Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

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Troyen
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Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by Troyen » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:59 am

So far, there's always been at least one character in every WW game that I just don't like. I can choose not to romance them, but I still have to put up with their annoying personality during most of the main story scenes.

In the Loren expansion, the new characters were entirely skippable (though at a sizable xp penalty for not recruiting them), but the majority were mandated anyway. In Loren 2, even with a smaller party size of 8, that's still a lot of characters contending for a spot on the screen - too many, I think. Not to mention that battles don't use the full cast, so it's always a pain to rotate characters in and out to keep them viable just in case they were needed for a mission late-game.

Basically, I'm wondering if all 8 characters are mandatory, or if I can pick and choose who joins the party.

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jack1974
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by jack1974 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:03 am

Like in all games, most of them will be present though the whole story, except for some specific quest (there's one in which your party is split in two) but apart that will work the same.
Doing what you say means a lot more writing and testing and delaying the game even further, since basically the writer has to constantly remember who is in the party, and who isn't, when writing the story.

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yayswords
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by yayswords » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:00 am

Not to mention that battles don't use the full cast, so it's always a pain to rotate characters in and out to keep them viable just in case they were needed for a mission late-game.
And what about this part? Will we need to manually ensure everyone is at a respectable level or will xp be automatically split across the entire roster?
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Troyen
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by Troyen » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:12 am

jack1974 wrote:Like in all games, most of them will be present though the whole story, except for some specific quest (there's one in which your party is split in two) but apart that will work the same.
Doing what you say means a lot more writing and testing and delaying the game even further, since basically the writer has to constantly remember who is in the party, and who isn't, when writing the story.
I hope you make more small party games. (I see QoT is one, but all the others are 8-16+?) I'm enjoying PSCD quite a bit more than I thought I would, but boy is it crowded. You have 16 people all trying to get a joke or a word in on every single story scene and I spend half the time going "why is this character even here? I'm the commander, can't I order them off my bridge?" or "don't they have work to do? Why are they hanging around here?"

One alternative would be to force a choice between characters. Kind of like how you had to pick between Myrth/Rei and the barbarian guy/old man guy early in Loren. Except don't allow the other set back into the party later - that's what replaying the game is for.
And what about this part? Will we need to manually ensure everyone is at a respectable level or will xp be automatically split across the entire roster?
Yes, please make all members of your party gain experience from a battle. In the story, everyone is standing there anyway, we're just limited by the battle mechanics.

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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by Anima_ » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:23 am

Troyen wrote:
And what about this part? Will we need to manually ensure everyone is at a respectable level or will xp be automatically split across the entire roster?
Yes, please make all members of your party gain experience from a battle. In the story, everyone is standing there anyway, we're just limited by the battle mechanics.
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jack1974
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by jack1974 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:27 am

Troyen wrote: I hope you make more small party games.
Haha you know here's the problem. People who didn't like SOTW wanted a bigger party :lol: of course, bigger because of the romance.
I agree though that with a smaller party, you get to know the various characters better.
Though depends also how it is written: writers could focus on the main story and characters, and have most scenes in which Loren/Saren/Elenor plus maybe just one other party (the one more involved in a specific quest) talk. And some OPTIONAL lines based on what is the current party.
Troyen wrote: One alternative would be to force a choice between characters. Kind of like how you had to pick between Myrth/Rei and the barbarian guy/old man guy early in Loren. Except don't allow the other set back into the party later - that's what replaying the game is for.
That's probably a better solution, for writers too, if you use predefined party "sets/formations".
For example, if I can exclude any party member at any time, the code looks like:

Code: Select all

if isinparty(rei):
   rei "Yo, bull's eye!"
if isinparty(amukiki):
   amu "Let's fight!BWHAHA!"
etc. Repeat that for EVERY LINE the writers want to add. You can see that's nuts, and would increase time needed to write exponentially. Instead if we let player choose two predefined formations, the writer can just write the dialogue normally, knowing who is in partyA and partyB.

