About the Author
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy X
Batman:Arkham City
Borderlands Series
Weekly Column
Champions Online
World of Warcraft
DM of the Rings
Good Robot
Project Frontier

Experienced Points: Quest for the Sidequest

By Shamus
on Friday Nov 6, 2009
Filed under:


This is just a plea for game designers to erect obstacles for us that make some kind of sense. I know I’m asking too much, because I’ve been asking for this for years and I still don’t have it.

But, I have hope.

At the end of the article I put out a call for people to post their tales of asinine nonsensical plot-doors. It will be interesting to see if there is anything worse than that abominable gate to the Blacklake District in Neverwinter Nights 2.

Comments (58)

  1. Shot the Deputy says:

    “…and rubber chickens with a pulley in the middle.”

    Is this a reference to Ben There, Dan That? Or are you just being silly?

  2. SolkaTruesilver says:

    “The Noble issues a mandate: Produce Silver Earrings”

    “The dwarf scribes pictures of turtle shells..”

    What? Dwarf Fortress doesn’t count?

  3. @shot: it’s a reference to Monkey Island.

  4. Bret says:

    Which is referenced by Ben There Dan That, as are many other Lucasarts classics.

    Fun little adventure game, and it costs zero dollars. Not bad

  5. Magnus says:

    Haven’t had this problem with Dragon Age (so far, only a short way through), so I’m hoping it will avert this problem.

    I recall in oblivion being “trapped” inside a crumbly old fort on an island (for some reason I don’t recall), and my quite powerful mage having to kill various people in order to get the key/pull the right lever and leave.

    This was the sort of thing only oblivion could do (in terms of Elder Scrolls games) as previous TES games had various levitation and flying like magic, as well as teleportation spells. Not to mention not being able to freeze/fireball the metal bars to make them break… Still, thats possibly the least of my oblivion gripes.

    A similar annoyance for me is if I’m not allowed to ask certain questions, as they aren’t in the list of available things for me to say. So many things could be sorted out in RPGs if people were allowed to just talk a little more…

  6. Helgi says:

    “The Badlands example could have been fixed by making the fence twenty feet tall, sturdy, and covered in spikes. And maybe electrified.”

    Is that supposed to say Borderlands?
    Excellent article by the way.

  7. Michael says:

    I’m honestly drawing a blank on which Borderlands quest you’re talking about. The one right after you leave fyrstone(sp?) comes kinda to mind, but that doesn’t usually involve fighting your way out, back to the car depot.

    Though there are quite a few random fedex quests, most of them feel like they fit with the setting. Having to trek to Mt. Doom the garbage pile for fuses did get on my nerves a bit in this way, however.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Neverwinter nights 1 comes to mind,where you have 4 such gates in the very begining.

    Also,half life 2,with its impenetrable wooden doors.

    As a counter to this,there is fallout where you could sneak past anyone and pick any door,and morrowind where you could just teleport/fly wherever you want to.

  9. JKjoker says:

    @Magnus: oh come on, Dragon Age has 3 of those goddamn doors just in the magi vignette, not a surprise considering its basicly NWN 3

    @Michael: i think Shamus is talking about the “get the mine key” quest where you find the first non tutorial claptrap

  10. Randy Johnson says:

    Ah your hatred of NW2, my one big disagreement with you, Shamus :P. so far if Dragon Age has these , I haven’t noticed them because I have constantly been doing the infinite amount of side quests and party member missions. I really like this game.

  11. Rick W says:

    Knights of the Old Republic, Tatooine. If you try to enter a specific area of the Dune Sea ““ the one where the Star Map is ““ without a map, it tells you that you’d get lost without one. Then you get the map from the Tusken Raiders, and enter the area, and… it has borders clearly marked with the same boundary posts as the other Dune Sea areas. Why do I need the map again?

    Actually, just getting out of Anchorhead seems a bit arbitrary in “this is your only option,” too. If nothing else, you could probably land the Ebon Hawk outside the city with little difficulty.

  12. bbot says:

    Actually, Borderlands is fairly nice about letting you run away from enemies, as long as you’re not locked in an arena, or underleveled. I exploit this by just sprinting through the crowd of respawned enemies, and to the fast travel point.

