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Tweaking the Beamdog NPC's a bit

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Comments

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,097
    and your not being selfiish by stating your opinion as fact?

    this is going nowhere i''m done with this conversation.

    ThacoBellprofanitywarning
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,341
    edited February 9
    lujo said:


    This doesn't matter to a player me. Do you not understand this?

    FTFY

    So what's your deal, is it that you feel that anyone disagreeing with you or who plays the game differently is somehow restraining your freedom if expression? Disagreement = oppression? Free speech and ideas, as long as they align perfectly with you?

    A little respect - actually forget respect, just common courtesy - for other peoples' opinions doesn't invalidate your own.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    ThacoBellprofanitywarning
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Well, most people who don't roleplay don't voice their opinion on these boards, obviously. People who "can't play evil" are not representative of anything. I hate Edwin for being a ridiculously badly designed piece of cheese. Never used him because everyone was always raving about him. And while there might be powergamers who like wild mages, no, your average person doesn't want their spell randomly going haywire. Really, they don't.

    Yes, people play in different ways, I prefer taking Montaron and Xzar for the fun and challenge over Jaheira and Khalid. But the popularity of Edwin and Viconia is indisputable. People think Xzar is bad because they're sort of pushed to take him at lvl1, and that's exactly all of why he's "bad" (I'd know, he's pretty strong). I think you have a bit of a specific comunity here.

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,598
    Just... unbelievable. Powergamers not posting on role playing communities means they’re a silent majority, but the reverse means we’re somehow a minority? There’s a frickin’ no-reload thread that’s been alive for years, constantly sees new participants and is almost always on the front page. How on the blighted earth are we a specific community?

    You’re not even voicing opinion or trying to have a debate. You’re just making up arguments to suit your point while brushing everyone else off like: “I’m right and you’re wrong and you just don’t know it!”

    profanitywarningThacoBellRaduzielbooinyoureyes
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 6,825
    Hoo Kay... I'ma call a time out on this one. I think we all need a bit of a breather here. I promise I will reopen the thread in a few minutes.

    profanitywarningsemiticgod
  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    lujo said:

    That question was answered in the same post you took that quote from.

    No it wasn't. The question is "Why is this so alien to you?". Where did you guys get the idea that BG was not a breezy hack and slash game for jocks? Because that's who was playing it. (...)
    That people like to stuff themselves with dozens of sausages in contests, does not mean sausages were not invented as a way to preserve meat in portion-size units. And it doesn't mean that everyone who thinks one sausage a meal is enough should be disqualified as a minority, insane, or just wrong. And it certainly doesn't mean all sausage-recipes in the world should be altered to make it easier for people to eat 40 of them at once. It just means some people like to enjoy things in ways those things were not intended to be enjoyed.

    ThacoBellUnderstandMouseMagic
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Right so, there's no need for this topic. None of it was ever material for debate, I don't know what I was thinking. I'm not a Beamdog employee, and even if I was, that's not how things are done. I've no stake in this, I'm not voicing my opinion, but I have seen very little in this thread which isn't shockingly subjective to me. Not because it's different from how I play or percieve the game, because I talked very little about that - I would be target audience for Neera, btw, and I always found the Edwin hype to be ridiculous considering that there's an endless suply of fireballs on a stick in the game. I was talking serious things which have been and still are causing some damage to the company reputation and generating bad word of mouth.

    Neera gets the most flak, it seems, and I've repeated why over and over. She's a low level sub-optimal spellcaster the player is forced to interact with. If the player could time the interaction, in a sensible way (and staying out of part of Beregost isn't a sensible way), a lot od backlash wouldn't be happening. In other words if she was PID there would be way fewer problems with how she and Beamdog content in general are recieved. I've written numerous textwalls on this in this thread and by this point if somebody doesn't understand this, well, they are insisting that the way they see things is correct as opposed to what I'm saying.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    edited February 9
    lujo said:

    @lujo - Please stop claiming you speak for everyone. You DON'T speak for me. Your opinions are just that, your opinions, not universal truths.

    I am not expressing my opinions. You are expressing your opinion of whether something is appropriate or not. But that's your opinion. What I'm saying is:

    - A forced encounter with a spellcaster at early levels means that the spellcaster will or won't be accepted into the party as a lvl1 character. This is when spellcasters are objectively the weakest, and Neera's introduction puts the player in the position to accept or reject a spellcaster when it's not the best for them regardless of the spellcasters personality. This is not my opinion, this is plain fact.
    - This almost universally leads to Neera comparing badly to Edwin, because you can meet Edwin when he's not lvl 1. Again, this isn't my opinion, this is plain fact. There are even guides out there that list "starts with fireball if taken at appropriate level" as a big bonus for him.

