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Well made companion system


Mirandel

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Actually, it's a question - where? I mean, we are all agree that the system we have here is by far under-developed, sloppy, limited and so on. But where is the one that can be an example of how to do this?

 

If I am not mistaken, BW is the only company who use it at all (did they patent it?) And among their games it was not the same. In ME you do not have your own character (it's not you, it's Sheppard, so companions are Sheppard's as well). What else? DA?

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I'm not aware of meaningful companion-based RPGs outside the umbrella of BioWare and its old cuddly incestuous relatives Black Isle (Planescape: Torment) and Obsidian (NWN2 and its expansions; KOTOR 2).

 

Dragon Age: Origins had a superb companion system. Knights of the Old Republic and, from what I hear, Knights of the Old Republic 2 did as well. You could talk to your companions at any time. They usually had two or more things available to talk about. They had individual plot arcs, some of which responded directly to main plot events, and in the best cases the player could actually change the companion's trajectory in those plot arcs.

 

As for earlier games that tried it: Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 and their expansions; Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and their expansions; Planescape: Torment; with varying degrees of depth, they all had a bunch of companion stories, subplots, experiments with the approval system. (To bring up a modern experiment, one of Dragon Age 2's few redeeming features is its friendship/rivalry scale wherein both extremes had advantages.)

 

I think the "you will observe one story arc and then act as peanut gallery because you can't choose a topic, choose a pace, or change the outcome" model is awful. It's the worst element they could possibly have carried over from DA2's companion model. What I want: Player-initiated conversations, thoroughly thought-out recruitment stories that don't end in an abrupt "But thou must!", inter-companion interaction on the ship if possible.

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The best implementation of Companions has to be BioWare's Jade Empire and the Mass Effect+Dragon Age series and Obsidian's Knights of the Old Republic II, they were all very well written, you could change their views and the amount of dialogue was great.

 

The only companions that come close to this would be Ashara, Jaesa and Nadia.

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Thanks for answers. I am not very familiar with the subject since after BG2 did not play singles only MMO, and even then was more interested in quests and "functional" side of companions (I am from IWD side of RPG players).

 

I do see limitations of the current system but have no idea how the good one looks like. And really, really want to see one. So, if I want to see a deep companion system yet with voices and 3D acceptable graphic - I should take KOTOR or Jade Empire?

Edited by Mirandel
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