  13. Ben says:

    I remember running into something similar with Guild Wars. It wasn’t mandatory, or even a quest, but I remember thinking at the time how idiotic the whole situation seemed.

    I had just fought through a nearly endless stream of unfriendly critters, followed by a group of lizards or small dragons or something, when I encountered a shoddily-constructed wooden chest. “Aha,” I thought, “Perhaps the contents of this chest will be of value in my adventures!” I attempted to open the chest. It was locked, and I hadn’t thought to purchase any extra keys before leaving the last outpost, an hour or more of combat behind me. I stood over the puny chest, covered in the entrails of a thousand foes and gripping my enormous glowing battleaxe, and I asked myself what I would do in that situation in real life.

    I think my solution might have involved the axe somehow.

    Would it really have been too difficult for them to draw a sturdy iron chest, or an aura to suggest magical protection, or even to ensure one of my mighty foes had thought to bring a key to work that day?

  14. Vladius says:

    You referred to “Borderlands” as “Badlands” on the second page.

    Your column is RUINED FOREVER.

  15. Sydney says:

    “Rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle” has a sort of addictive rhythm to it. I spent a good sixty seconds chanting it to myself like some sort of twisted mantra.

    I think my mind is going.

  16. Randy Johnson says:

    He called it badlands because thats the name of the zone it takes place in

  17. The S Ninja says:

    With regards to the plot door in Resident Evil 4, If I do recall, even if you could just jump over the gate you wouldn’t get very far because they destroyed the bridge that you would need to cross the ravine. I believe they do this around the same time they push your cop buddy’s car off the ledge but I could be wrong.

  18. Greg says:

    Magnus: I didn’t have much objection to that particular example in Oblivion, as the people to kill there were “Hunting club” members there just to murder you for the thrill of it. Almost all of my characters would have done them in even if you could get out some other way. On the other hand, one of the thieves guild quests that required you to get a key from this master mage never ever let me just pickpocket it and sneak away, even with 100% Chameleon. I always ended up having to kill him, which was totally out of character and a waste of time.

  19. Dev Null says:

    Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the game). Babel Fish. Nough said. (And yes, I know they were doing it on purpose. And no, it didn’t help.)

  20. ehlijen says:

    Kotor 2, Korriban

    I’d like to explore this cave, but Kreia thinks I should head to the academy first. So the only thing stopping me from entering the cave is the character who refused to actually join my exloration of the planet telling me not to…but that’s enough to convince the game to not let me :(

  21. Girl Gamer says:

    Great article, as always. There’s a lot of this kind of silliness in games, I’m noticing lately. Who builds all these crazy temples and dungeons with so many traps and hidden keys?

  22. Zaxares says:

    Ehh, I didn’t think the Blacklake gate in NWN2 was so bad… To be fair, the story did explain that the entire district was locked down by order of the ruling lord, with guards, wizards and more with orders to ensure that nobody without the proper authority got in or out.

    Then again, I don’t see why you couldn’t have just asked one of the guards to deliver a letter to the sage you were supposed to talk to. :P

  23. Funny thing is, before I started reading this blog, I never noticed this. I could just play Zelda Iteration Isn’t Anybody Sick Of This Yet or something and I’d just shrug and go “OK, the game wants me to get a flute so I can play a pretty song for the guy I could just beat the item out of, you know, since I have a sword and everything” because, hell, that’s what I’m supposed to do.
    And now I think about this stuff. So, on the one hand, this blog has made me smarter. On the other, it has also diminished my potential enjoyment of stupidly written games. Haven’t made up my mind yet on whether that’s a good thing.

  24. Magnus says:


    If you mean the phylactery, then I would argue that this is not the same. For a start, there is a reasonable explanation, secondly, you don’t have to do much to get past it. In fact, they make it far too easy to get into there, given how supposedly important that room is.

  25. DGM says:

    What’s the most arbitrary or asinine key-fetch you’ve ever had to do in a game?

    The worst “key” I recall was from Nethergate. Rather than fetching an object, I had to fetch an answer to someone’s problem. An answer which I, the player, figured out in about two seconds tops, but which the game still made me go ask someone else far away for despite my having an all-genius wizard party. Back while I was still blogging I ranted about it here: http://dungeon-games.com/blog/?p=205

    There are other examples of this sort of thing, but that’s the one from my youth that left a scar on me.

