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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Original Sin - Update #29, Henchmen and Companions

Default Original Sin - Update #29, Henchmen and Companions

April 25th, 2013, 05:53
Update number 29 for Original Sin brings us the 'forgotten' update about Henchmen and companions, whilst being at $732K.

It also gives us an opportunity to add a bit more information about the "Design A Henchman" tier. Many people have asked us what happens to the henchmen they design if the "henchmen become companions" stretch goal is reached.
The way it is going to work is that the henchmen designed by backers will receive a background from the pool of available backgrounds. And they will have dialogues which correspond to those backgrounds. Additionally there will be companions that we will add to the game and these will be treated differently from the henchmen.
You may wonder why you would still want to hire henchmen if there are companions available. And the answer is that different henchmen will have different strengths and weaknesses as well as different abilities. It is very likely that while playing you might swap henchmen in and out depending on the challenges you are facing. For instance when dealing with fire creatures, fire spells actually heal them instead of damaging them. If you happen to have a companion that is specialized in fire spells, he will therefore be of little use. At such a moment it would be very handy to hire a henchman specialized in water spells.
Luckily you also have a homestead at The Shelter Plane At The End of Time where you can ask henchmen you encountered and hired, to wait for you.
You should also be aware that henchmen talk to each other so if you treat them badly, that might have repercussions in your dealing with other henchmen. Likewise, treat them well and you might find unexpected benefits.
And for the French there is a hands-on video available from Jeuxvideo.
Don't forget you can also donate at our fundraiser for Original Sin and get a copy of the game.
More information.
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April 25th, 2013, 05:53
$748K with 36 hours to go. Definitely do-able now.
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April 25th, 2013, 05:55
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
$748K with 36 hours to go. Definitely do-able now.
Plus 23k they've received through paypal, plus the 9k they'll receive from Watch+codex.
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April 25th, 2013, 07:44
So they got about $15,000 left till they hit $800k.
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April 25th, 2013, 07:44
I've read through the massive Reddit thread of questions and answers mentioned previously. Below are the ones I found particularly interesting. Beware: incoming wall of text!

REDDIT: From what i've seen so far you haven't shown much about character customization, but I have heard that it is in the game. So can you talk a bit about what different customizations their are and how far we can take the look of the characters?

ie: Face, physique, armour and so on…
Swen: Visuals, gender, icon, personality, voice, start skills, start stats
Swen: There's multiple armor sets, and some of them cover everything whereas others don't, because they're ornamental or ceremonial (the latter was actually the case in the cover image that caused so much commotion). Cosmetic customisation is limited to face, hair, icon, skin color, primary and secondary color, gender, portrait & voice. You always play a human character.
REDDIT: Can we have some news about the engine of the game: On the forum I was said there is a directx9 and a directx11 build for the engine. Will it be faster on a directx 11 card (do you have fps numbers to compare)? What opengl version use the Mac/Linux version ? Is the Mac/Linux engine okay or is far from ready?
permalink
David: The engine is currently compiled with DX9.

It also had OpenGL4 and DX11 buildtargets at one point, and we will have to pick them up as soon as we find time. But it is going to happen, don't worry

Mac/Linux is going to be work, but not something we cannot handle. I wouldn't call it "far from ready". It just needs to happen.
REDDIT: One of the things I liked in Divine Divinity was that mobs didn't respawn. It gave the option of clearing the entire map and made explorating more rewarding. No grinding in one spot to get XP. Will this be implemented in Original Sin? If not, what will the respawn system be?
David: There is no respawn. Monsters also don't level to your level.
REDDIT: Will there be different difficulty levels that you can choose at the beginning of the game? And will there be a reward (for example in XP) for choosing a higher difficulty level?
David: Yes there will be difficulty settings. We are still talking about the details.
REDDIT: A lot of people have asked about the co-op system and more specifically about how what character you will be playing as if you join another game. You've already said that you will be taking over the second character of the host and not import your own. But will there be an option to slightly costumize your character after you join? For example by resetting a part of the skill and attribute points.
David: It will be an option to customize the char after you join if the host allows it.
REDDIT: What will the system requirements be and depending on how low you set the graphics, what are the absolute minimum requirements?
David: The optimization phase has not started yet, but atm, the lowest system specs it runs on is a five or six year old computer (mine, at home) with an Intel Core2Duo, 4GB ram, ATi HD4850.
REDDIT: If I get the GOG version of the game, and my friend gets the Steam version, can we still play together? If yes, how would this work?
Jan: Not via steamworks, no, but through direct IP yes!
REDDIT: Does the game and its editor can display 2-bytes Asian language properly? I'm a South Korean gamer. It's a pity when I have a good game editor but can't make a thing in my own language with it.
Swen: We support Unicode, but a Korean version is not in the pipeline yet
REDDIT: With editor, can I make a game that all game interactions are tied into personality stats or traits? Like the virtues of Ultima IV, or more than that.
Swen: Yes, I hope somebody makes an Ultima
REDDIT: Does the game support in-game text or voice chat for communication between players?
Swen: Yes
REDDIT: How easy/difficult is it to set up a detailed scenario with the editor for people that has never actually used any kind of editor software before?
David: It's the actual toolset that our designers and artists use, so it's not as "user friendly" as Microsoft Word That may mean that learning curve is steep, but if you know the basics, it's already fun to play around with. And you can always jump into the data of the campaign that ships with the game to see how we pulled off certain things.
REDDIT: Could you please give us a brief overview of the storyline in D:OS?
Jan: The two players are Source Hunters, but their home base - Blackrock Castle- has been raided by mystery assailants. They were left for dead and if Zandalor hadn't shown up they'd have certainly perished. To repay this debt they go out in search of the source of, well, the Source. Its magic is forbidden, which is why the players were Hunters in the first place, but Zandalor is convinced that without it, grave and unforeseen tragedies will befall the world.