That's also another reason why I decided to split Loren in two parts, each one with his own character sets, despite some people were annoyed by that... :mrgreen:
Troyen wrote: Yes, please make all members of your party gain experience from a battle. In the story, everyone is standing there anyway, we're just limited by the battle mechanics.
Yes I see no problem doing this. I also want to NOT force the level up screen, like happens in Loren/SOTW. If you are never going to use a character, no point stopping you from continuing until you have leveled him/her up (even if with the recent auto-levelup addition, is rather quick).

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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by Troyen » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:45 pm

jack1974 wrote:
Troyen wrote: I hope you make more small party games.
Haha you know here's the problem. People who didn't like SOTW wanted a bigger party :lol: of course, bigger because of the romance.
I agree though that with a smaller party, you get to know the various characters better.
Though depends also how it is written: writers could focus on the main story and characters, and have most scenes in which Loren/Saren/Elenor plus maybe just one other party (the one more involved in a specific quest) talk. And some OPTIONAL lines based on what is the current party.
Hmm, are you sure they want a bigger party? I know I was complaining I wanted more romance options, but that doesn't necessarily require a bigger party. Especially if you can pick sets like below.
Troyen wrote: One alternative would be to force a choice between characters. Kind of like how you had to pick between Myrth/Rei and the barbarian guy/old man guy early in Loren. Except don't allow the other set back into the party later - that's what replaying the game is for.
That's probably a better solution, for writers too, if you use predefined party "sets/formations".
For example, if I can exclude any party member at any time, the code looks like:

Code: Select all

if isinparty(rei):
   rei "Yo, bull's eye!"
if isinparty(amukiki):
   amu "Let's fight!BWHAHA!"
etc. Repeat that for EVERY LINE the writers want to add. You can see that's nuts, and would increase time needed to write exponentially. Instead if we let player choose two predefined formations, the writer can just write the dialogue normally, knowing who is in partyA and partyB.

That's also another reason why I decided to split Loren in two parts, each one with his own character sets, despite some people were annoyed by that... :mrgreen:
Yeah, I just think it's still too big to have a meaningful conversation when you have groups larger than six. We want to interact with the characters in our party, but we end up liking some of them more than others.

(It's also a hassle to level and gear up 14 characters. Even with a simplified inventory system.)
Troyen wrote: Yes, please make all members of your party gain experience from a battle. In the story, everyone is standing there anyway, we're just limited by the battle mechanics.
Yes I see no problem doing this. I also want to NOT force the level up screen, like happens in Loren/SOTW. If you are never going to use a character, no point stopping you from continuing until you have leveled him/her up (even if with the recent auto-levelup addition, is rather quick).
I remember in PS1, there was no post-battle level-up assignment. You just got a notification that there were points to spend, and you could assign skills/attributes in the party menu. Maybe something like that (where the notification goes away when you load the menu, in case it's a character you want to ignore)?

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jack1974
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by jack1974 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:28 pm

Troyen wrote: Hmm, are you sure they want a bigger party? I know I was complaining I wanted more romance options, but that doesn't necessarily require a bigger party. Especially if you can pick sets like below.
Well unless you use the "everyone's bisexual" trick, you need a bigger party. Oh right, there can be also romanceable NPCs. Not sure yet if it's cool anyway if it's someone who is not fighting in battles, but could be worth trying in a future game :)
Troyen wrote: Yeah, I just think it's still too big to have a meaningful conversation when you have groups larger than six. We want to interact with the characters in our party, but we end up liking some of them more than others.
But are you talking about the camp talk, or the general plot scenes? If the game had like 15 party members, but just 3-4 "leaders" who would always speak during the main plot, and the other 12 would talk only in the camp talk scenes would be good?
Perhaps some variables could be added to see which one you talk with more, and it could unlock some mini-scenes in the main plot (I'm not talking about Loren 2, just general brainstorming).
In general though I'm in favor of small parties. For romances there can always be NPCs indeed :)
Troyen wrote: I remember in PS1, there was no post-battle level-up assignment. You just got a notification that there were points to spend, and you could assign skills/attributes in the party menu. Maybe something like that (where the notification goes away when you load the menu, in case it's a character you want to ignore)?
Yes that's one way of doing it. Once you play Queen Of Thieves you'll see also my other system. In practice there's a big button that you can use to auto-level up not just each member but ALL the party members :lol: so every time you level up you can just click that, and be done :mrgreen: Or you can first manually level up the ones you "care" about, and use the auto option so will take care of the remaining ones.