  26. Yeah, it always gets to me when they have barriers that they could have changed up for a different set, or quests that would have made sense with different motivations.

    Gargh. Mock them in public, that sometimes helps, especially when you point out how they could have done it right at the same time.

    Writers get lazy when they are allowed to get away with it.

    Though now I’m reliving this comic (which I caught before)


    (though the earlier section with the comment about the wood doors and low walls was great — they must have been playing guild wars).

  27. gattsuru says:

    Along the lines of the NWN2 example, Clock Tower 3 had a point where you could not enter a building, because a flier on the door said “by invitation only”. A protagonist transported back to the middle of 1945, in the middle of a bombing run, with the streets filled with vengeful ghosts. You then find an invitation by breaking into other houses and businesses first.

    Earthbound… oh, gods. You are stopped, at varying points in the game, by such things as a lack of a pencil eraser (for getting rid of six foot tall pencil statutes), eraser eraser (for getting rid of six foot tall eraser statutes), wads of cash/giant diamonds (to free the Blues Brothers so you can hitch a ride through a ghost filed cave / over the ocean), fly honey (for getting rid of a giant pile of vomit), and so on. At one point you must defeat a zombie horde not by actually fighting the zombie horde, but by walking into an incredibly obvious trap, getting captured, having a psychic dream that calls upon a previously unknown ally, having that ally run away from a boarding school, go through mazes, beat up yetis and cavemen, befriend a bubble-gum chewing monkey and then Lock Ness Monster, meet up with his estranged scientist father, take a flying saucer from said scientist father, crash it onto the main character’s head, and then get fly zombie paper. Then beat zombies up with a bat.

  28. My biggest annoyance with Dragon Age is the fact that it subscribes to the Guild Wars model of ground. If there’s not a direct line of movement, you can’t go. Trying to hop a foot down to the stairs? Nope. Gotta run around to the top step, then go down.

    So silly.

  29. JKjoker says:

    @Magnus, it still a non magical door (they make a big deal about this point) you could easily open with a crowbar or by launching a physical object at it with magic (you cant dispel inertia!) or by playing with the lock a bit but you just “cant” open it because of plot (since i wanted to respec my mage i had to replay that vignette but the second time i tried to do it faster by betraying my friend, no dice you still have to do the dungeon so you can “catch them in the act”)

    then there are the two doors with one or two puny looking guards blocking your way out of the tower.
    i really cant see why they couldnt add the possibility to just try to leave the tower by force, getting captured and then having Duncan play the “right to conscription” card he used for other of the red shirts you meet in the begining (they could even work in your friend thingy by having him try to help you) so i consider them plot driven doors too

  30. Magnus says:


    Hmm… on that basis, I agree with you. I hadn’t replayed the intro, so wasn’t aware that you were still required to go through all that for no good reason. I’d assumed shopping him to the authorities would be an end to itself.

    I’d have also liked the option to smash all the phylacteries, but my mage is a bit of an arse like that.

    I think I might try all six openings and see how they compare.

  31. JKjoker says:

    yeah i wanted to smash all the phylacteries myself as well just to mess with the templars, i was rather disappointed with the magi vignette, i can think of at least 10 different ways to end that vignette leaving all key characters in the same position, they wouldnt even need that much extra work just some text and voice overs, but no, there is just the ONE way, The Witcher gave you 3 choices between the intro and the beginning of the 2° act (kill monster/defend laboratory, give/refuse weapons to “la resistance” and if you let the blonde guy join you or not) that REALLY freaking changed the game, different enemies, different quest givers/important NPCS, different quests, meaningful choices bioware said heh

    some where praising the dwarven vignettes, i guess i try them later but expectations are low

    (btw, i might be getting too picky… but, your friend smashes his phylathingy in the floor of the freezer like room, cant the templars just scrape the blood off the floor (or off of the walls in the entire dungeon, damn those characters can bleed they must have 50 gallons of blood in them) to hunt him ? there are no medieval CSIs in dark fantasy ? or is it a case of “sorry but your phoenix down service is currently unavailable, please try again later” ?)

  32. Magnus says:


    It’s those stone floors, very porous, the blood obviously just seeped right through.

