EternalNothingness

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EternalNothingness

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@do_the_manta_ray said:

I'm a big CRPG fan, and so crafting party combinations is among my very favourite things to do in a video-game, but I think it'd clash with many of the elements of what makes the Witcher series so special. It's very much a personal journey for Geralt, and the people he meets along the way help shape it, but they don't necessarily define it. There's something to Geralt's adventures that's always seemed morbid to me as if it was borderline a suicide attempt, there's just a desperation in what he attempts to accomplish, as well as the odds he goes up against.

It's actually a subject of the books, where-in he constantly seeks to set out on his own, even when he has people who care about him and wish to help him. It's basically because his mindset hasn't ever been practical. The challenges he goes up against aren't the kind a single person can realistically defeat. He realizes that, but he's emotional in his own way. He just can't sit still, and so, his quest has at every point been more about a trial of fire, and a pushishment for himself than anything else. "The fire hardens you, but it'll also leave you crippled" is a quote you'll see a couple of times in the novels. In the books, he actually does meet some other people who force their way into his life and form this kind of adventuring company you're suggesting.

A point that's already been made in this thread is how anyone could possibly keep up with Geralt, him being a mutant et all. (Spoilers for the books)

They can't. His friends all die, one by one. And he, naturally, blames himself for giving in and accepting their help, despite having known it'd end that way. So there's no way he'd ever put himself into that situation again. The short story "The Sword of Destiny", which they've been mentioning in every single trailer of the game, is actually about this grief and guilt of his. "The Sword of Destiny has two edges. You're one, and the other is death."

And that's why The Witcher series won't ever be about a group, or adventuring party.

EDIT: I just realized what a fucking Witcher nerd I am.

I never got a chance to read "Sword of Destiny", but rather read a summary of it. And, based on that summary, it seems the short story I got was not the same story you just told me.

But I understand what companions you were talking about, and they were from the novels. They included Milva the huntress; Cahir the knight; Regis the vampire; Angouleme, who looks just like Ciri; and Geralt's long-time sidekick, Dandelion. All four of them would end up dead helping Geralt rescue Yennefer and Ciri, while Dandelion would outright leave the group altogether to be with a duchess.

Still would have liked Geralt to carry around AI-controlled party-members, though; after all, he had two sorceresses; an adoptive daughter whom he trained in sword-fighting; a bard; a dwarven warrior; and either Vernon Roche or Iorveth, depending on who he sided with in Witcher 2. Plus, there was another group of superhuman warriors similar to Witchers called the Grey Wardens from the Dragon Age series, and the main-protagonist, who was a Grey Warden him/herself, carried around party-members who were not Grey Wardens themselves like the protagonist and Alistair. Same for the Spectres from the Mass Effect trilogy; Shepard was declared the first human Spectre for her fighting abilities and leadership, and yet she carried two human Alliance marines and four aliens who were not Spectres themselves, yet fought with as much brutal efficiency as Shepard herself.

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EternalNothingness

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With regard to Dragon Ball Z, I think my hatred for it stems from the fact that it was never about teamwork compared to other shows released during its time, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and Sailor Moon. Usually, those three teams plus others like the Avengers and the Justice League work as flaggin'TEAMS!!! But, even though Goku had all of those ex-rivals and enemies he made into friends, they were not his team at all; instead their sole purpose was to get beaten up and brutally murdered by the series' numerous villains, just so that Goku could arrive to fight them himself with his apocalyptic Super Saiyan powers.

I'm not saying that characters can never die in a fictional story. After all, in Sailor Moon Classic's finale, the four Inner Senshi died as well. It's just that they died helping Usagi as her TEAMMATES, sacrificing themselves to destroy a group of five monsters (and an illusion device) guarding the Dark Kingdom's lair, and thus clearing a path for Usagi to reach the final battle. As a result, these deaths were nothing like DBZ's deaths, where the characters usually die not helping Goku at all, but rather die waiting for help from HIM!

And that's really strange, considering that whenever men die, they heroically and willingly sacrifice their lives to save the day, and eventually get to come back better than before, either in-terms of character-development or superpowers. But, whenever women die, they usually die as helpless, incapable and defenseless victims and never come back better than before, just as a lazy excuse to give their male counterparts more interesting character-arcs themselves. Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon, almost feel like the reverse. A whole slew of men from the former would die incapable of defeating the villains on their own, and thus must wait for rescue from the main-protagonist. But a bunch of female characters from the latter would actually die helping another main-protagonist in defeating her own main-villain. How insane is that?

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EternalNothingness

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I never got a chance to read any of the Witcher books or play the first two Witcher games, so instead, I read summaries of their stories on Wikipedia. And I have to say, the Witcher games really do require me to read the books to better understand the games and their storylines.

For example, there were characters in the Witcher games who used to play important roles within the books, such as Yennefer, Ciri, Triss Merigold, Dandelion, Zoltan Chivay, etc. Hell, Geralt even gathered four other people into his party, including a knight (Cahir), a huntress (Milva), a vampire (Regis), and a girl named Angouleme in the fifth book. It's just that those people died helping Geralt rescue Ciri and Yennefer, and that Geralt himself would die protecting non-humans from an angry mob of humans. Yennefer died resurrecting Geralt, and then Ciri inherited power from a unicorn she made friends with on her journey to resurrect her two adoptive parents. The three of them would not be seen since.

