the Bridge district followed by the interruption during transit really does push it.

    And you know Edwin's my favourite NPC, so her not even considering traveling with him is to me, totally unacceptable. Who the hell does she think she is?
    It's a shame, because there could have been an interesting hook up in BG2 considering he's on the run from the RW as well.

    ThacoBell
This discussion has been closed.