    I’m a bit further on in DA now, and I haven’t seen much yet to consider it close to the Witcher. Redcliffe was fun though, but tough (I won’t put any spoilers here). I’m not enjoying the combat at all really, my companions require a touch too much hand-holding for my liking. I wouldn’t mind so much, but there are lots of skills which require a certain amount of timing to be beneficial.

    Also, to bring this slightly more on topic, I have noticed that there are a few “bring x number of y to z” quests. I know these are optional, but I do need the experience…

  33. Vladius says:


    The game doesn’t actually prevent you from going into the cave. It’s just a recommendation. Did you try it?

  34. JKjoker says:

    @Magnus: oh and i cant believe i forgot the adamantium chests, man, those things can survive nukes, in nwn2 you risked destroying the contents but you could at least bash them, in DAO its like they have been enchanted by god to open only for rogues, they are not necessarily plot driven doors but they are just as annoying (and at least as far as ive seen there is no “knock” spell)

  35. Pickly says:

    The Guild Wars Factions campaign had a few locked doors to prevent people from doing the missions out of order, that unfortunately tended to slow down exploration and questing when appropriate doors weren’t open. (They did adjust mission mechanics in later games to avoid this, however. Though I do wish they’d go back and adjust prophecies and Faction to incorporate some later mission mechanics. I assume this isn’t considered worth the time, though.)

    World of Warcraft, from what I’ve read, seemed to have some crazy complex requirements for its attunements (which story wise may have made sense, but reading about them, they still seemed really, really complex.)

  36. Somebody Else says:

    In the first dungeon of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, your progress is blocked by a huge spider web covering a hole in the floor. You, an adventurer carrying a sword, as well as several torches with an ever-burning fire in a room one floor above, need to climb to the top of the dungeon and jump into the web in order to get through. This requires you to get a slingshot, because the vines you need to climb are infested by spiders which will knock you down unless you shoot them first. So, key to entering hole in the ground = slingshot.

    Later in the same game, you need a pair of lead-covered boots because the hero is physically incapable of swimming to the bottom of a lake despite carrying two or three big swords, a big shield, a grappling-hook gun, up to 30 bombs, up to 200 head-sized jewels, a rather large metal flute, a diving weight, and potentially the Megaton Hammer, which is an above-average-sized sledgehammer. And wearing a full set of clothes.
    This pair of boots is found by fighting your way through a huge ice cave and fighting a werewolf.

  37. WWWebb says:

    @Dev Null: It must be a Douglas Adams thing. If you ever play Starship Titanic, the ENTIRE GAME is one big hundred-layer key quest with some of the most absurd, roundabout puzzles I’ve ever encountered. It was awesome.

  38. DarkLadyWolf says:

    Are there any games out there that are entirely made of silly quests like this? It seems there’s an untapped goldmine here.

    Or is that the lack of caffeine talking?

  39. Robert says:

    CSI: Hard Evidence was like that. You couldn’t look at/examine things at the crime scene even if you thought you’d figured it out, instead you had to take your paltry evidence back to the lab, listen to the name characters reason out the case, and then you were allowed to go back and actually look at what you wanted to originally.

  40. Robel says:

    As far as I`ve seen, Dragon Age has some pretty huge doors. It sort of makes sense you can`t smash them down. But the chests. THE CHESTS. Who came up with that? I thought it was supposed to be (sort of) like the other Bioware RPG`s. All of them since Baldur’s Gate had smashable chests. But not here. No. You can`t even find the key. The only way to get the contents of a *wooden* chest is to pick it`s lock.

    As a side note, the combat is simply stupid. I really enjoy everything else but the combat just tries my patience more and more (and there seems to be more and more of it). I`m back in the dwarven lands (i have a dwarf berserker) and I`m supposed to do a LOT of quests just for this part of the quest to get the dwarves’ support. There`s a whole new “world” map in the Deep Roads where you have to find Gromka or whatever her name was. But it seems there is no such thing as thinking, no puzzles, nothing, everything you have to acquire in there is obtained by fighting waves and waves of spiders, darkspawn and sometimes ghosts. And don`t get me started on the combat animation. It seems that someone wanted to implement Mortal Kombat-like finishing moves when you kill a monster (it happens rarely but when it does it annoys me to hell). The animations last about 2-3-4 seconds, during which, if monsters were attacking me, they do not stop. And if you`ve seen the ogre killing animation and played a character with a blunt weapon you`ve probably laughed your ass off. “I stabeth thee in thy face with my perfectly sphere-shaped mace!”. Yeah, the combat really gets to me. The dialogue is fantastic, the story and freedom are great, the choices are good, the map is ok, but the combat and some other things just SUCK. HARD. I don`t know if I`ll find the patience to finish it though. The amount of combat just seems to go uphill from here.

