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Laola Axehand

elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
This discussion was created from comments split from: I hate that.....

Post edited by elminster on

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  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited June 2015
    I've been doing a playthrough of BGEE as part of the development of a mod I'm working on. One of the many things I am doing is basically to look for areas in the game where encounters feel awkward or poorly thought out. With the intent of improving them in the mod (at some point in the future). So that is why I've been pointing out specific encounters that I did not like. Especially when it comes to roleplaying or providing options for players.

    That said my next one is...

    The Laola Axehand encounter.

    Its the definition of a minor encounter and yet its always bugged me. For those who don't know she confronts you after you've gone through the Seven Suns quest. Basically she just tells you to be wary of doing unlawful things (like what you've just done) and go see Scar. For me its really just kind of an odd encounter given that Scar is basically steps away (both the Seven Suns and the Flaming Fist headquarters are in the south-west part of the city). Even in the contest of BG1 (no map markers) its always seemed like an unnecessary addition.

    Post edited by elminster on
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  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    elminster said:

    The Laola Axehand encounter ... she confronts you after you've gone through the Seven Suns quest.

    Oh! I don't recall ever seeing that one, @elminster, although (of course) I've completed the Seven Suns quest many times. Under what conditions does she appear?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited June 2015
    You would have seen it it is unavoidable I believe. Its a very minor encounter (and I'll admit total nitpicking on my part) but its always kind of bugged me because it doesn't really serve a useful purpose. As far as your responses go you also aren't able to tell her that you've already talked to Scar (even though there is a variable in the game called "MetScar" that could have been used) and you also can't ask her who she is (which I think is a pretty reasonable question to ask in a situation like that). The encounter I think would have worked better if she approached you when you did one thing from a small list of non-lawful things (like maybe after you are suspected of helping the thieves guild, stealing from the hall of wonders, killing Ragefast/Ramazith, etc). I think she was probably part of Bioware's effort to have lots of redundant encounters to remind the player where they go next, but as it stands now its always felt a bit too redundant and odd to me. Particularly given its on the same map as the headquarters. :)

    Post edited by elminster on
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    elminster said:

    You would have seen it it is unavoidable I believe.

    Hmmm, no, this is still ringing no bell with me, @elminster. So far as I recall it, whenever I leave the Seven Suns building, I just return to Scar and report to him directly, without anyone else intervening.

    This is most odd. Is it possible that she's caused by some mod? Alternatively, I note that you mention that
    elminster said:

    ... she just tells you to be wary of doing unlawful things (like what you've just done) ...

    but I'm not sure what "unlawful things" I'm supposed to have done in the Seven Suns. Usually (even when playing Evil) I've just done as Scar asked, which isn't unlawful. Maybe there is some specific unlawful action which you're taking but I'm not, which triggers her appearance?

    Tangentially ... "Laola Axehand"? Any relation to Corgeig Axehand (in BG2), I wonder?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited June 2015
    I guess "unlawful" isn't technically what she says though I would argue its implied (given that if you are acting lawfully there shouldn't be any conflict).

    She starts out with "You there! Before you go causing any more trouble I must insist that you seek an audience with Scar if you haven't already!"

    Depending on the dialogue choice you go with ("Why should I? Are you going to try to make me?" in this case) one of the things she then says is "It is not my intent to fight with you, but if you continue to cause commotion within the city of Baldur's Gate without sanction from the Flaming Fist, we are sure to come into conflict. For your health and that of the city, please seek him out. He awaits at the Flaming Fist headquarters in the southwest quadrant of the city." (emphasis added by me)

    And no its not a mod and she appears even if you've already gotten the quest from Scar before entering. :)

    Edit: Turns out that she will only appear if you've already gotten the quest from scar. Which makes her existence even more of a head scratcher.

    Post edited by elminster on
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    This is weird, @elminster. The more detail you give, the more certain I am that I've definitely never seen any such character in any of my runs: the dialogue you quote is completely unfamiliar to me.

    I can only guess that there must be some trigger condition for her cameo, which is affected by something you always do and I never do (or vice versa).

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited June 2015
    I'm not going to touch on the triggering of her appearance (because frankly I don't want to spam this thread with technical stuff when its clearly not here for that purpose) but if you are interested you can find the conditions in AR1100.bcs.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Fair enough, @elminster, we're getting off-topic. Interesting, though.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    [At this point, @elminster and I went off-line to discuss the technicalities by private message, and (I believe) solved the mystery.]

    Summary: there are two ways to complete the Seven Suns quest, and Laola Axehand appears in only one of them.

    "Chaotic" method: if you complete the Seven Suns quest all in one visit to the Seven Suns building, immediately exposing and destroying the doppelgangers after the first merchant (who approaches you on entry) has explained the problem, without first reporting back to Scar for further instructions, then Laola Axehand will appear when you leave. In effect, she warns you that you ought to have consulted Scar.

    "Lawful" method: if instead you report back to Scar for further instructions after the first merchant has explained the problem (leaving the Seven Suns building to do so without yet exposing the doppelgangers and completing the quest), then Scar will explicitly direct you to return and destroy the doppelgangers. When you do so, because this way the mayhem in the building was explicitly authorised by Scar, Laola Axehand will not appear.

    The rewards are greater if you do it the "Lawful" way: Scar gives you a reward both when you report back for further instructions and again when you complete the quest, which together are greater than the single reward he gives you for completing the quest the "Chaotic" way. This makes sense, because Scar enforces Law in the city, so he rewards you extra for doing his quest the Lawful way. A very interesting detail!

    Grum
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    @Gallowglass except you forgot there is a third way to do the quest. Not talk to Scar at all and just enter the building. This won't lead to her initially appearing either. If you find Jhasso while doing it he won't leave, thinking you are a doppleganger, and if you then kill the dopplegangers on the main floor and basement and then go and talk to Scar (to get the quest), you won't be able to tell Scar about the dopplegangers or the merchants fears (even after talking to him more than once). However, when you return to the building (to start an investigation) Laola will approach you even though you just talked to Scar.

    Its also a bit odd they would push a lawful approach on you, and then immediately afterward have you break into and act as spies in order to "find proof" (aka steal documents) about the Iron Throne.

    Either way I view it as being an entirely unnecessary encounter. I mean it doesn't even give you a journal entry! (and Bioware gave journal entries for even the most mundane encounters)

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    edited June 2015
    elminster said:

    Not talk to Scar at all and just enter the building.

    Erm ... you mean avoid talking to him even at Wyrm's Crossing? (He gives you the Seven Suns quest right then, before you've even entered the city.) I've never done that ... isn't it quite difficult to evade him? Avoiding that conversation may be one of the things which you're not really intended to be able to do (but nevertheless actually can do).

    Post edited by Gallowglass on
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    edited June 2015
    Sorry I meant talk to him at Wyrm's Crossing but then not talk to him in front of the headquarters before entering the building. One of the outcomes from talking to him at Wyrm's Crossings is that he doesn't give you any quests and tells you to meet him later if you are interested in doing something for him (paraphrasing here).

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,050
    Hehe...now that I've brought it up I'm finding at least a few ways to break this quest.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    elminster said:

    One of the outcomes from talking to him at Wyrm's Crossings is that he doesn't give you any quests and tells you to meet him later ...

    Ah, I see. I'm not sure whether I've ever done that ... so far as I recall, I always end up getting the Seven Suns quest immediately. Sometime I must try some other reply options, but hitherto even my occasional Evil protagonists tend to be cautious about provoking him (since his colleague has just introduced him as the guard commander, whom we guess can summon serious backup).

    elminster
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