    This alone should be enough to instantly make that encounter a PID. What you're expressing is your opinion, but what I'm saying here works for everyone whether they acknowlegde it, like it, dislike it or whatever. You don't care for it, but that makes you a minority. Forcing the player into choosing whether to accept a spellcaster at lvl 1 instead of letting the player decide when to talk to her is annoying a whole lot of people, and your solution does nothing to help it.

    It's jut not a matter of anyone's opinion, if the question is "why are people grumbling", this is why they are grumbling, or part of it, and it's really universal thruth.
    You are misunderstanding how the game currently functions. As of v2.x of BGEE, the NPCs initial levels are no longer tied to CHARNAME's level at the time of spawning. The JOINXP script blocks do not run until the NPC joins the party for the first time.

    Neera's encounter is written such that after the combat with the Red Wizards, you can decline to accept her into the party and she will go to the FAI. Because of the JOINXP script blocks, this means that you can still pick her up at a higher level. This is different that the original NPCs, where the initial dialog usually ends in a choice to accept the NPC or dismiss them forever.

    In the original game, NPC level was tied to CHARNAME's level at the moment the NPC was spawned (i.e., CHARNAME entered the area with the NPC). The only way to get the 6th level version of Edwin (i.e., with Fireball) was to avoid entering Nashkel until CHARNAME was at least 5th level. Possible? Yes, but unlikely since Nashkel is part of the main quest path. It's actually not hard to get to Nashkel with CHARNAME at level 1, especially if you are playing a multi-class character or a class with slow XP progression like paladin or mage and/or recruited the Harpers and the Zhents into the party.

    My proposed solution allows those who have no interest in taking Neera to avoid the cutscene and combat completely after a 3-line dialog.

    For those who want Neera in their party right away, go through the initial encounter, accept her into the party.

    For those who want Neera in the party later, go through the initial encounter, dismiss her to the FAI, go pick her up later (and her XP will adjust since that is the first time she joins the party).

    Neera's dialog makes no sense if it is done as a PID. It is written as her coming up to you.

    ArctodusRaduziel
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Ok, this is helpful, but a few things. Could you please paste out Neera's dialogue lines?

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288

    so those people that want to play a good party must be forced to use edwin then, when neera is there as an alternative?

    It's for their own good. ;)
    They will thank you in the long run.
    The best thing to do with Edwin is have him meet the pointy-end of Minsc's sword (after Boo is finished with his eyes). :mrgreen:

    subtledoctorThacoBell
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Yes, yes, Minsc vs. Edwin etc.

    But can someone please paste out the actual dialogue lines for Neera? The initial ones, and the ones where you refuse or accept her?

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 972
    edited February 9


    My proposed solution allows those who have no interest in taking Neera to avoid the cutscene and combat completely after a 3-line dialog.

    And that would be consistent with the way other npcs are implemented. BG1 Viconia will simply leave forever at three lines of dialog if you don't help her, for instance. I like it.

    AstroBryGuyRaduziel
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Yes, except the actual dialogue lines might suggest otherwise, and it might take actual foreknowledge of the inner workings of the code to understand what your options with Neera are. You're not making content for hackers only, you're making content for Joe Fireball, too.

    You do realize that all of the possible complications about Neera, like having her leave if you don't accept, or realizing or not that she'll hang around, etc, or creaing pressure to help her right there and then would not exist if she was just PID so that the player could approach her at their own leisure? You do realize that the average player won't know how JOINXP works and stuff like that?

    If the problem is that one line, what's this famous line that would be keeping it from being a PID? The line which wouldn't make sense?

    (Oh, and if re-recording one line is the problem, lol, I'll pay out of me own pocket. Most of the original BG lines sound like they were recorded in someone's bathroom, anyway :smiley: )

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 6,825
    edited February 9
    lujo said:

    Yes, yes, Minsc vs. Edwin etc.

    But can someone please paste out the actual dialogue lines for Neera? The initial ones, and the ones where you refuse or accept her?

    Neera:
    "You! HEY, YOU! Yes, you. I don't see anybody else around here. A little help, please?"

    Charname:
    "I would like no part of this. Stay where you are."

    Neera:
    "Listen, I'd love to give you a really long and detailed explanation of what's going on but—oh, look! WE'RE OUT OF TIME."

    Cutscene commences.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    And that's keeping the thing from being PID?

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    edited February 9
    Neera: "You! HEY, YOU! Yes, you. I don't see anybody else around here. A little help, please?"

    CHARNAME has three options:

    1. "Of course, what do you need?"
    2. "Keep your distance, woman! Who are you, and what is the problem here?"
    3. "I would like no part of this. Stay where you are."