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yayswords
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by yayswords » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:40 pm

(It's also a hassle to level and gear up 14 characters. Even with a simplified inventory system.)
Depending on number of item slots I think I'll like this actually. No need to run a constant A-team because it's too bothersome to keep everyone else relevant. Sure I'll probably have a default setup but when I think that something else will work better, that will not be counteracted by that something else being five levels behind with half starter gear.
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Re: Will I be able to exclude characters from my party?

Post by Troyen » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:07 pm

jack1974 wrote:
Troyen wrote: Yeah, I just think it's still too big to have a meaningful conversation when you have groups larger than six. We want to interact with the characters in our party, but we end up liking some of them more than others.
But are you talking about the camp talk, or the general plot scenes? If the game had like 15 party members, but just 3-4 "leaders" who would always speak during the main plot, and the other 12 would talk only in the camp talk scenes would be good?
Perhaps some variables could be added to see which one you talk with more, and it could unlock some mini-scenes in the main plot (I'm not talking about Loren 2, just general brainstorming).
Kind of both. I'm not far enough into PSCD to post a fair review, but I like how the friendship dialogues involve more than one character. It helps build the world, show that your allies have lives and interests outside of dedicating their time to your mission, and works a lot better than the one-on-one camp discussions.

On the other hand, having everyone in every single plot discussion is too much. Too far the opposite direction, where it feels more like I'm in a lunchroom than a mission briefing because everyone needs to slip in a joke or a tangent to show their presence.

At the same time, I don't like only talking to the leaders. If I really like a character and they barely participate in the plot at all because they aren't one of the leader characters (Galina, Chambara), that would be unfortunate. Especially if I ended up not liking one of the other leaders (Jariel, Rei, that robot guy).

Ideally, I could pick my party and only talk to those people, but if that option is off the table... :P

What about balance? Most sequences include no more than five characters (exceptions for the really important ones, also 5 is an arbitrary number), but which five characters can vary depending on what you're doing plotwise. Maybe Draco doesn't have that much to say about the dwarven city, but he might have some comments when in the elven lands or stuff dealing with fire. Maybe Apolo speaks up when discussing history, human settlements, or when he wants to get on Myrth's nerves, but likewise doesn't have much to contribute during the dwarven area.

I kind of feel like the writers are obligated to include all the characters all the time plotwise, when perhaps spacing out appearances would help. The non-leader characters each get roughly even showtime in X scenes, but not all necessarily at the same times, and sometimes in different combinations to keep it interesting.
Depending on number of item slots I think I'll like this actually. No need to run a constant A-team because it's too bothersome to keep everyone else relevant. Sure I'll probably have a default setup but when I think that something else will work better, that will not be counteracted by that something else being five levels behind with half starter gear.
I don't know, I actually did keep everyone relevant and tried to rotate compositions not based on what was optimal but what would fit the story. And even then it got kind of tedious. It's cool for the first few characters - your main characters and primary combat players - but when it comes time to figure out if you want to upgrade the fourth mage versus the fifth thief...it doesn't really matter all that much anymore.

It sounds like equipment is simpler in Loren 2, but you still have a lot of attributes to assign, and the auto-picker honestly hasn't been very good thus far.

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