  41. JKjoker says:

    @Robel: yeah the chest thing is just BS, worse of all, only rogues can pick locks, there are no alternatives and you wont find the rogue companion (dunno if there are more than 1) until the world opens up to you (and she is a freaking annoying extremist saint who keeps bitching about you asking for rewards!) so youll encounter at least 50 chests that you wont be able to open until you find her and youll probably wont be able to bear her presence unless you are playing Jesus

    about the combat, sigh, it has all the worst problems from NWN, and its even missing some of nwn’s good ideas, enemies behave ok (they tend to charge at you a little too much tho) but, since there are no attacks of opportunity (or anyway for fighters to “suck” enemies into combat other than threaten which almost never works, some skills let you pin enemies but only 1 at a time and they take a precious gambit/tactics slot, limiting the slots was a very bad idea), your mages are going to get skewered 5 seconds into combat (which is specially annoying when you MC is a mage) and your ranged characters will rarely get an arrow out before switching to melee weapons, this and many other problems combined to the fact the game is VERY combat heavy make DAO really hard to love

    i agree the dialogue its DAO’s strongest point but its also kind of flawed when you realize that they only ever give you these 3 choices : be a dick, be Jesus or use persuasion to be Jesus/dick without your companions getting mad at you

    The “influence” thing also tends to tie your hands while you are playing, if your npcs like your choice they get a 0/+1/+2/+3, if they didnt like it they get a -3/-5/-10/-25 so either you play exactly how a npc wants or theyll hate you (you can be good/bad for bad/good reasons, but that only stays on text you dont get to explain “im helping them so i can have some meat shields later” to the unhappy npc other than with the persuasion option, so i hope you put points in there)

  42. Magnus says:


    I was wondering what difficulty you’re on? I’m on easy with my mage char, and finding my area effect spells are double-edged. Easy is supposed to have no friendly fire, yet your NPCs will still be frozen by “cone of cold” or knocked back by “fireball”. God knows how you would ever use such spells on harder difficulty…

    On the influence, it seems to be based around using gifts. Basically, before I started handing out prezzies, all my NPCs were neutral, and most had small negative scores because I’d annoyed them in some minor ways (usually conversation). Giving gifts out is totally against how I want to play my character, but I feel a bit like I have to. What happens if they hate you too much?

    Perhaps the mods for this will be able to get around some of these issues, but I’m not sure how good the toolset is. It may only be able to make completely separate campaigns.

  43. Blackbird71 says:

    @Robel (42)

    Well, Bioware did claim that DA was the “spiritual successor” to Baldur’s Gate. Maybe that’s what they meant: the chests are once again unbreakable.

  44. Philip says:

    Best lampshaded by Kyle Katurn about dark forces
    “They always lock the door. You'd think they'd have learned by now. Doesn't look like there's a key ““ that would be too easy. The console to unlock the door is probably hidden in some room twelve floors up or something… how does that make sense?”
    “•Kyle during the mission to Vjun

  45. Dan says:

    People, please.

    Super Mario Brothers. What game involves 50% of its gameplay storming the wrong castle?

  46. JKjoker says:

    @Magnus : normal with the patch

    my experience with the mage MC has been the following :
    *vignette: fireball+burning hands+chainlighting = all enemies dead before they hit anyone

    *before world opens up: the old combo no longer kills but takes about 50-80% of their hp, since i went for high magic and low willpower my mana pool is spent just as the battle ends, the flaming swords spell is pretty useful when your party uses melee, mage usually survives without using potions

    *a level or two after world opens up: old combo kind of useless now that they only take 20% of damage, the mana pool only lasts half the battle even tho im pumping everything into willpower, before i get to cast my second spell they are already surrounding my mage, mage tends to survives as long as he keeps drinking potions, the companion NPC mage default build tends to last longer than mine but barely deals any damage