Even Ciri went on her own little adventure! She gets lost in a desert and brought into a group of wanderers called the Rats. They then ended up getting slaughtered by an assassin named Leo Bonhart, and Ciri gets kidnapped and tortured by him until she escaped. She then ended up in a world inhabited by elves who were at war with the unicorns, and would eventually side with the unicorns to escape that elven world. After that, she returned to her home world, tried to rescue Yennefer, and got herself kidnapped anyway, leading up to Geralt and his party trying to rescue the both of them.

And, every time I look at the Witcher books and the way they lead up to the games, I can't help but think about the Dot Hack video game series. That collection of four games required me to watch a prequel anime called .hack//SIGN, as well as an OVA series called .hack//Liminality, to help me better understand the games.

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I thought Dandelion was Geralt's best friend. Vernon Roche can technically be exchanged for Iorveth and vice versa. But Dandelion, and hell, Triss Merigold and Zoltan Chivay are irreplaceable.

Almost makes me wish those three characters were AI-controlled party-members, like I've always beaten to death.

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For me, I would have likely picked, once again, the Mass Effect trilogy, this time its squadmates. I really liked how each of the squadmates I've gathered in the trilogy developed, changed, and come into their own. Examples:

  • Garrus goes from C-Sec officer, to Archangel, and eventually Primarch Victus' military adviser.
  • Liara goes from Prothean archaeologist, to intel broker, to eventually the new Shadow Broker.
  • Wrex goes from bounty hunter, to leader of Clan Urdnot, all the way to leader of the entire krogan race.
  • Tali'Zorah goes from a teenager on her pilgrimage, to crew member of the Neema and Normandy, all the way to admiral of the quarian flotilla like her late father.
  • Kaidan/Ashley goes from Staff Lieutenant/Gunnery Chief, to Staff Commander, all the way to full-fledged Spectre like Commander Shepard.

And that goes for the ten Mass Effect 2 squadmates who do not rejoin my squad. Seven of them survive to see their own arcs receive satisfying conclusions. The remaining three die, but not before resolving their arcs just as much as the aforementioned seven squadmates. Joker and EDI go from rivals fighting for control of the Normandy, to friends sharing control of the ship, all the way to romance partners upon the latter hijacking Dr. Eva Core's robot body. James Vega gets himself promoted to the N7 rank, despite him sacrificing an entire colony for intel on the Collectors. And Javik... didn't really have anything in the way of a character-arc, other than that he wants to avenge his species and die peacefully with them, too.

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@flstyle: Not anyone, specifically. Just people in-general, who can't seem to trust EA with anything, which is why they would outright criticize Dragon Age: Inquisition.

But then again, Dragon Age: Inquisition really didn't make me feel like a leader compared to the Mass Effect trilogy. Whenever I send my advisers on missions, the action is usually off-screen and take a few hours before I get the results I need. And yeah, the side-quests really are generic and designed for the sole purpose of padding out the game time, despite them being optional.

For me, though, the only way I could truly feel like a leader is if I unlock and complete my companions and advisers' very own side-quests. These side-quests could have been tied to their individual character-arcs, and by resolving those arcs I could end up getting more out of my party-members and advisers.

Of course, I used to receive plenty of that in the Mass Effect trilogy, and I still would have rather that than DA:I. I resolve my squadmates' side-quests/loyalty missions in Mass Effects 1 and 2, and work to preserve as many of them as possible, so that by the third game, their arcs would be fully resolved. For example, Urdnot Wrex goes from bounty-hunter to leader of the krogan race, while Tali'Zorah goes from a teenager on her pilgrimage, to crew member of the Neema, all the way to admiral of the quarian flotilla like her late father.

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@theblue: It's just that back then, I did a poll that pitted Dragon Age: Inquisition with The Witcher 3, and people actually enjoyed the latter over the former. I ended up deleting it because, for some unknown reason, I could not edit my poll to include a third RPG, Pillars of Eternity.

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I went to Game Rankings and Metacritic, and saw that this game received between an 84% and a 90%, so it wasn't really as bad as you make it out to be.

I think the problem with what you say about DA:I is that it was published by EA, and you can't seem to trust EA with almost anything, like what happened with the Sim City reboot and The Sims 4. But for me, the few hours I've played in that game was not so bad.

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For me, I would have likely picked the Normandy from the Mass Effect trilogy, even though I would technically pick anything from the Mass Effect trilogy as my favorite, regardless of what it is.

But the SSV Normandy and Normandy SR-2, specifically? They're both places to hang out at and socialize with my squadmates. I get to know those squadmates, unlock side-quests from them to complete (e.g. loyalty missions in ME2), and bond with them, whether on a platonic level or a romantic level.

Second place goes to that village I've been building and maintaining in Clash of Clans.

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@pilgore: That's why I said DA:I was published by EA, not made by it. It's just that, with you guys, you were so accustomed to EA making all sorts of bad, short-term decisions, like what happened with the SimCity reboot game and Sims 4, that you never bother finding any good, redeeming qualities within that company. And that's exactly the vibe I keep getting with Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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