The Council of Seven has been frozen in place and time; evil creatures roam the land; orcs are on the warpath. If nothing is done, Rivellon will fall into darkness and decay.

That is pretty much how the game begins and, yes, I know, that's all still rather vague and cryptic, but I won't spoil anything.

What I will say is that the background story that unfolds as you play the game is very diverse, captivating and certainly not what you'll initially expect. Prepare to be surprised as you learn about the origins of the mythical Source, so very important for the world of Rivellon and the Divinity universe in its entirety!
REDDIT: What is the max resolution supported?
David: The max resolution supported by DirectX, actually

Which is something insane like 8K by 8K so you'd need huge amount of (video) memory, but the renderer can handle it in any case.
REDDIT: Even if the $1M goal isn't reached on your KS drive, is there any chance you'll still include the needed programming in the engine for the weather, lunar, etc. stuff; so that player-made content can make use of it?

Also, any plans for another Dragon Knight game? Really loved it.
Swen: You actually have all the mechanics in there already (it rains, you can modify the lighting etc…), our goal is more about scripting it (which is a lot of work if you want to do it proper).

I can guarantee you that the Dragon Knight will be back. As a matter of fact, ther's one in Dragon Commander, but I guess that's not what you meant
REDDIT: Will there again be sets of armour you can spend hours lookin for (like with the dragon armour)?
Jan: Yes!! :-)
REDDIT: Are you planning to have characters with darker approach, I've seen that there is fire/water etc magic but will there be necromancy, vampirism, lycanthropy or something along these lines perhaps?
Swen:Yes, but we don't want to announce the specifics yet because it's still prone to change. Ovistrhropy for instance is high on our list
REDDIT: How many players can be together in a single game? I think I've seen 2 man, but is this final? Can multiplayer missions with the editor perhaps add more slots then 2?
Swen: In our campaign there are indeed 2, but in the editor it's possible to craft campaigns for up to 4 players. Mind you, making cooperative dialogs for 4 players with real choice & consequence is no joke.
REDDIT: I am curious to the extent of character relations in the game. Will romance elements be involved or will it be limited to "work relations" so to speak(this includes at the 800k goal). Can they end up as close friends, or can they be upset with the character's choices to the point they leave and try to stop him/her?
Jan: We have two important parameters going in the background in this regard: affinity and affection.

Affinity determines how well you work together as a team, as professionals: you're both noble most of the time for instance; or you both enjoy extortion. There are tons of different options here.

Affection determines how well you relate to one another on a personal level. Often times cooperative dialogs will be discussions about the morality of decisions and situations. Do you relate? Do feel the same about important questions in life?

These two combined will in turn determine what way the two protagonists are going to evolve in relationship-wise. Will they end up hating one another (yet respecting each other professionally for instance); will they end up as friends; as lovers; as soul mates - or anything in between?