    Currently all three responses lead to the cutscene with Ekandor & Co.


    In my opinion, Neera's first line doesn't make sense if CHARNAME starts the dialog with her.

    My suggestion is to allow the cutscene to be avoided on Option 3 above, to which Neera would respond with an existing voiced line of dialog and then leave.

    Neera: Really? REALLY? That's just great. People like you really bolster my faith in strangers.


    After the cutscene & combat, Neera initiates another dialog with CHARNAME. During this dialog, you are given an opportunity to accept Neera into the party.

    Neera: "Since you were kind enough to save me from those wizardly thugs, I was wondering if I could stay with you for a while. For your protection as well as mine. I swear, I'm quite a skilled spellcaster. I can hurl a fireball like you wouldn't believe!"

    CHARNAME:
    1. Very well, your company would be appreciated. (Neera joins party)
    2. I'm sorry, no. (Neera goes to FAI)

    ThacoBellprofanitywarning
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 6,825
    I think her very first line ("You! HEY, YOU!") is what people are talking about when they say a PID wouldn't make sense. She is clearly accosting you by shouting at you from a distance. It would make little sense if she did this when the player casually walked up to her.

    ThacoBellprofanitywarning
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Um, in my opinion Neera's first line isn't problematic. The player tries to approach her, but she starts talking instead. Nothing wrong with it. That's how all convo's are started, it's always the NPC's line first.

    The second line in the conversation below looks like she might leave for good. And you just saved her from vivisection, I'm not sure if it's obvious but it'd be really heartless to tell her to leave. And you just might not want a low level mage in the company at that point.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Tresset said:

    I think her very first line ("You! HEY, YOU!") is what people are talking about when they say a PID wouldn't make sense. She is clearly accosting you by shouting at you from a distance. It would make little sense if she did this when the player casually walked up to her.

    Make the dialogue initiation range bigger, if that's the problem, but it's really not what folks make it out to be. Does she run up to you in the animation?

  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    I don't think the problem is in the details of what exactly she says. It's the story her lines are telling you. She's in immediate danger and you get to decide to either rescue the damsel in distress or be nasty or evil or a coward and let her get caught. Wouldn't make much sense to have both her and the red wizards just have a lunchbreak or sit there and check what's going on on facebook until you decide it's time to talk to her.

    AstroBryGuyThacoBell
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    My suggestion leaves Neera's initial encounter structured exactly like Viconia's.

    1. She comes up to you, initiates dialog, asks for help.
    2. You can help her (encounter ensues) or decline to help (she leaves forever).
    3. After the encounter, you can accept her into the party or reject her.

    The big difference is that if you reject Viconia at #3, she leaves forever. Neera just goes to the FAI and can be recruited later.

    ThacoBellArctodusContemplative_Hamsterbooinyoureyes
  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    @AstroBryGuy

    I do like the idea, but more acceptable as a part of some convenience tweaks mod than an actual change in the official game.

    subtledoctor
  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9
    Viconia is an encounter in the wilderness, not in the middle of a city. Sticking it in the middle of the first town is wrong, and people are complaining. And no, it's got nothing to do with the assassins, the assassins are established as a type of urban encounter from Candlekeep onwards. If it wasn't for them you'd barely know there's a main plot at all. You are making a big mistake in forcing that.

    As for profanitywarning - that's being subjective and petty. People are actually revolting against this:

    She's in immediate danger and you get to decide to either rescue the damsel in distress or be nasty or evil or a coward and let her get caught.


    They 100% don't want to be forced into that scenario in the middle of the street in the first town. That scenario is not part of BG, and making it involuntary is exactly why folks get a bad impression of Beamdog content right off the bat. They feel pressured to do "the right thing" and end up guilted into having a character they don't really want in their party. Or they get bitter about it and start calling her names over at the codex or here. Because it takes being an awful person to reject her, which translates to "only a horrible person would not like or help our character". You can't blame people for calling her names online, I mean, they're allready horrible for not liking her in-game, and in-game she's not much to like mechanicaly.

    This is the essence of everything that's wrong with this encounter. It's too dramatic, too intrusive, too high emotional stakes in order to draw you into Beamdog content and it feels incredibly pushy. If it was properly optional, in line with most of everythign else - way fewer people fussing.