The outcomes will be varied and many!
REDDIT: is that something we could actually do? Like assign out clusters of NPCs to set patterns for in the editor come alpha?I mean, should we - God forbid - miss the top goal, could we crowd-source just sleep-patterns in the editor and ship them back to Larian?Please feel free to shoot this idea down, I don't want to put my fingers in another's pie uninvited, but I thought it might be worth mentioning…
David: If we don't make the 1M stretchgoal, modders are free to put in day-night cycles and schedules. They can with the editor. And then they can, of course, make that mod public for everyone to enjoy \o/
REDDIT: question 1 : will there be ermm funny comments about dexterity or strength in the game?like this http://lparchive.org/Divine-Divinity/Update%20129/ I adored those ^

question 2 : will there be trophies like in DD?You know stats of kills or maybe something like a monster manual with what you've learned (through reading a book or creature knowledge-ish skill) about that monster

question 3: will we be able to add (custom text) map markers?
David: Yes to all three questions!

A lot of our "decisions" are just ripped from Divine Divinity. The answer to a lot of questions is "how did we do it in Divine Divinity?" And then we check if it still makes sense.
REDDIT: Original Sin is coming to Mac (perhaps a bit later than the Windows version), will this be a native version, or will you use porting tools?
Swen: We're working on making it a native version. Should we fail miserably, we'll probably use porting tools but we'll try to avoid that. We had some bad experiences with Wine in the past (i.e. Apple kicking us off the store)
REDDIT: i was wondering, can you make choices during the game that could affect the main story in a major way (like an important character dying)?
Swen: Yes. A few things will always happen because it's set in the Divinity timeline, but other than that, it's a very free world. When we say - you can kill everybody and still finish the game, we're not kidding
REDDIT:
Swen: You'll still have henchmen in the game, in addition to companions. You can have them go to the shelter plane and they'll wait for you there, so you can take advantage of their specific builds. The companions will be integrated in the storyline.
REDDIT: Will we get some kind of backstory for our characters (for example, born in aleroth, son of a merchant)?
Swen: That's not in, unfortunately. I'd very much have liked to do that, but it'll be for another time.
REDDIT: When playing single-player it is stated that you will be able to choose a personality for your AI-partner, if I remember correctly. Could you expand on that? (What is there to choose from, how nuanced-vs-stereotyped will (s)he be?)
Jan: We'll create a couple of personalities you can choose from. Like Kein said, these can follow you slavishly in every decision or disagree with everything. But we'll also create a few more nuanced ones to simulate that you're playing with an individual rather than an AI partner. Just how this will work has yet to be determined though.
REDDIT: You will have non-bikini armor for female characters in the game, right? I'm fine with bikini armor being present, if that floats people's boat then more power to them, but I also want armor that has actual coverage so that my female character can look like a real warrior rather than Witchblade or Red Sonja.
David: The bikini thing actually looked like that, because it was linked to a certain tribe in the game, which had their own "art direction". There are multiple different armour pieces in the game that look like what they sound like.

I quite liked the first couple of Witchblade comics though…
REDDIT: I was wondering if you have a timeline for the Alpha Phase, Beta Phase, and the Preorder Phase?
David: What follows is my guess. Alpha: this summer. Beta and preorder: September/October.
REDDIT: Is there a "defend" option (for taking reduced damaged from opponents) or the ability for characters to take cover behind trees, walls etc. ?
David: Yes. We didn't show any warrior skills yet, but you can rest assured there's quite a few. Cover is possible and even encouraged.
REDDIT: Are you planning on implementing a mechanism for unspend AP during a turn, for examle converting them to AC bonus (you know, something like Fallout 1&2)?
David: Yes, we are. We'll have details at a later stage once we're sure about everything. We're still fooling around with the skills, stats, attributes & talents.
REDDIT: Do attacks of opportunity consume AP or do they resolve automatically under certain conditions?
David: They don't use AP
REDDIT: Will there be any benefits for characters who are entering combat while in stealth or flanking an enemy?
David: Yes, definitely
REDDIT: Are players going to be able to design their own characters or are they stuck with the two pre-set ones we've seen so far in the jesse cox and angry joe videos?
David: The preset characters are for presentation purposes. There is a character creation screen where you can specify your character visual, starting skills & stats.
REDDIT: Is there any chance we might see a basic day/night cycle even if NPC schedules don't get implemented as per the $1M stretch goal? I feel they add a lot to atmosphere and immersion even if the NPCs are the same at night.
David: There are atmosphere changes that are triggered to fit the mood of the scene.

If we do day/night cycles, we wanna do it right. For instance, the graveyard during time is fun for a walk, but don't go there at night. Day/night cycles as merely a pretty thing doesn't make sense.
REDDIT: What are your plans for companions if that goal is met? Will we see something like Planescape Torment's party members with lots of added dialog and character? How many companions do you anticipate being available for recruitment, and how many can be in a party at a time?
Jan: If we make that stretch goal, expect to see a number of very fleshed out characters with their own backgrounds, story and branching arcs - hell, even locations.