  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    I do agree on that encounter being overly dramatic and annoyingly intrusive. But it does get the message across. And feeling pressured into doing the right thing is everywhere in BG and BG2 (the EE's anyway, no experience with the originals), making me believe it's an intended feature. You choose between right and wrong all the time, and sometimes it's just a little bit less clear, or you're expected to choose the lesser of two evils. Or the greater, depending on how you wish to play your character. I really don't think most players will be as upset as you describe here. Also, the entire plot is terribly dramatic, and the world this game was situated in is an extremely good stage for dramatic scenes. My point in short: there are things about this encounter that many players might not like, for good reasons even, but it's still a perfectly valid part of the game, and illustrates Neera's story nicely, because, well, being hunted by wizards who want to cut your brains open does count as cause for drama.

    booinyoureyes
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 972
    edited February 9
    I think @AstroBryGuy solution is perfect. Let just say that "they" (whoever that term may describe) are very, very sensitive if three lines of dialog is something unacceptable.

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 9

    I do agree on that encounter being overly dramatic and annoyingly intrusive. But it does get the message across.

    What message? It gets shoved into people's faces so hard they go and google up ways to take all the Bamedog NPC's out of the game.

    And feeling pressured into doing the right thing is everywhere in BG and BG2 (the EE's anyway, no experience with the originals), making me believe it's an intended feature.

    For the love of all that's holy! It's very much not anywhere in the original BG! Most fans of it couldn't tell you the plot if you asked them, and Edwin and Viconia were staple enough in any party to have them be recruitable characters in the second game! If it was an intended feature, it was a large miscalculation and is at the root of a lot of backlash. And it doesn't have to be at all, just don't shove it into people's face.

    You choose between right and wrong all the time, and sometimes it's just a little bit less clear, or you're expected to choose the lesser of two evils. Or the greater, depending on how you wish to play your character. I really don't think most players will be as upset as you describe here. Also, the entire plot is terribly dramatic, and the world this game was situated in is an extremely good stage for dramatic scenes. My point in short: there are things about this encounter that many players might not like, for good reasons even, but it's still a perfectly valid part of the game, and illustrates Neera's story nicely, because, well, being hunted by wizards who want to cut your brains open does count as cause for drama.

    This has nothing to do with the game. This is a Beamdog addition that is sticking out way more than it has to, so much so that it's quite reviled. It woldn't even be reviled if it just wasn't sticking out so much. It's not a valid part of the game, the way it's layed out, and what makes you think your opinion on this is worth voicing? You like something that's basically modded into BG in a clumsy way, for your own reasons and interpretations, so what? There's a ton of folks who don't like it for reasons that are worth raising - it's badly implemented!


  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,163
    Sigh...

    It's a roleplaying game where you find yourself in situations. If I wanted to have complete control over what I would or would not run into, it would be more of a sandbox game, or perhaps a map editor. The game is all about ending up in situations, and dealing with them.

    I do agree that it could be nice if there was a way to say "Nah, we don't care about this pinkhaired half-elf. She's all yours." and exit the situation. The encounter is written so that you end up having to come to her aid whether you want it or not, which arguably is bad writing. If you are given a choice in the reply that you can provide her when she first addresses you, that choice should have meaning, and you shouldn't be railroaded to the same situation regardless.

    A PID would not work here. It butchers the entire scene that is being set up, that of a half-elf fleeing for her life. If she is standing idly still waiting to be approached, she is NOT fleeing for her life. It just wouldn't work at all without severely affecting her personality.

    You talk about the effects that the current setup has on people that dislike Neera. Sure, it can be grating to be forced into that encounter (and I agree it would be nice if there was a way to opt out early in the encounter), but the encounter is over soon enough, and then you can move on. If the situation was changed, then that would effectively alter her personality, and make Neera into a different character that she currently is. Some may consider that as a much bigger impact than having to get through that one encounter.

    At the risk of coming across as personal, I'd kindly like to request to lujo to not automatically assume that your opinion are part of the majority, and everyone else's opinion are part of the minority. Please consider your opinions as your own opinions, and perhaps that would help this discussion remain reasonable, rather than making everyone else feel like they're talking to a brick wall. There is no point in "winning" an argument, especially not if you win it by making the rest stop caring about it.

    profanitywarningThacoBellContemplative_Hamsterbooinyoureyes
  • profanitywarningprofanitywarning Member Posts: 292
    edited February 9
    Well, looks like we've reached our destination then. You liked the Original BG's, and you dislike the way Beamdog treated them, and you would wish for them to undo what they did.

    What makes me think my opinion on this is worth voicing? I beg your bloody pardon? This is the BGEE forum. I like BGEE. That alone makes it worth voicing. Who do you think you are to question that?

    Just dismissing things that Beamdog implemented, regardless of how you feel about them, as having nothing to do with the game, just won't do. This forum is about the EE game, not the original.

    RaduzielThacoBell
This discussion has been closed.