Quality definitely trumps quantity here. We'd most certainly opt for a limited number of these companions so we can make their stories really worth your while.

There would still be others too, but those would then be your regular henchman
REDDIT: For my question, If you don't reach all the kickstarter goals, would you consider adding them as additional expansion packs/dlc's? Or rather do you have any plans to add additional content after the game is out?
Swen: We get that question a lot, but no, we don't have any plans for DLC's. Maybe an add-on, though I think we'll be focussing on our next game once we recover from development.
REDDIT: Don't know if this is something you want to give away yet, but will there be any really big cities in the game?
Swen: There's no one big city. Rather, there's several villages, each with their own flavour & specific set of problems.
David: It's not the size that matters. It's the amount of things you can do in it.
REDDIT: Almost no other game since Diablo has the "I MUST get this item/weapon" feeling, if you know what I mean. You "wasted" hours to gather the funds to buy this new amazing weapon and actually felt the differences, also most good weapons were sold in stores and not found in the level. What about your latest Divinity Original Sin game? will it have this feeling? where the better weapons can be found? maybe crafted?
Jan: I think it's safe to say we'll try to find a healthy balance between awesome store-bought, found and crafted items. And yes, some will require lots and lots of searching, sleuthing and slaying to gather together! :-)
The following are some interesting miscellaneous snippets from the Larian team

Swen: There's a lot of talk about the iron man mode in the office. I don't know yet how it's going to be, but it'll be in. Regarding what's going to be impacted by it - we still need to decide that.
David: Timeline:
Dragon Commander -> Original Sin -> Divine Divinity -> Beyond Divinity -> Divinity II
David: The campaign we are making only supports 2 players playing together, but the editor supports up to 6. So the modding community can make 6 player RPGs.

Each main hero can hire one henchman, which will follow them around, but each hero does control the henchman in combat, and can control their inventory, equipment and levelups.
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April 25th, 2013, 09:32
I Didn't really understand this update. The 800k goal is to make henchmen into "companions". I am not sure in that respect why you then still need henchmen in addition to companions: Why should companions be less flexible in their builds than henchmen and why can't you swap them in from your shelter? This doesn't seem very clear although I'm sure Larian will do what is best for the game.

Nice to see the funding really taking off in the last few days!
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April 25th, 2013, 09:34
Thanks, Dr. A! Much better than wading through Reddit. I'm now very anxious for getting my hands on the editor.


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April 25th, 2013, 09:56
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
I am not sure in that respect why you then still need henchmen in addition to companions: Why should companions be less flexible in their builds than henchmen and why can't you swap them in from your shelter?
You don't "need" them. I'm assuming they will simply be for added variety. Besides, why remove something that's already finished?

I didn't see anything that would indicate companions will be less flexible in their builds than henchmen. If indeed they are, then maybe that's one reason to include both.
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April 25th, 2013, 09:58
You're most welcome.

The Reddit format is rather difficult to slog through and I thought there were some very good snippets of dialogue that people would like to know.

Please note that I only extracted the most interesting bits (to me) and certainly not all of the Q&As.
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April 25th, 2013, 12:33
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
REDDIT: One of the things I liked in Divine Divinity was that mobs didn't respawn. It gave the option of clearing the entire map and made explorating more rewarding. No grinding in one spot to get XP. Will this be implemented in Original Sin? If not, what will the respawn system be?
David: There is no respawn. Monsters also don't level to your level.

Exitus acta probat.
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April 25th, 2013, 13:03
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
I Didn't really understand this update. The 800k goal is to make henchmen into "companions". I am not sure in that respect why you then still need henchmen in addition to companions: Why should companions be less flexible in their builds than henchmen and why can't you swap them in from your shelter? This doesn't seem very clear although I'm sure Larian will do what is best for the game.

Nice to see the funding really taking off in the last few days!
Henchmen have specializations that may be useful in certain situations. An example given was hiring a henchman with a specialization in water magic when you have to deal with a difficult fight involveing lots of "fire" creatures. So you may still want to hire henchmen to compensate certain weaknesses in your other party members.
Basically i guess you'll have a choice of a few fleshed out companions, with detailed personalities, dialog, maybe associated quests. In addition you'll have a larger selection of Henchmen with various specializations not represented in the companions. These have some background, simple dialog, but are generally in it for the money, mercenaries, the silent type.
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April 25th, 2013, 14:56
Thanks for the summary on the Q&A was a good read.

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