    *3 levels after world opens up -> now (a level or two later): my mage shaves off 15% of the enemies hp with everything he has the first 10 seconds of the battle, then he dies, drinking potions just postpones the inevitable, NPC mage still survives but damage output is nil, i didnt put points into persuasion and my npcs are starting to hate me for not being a extremist Jesus/Satan, im considering respecing or playing a new character… again

    maybe my mage build just sucks but so far it feels just like NWN: fighters rule the land, mages are awesome but impractical (as a note, my first mage build started sucking as soon as i got out of the vignette)

    @Blackbird71: the game feels like NWN2, not like BG, i even have the same opinion about DAO i had back when i played NWN2, not a bad game but very overrated (i do miss my dual wielding bard-red dragon disciple badass)

  47. Magnus says:


    Easy with the patch, and being a mage is fine. I tend to use “winters grasp” and “cone of cold” A LOT. Helps especially with larger and boss characters (Ogres in particular).

    Given how quickly I can go through mana in a fight, some of the spells are pretty useless (fire ones seem particularly weak, even against enemies you would think would burn easily…).

    I expect it may be worth you trying to go the shapeshifter route. However, it’s not quite the “Shadowcaster” I would like it to be.

    I have to say I really liked NWN1 being a sorceror, especially if you take the panther as a familiar and have the thief as your sidekick. Almost nothing I couldn’t face, although it did help when you use plenty of summon spells and area-of-effect madness (usually into a room where you knew there were enemies, but you couldn’t see them…) NWN2 nerfed all of that, so I played as a very dull paladin, which made a poor experience even poorer.

    My favourite RPG experiences of late have been Storm of Zehir (massively underrated imo) and The Witcher. Both for very different reasons. SoZ is a brilliant party RPG, whereas TW has fantastic choice/consequence. I was hoping DAO would be inbetween somewhere… but it feels more like if BG met NWN2 and had a child.

    Still, the two things that keep me going are some fantastic story elements and Shale. Redcliffe and the Mages Tower (return to) were brilliant, despite the iffy combat. In fact, the mages tower reminded me of shadowcaster at one point.

  48. JKjoker says:

    @Magnus: yeah, fire is starting to lose usefulness pretty fast (flaming swords still rocks tho), lighting storm is useless too (i wonder if the other “storms” spells are just as useless), the npc mage has a “stun everyone in a sphere around the caster” spell that works pretty well (maybe too well, resistances probably make it useless later)

    it makes me a little mad that i cant see the spell stats (consolization?) to know which does more damage or how long it takes to cast (i got a little surprise with chain lighting, it takes 5 seconds to cast, a little too long to use against charging enemies), because of the unskippable vignettes testing new builds is slow and annoying, i should get the tools they released and make myself a build testing level

    i havent played SOZ, as for the Witcher, i still like it better than DAO for dialogue and choices/consequence (i cant compare combat and char development)

    what do you think about the NPCs in DAO so far ? i only like Alistar, hate the rogue, neutral about the rest

  49. Sheer_FALACY says:

    It’s possible to game the influence system – a lot of the big conversations take place in towns/near world map barriers, so just bring the companions who agree with what you’re doing anyway and then swap back to the ones you want to use for fighting.

  50. Magnus says:


    Any game which may require you to “game” a system has a broken system in my opinion. It negates the feeling of real choice. I’d rather my NPCs hated me than go through that. Is it something you’d consider?


    SoZ is supposedly a bit more like Icewind Dale (although I haven’t played that yet). I’d recommend it, but it’s not to everyone’s taste. It felt like more of an old-school RPG in many ways. Tougher to get into perhaps, but I liked it. A rough gem. Quite considerably different to Mask of the Betrayer. SoZ is the closest to Baldur’s Gate 1 I’ve seen in a long while.

    As for NPCs in DAO, only Shale is a must for me. I also don’t mind Alistair. The rest I find either dull or annoying for one reason or another. I have to say, I really miss just having a portrait and a voice. Made things much better for me, without seeing blank expressions or restricted animations. Not sure why people think this cinematic look is better. Nice 2D artwork can show so much more character…

  51. JKjoker says:

    yeah, hand drawn portraits are much better, but i think the 3d snaps could have worked with a higher range of expressions (right now they range from “zombie” to “Gordon Frohman smile”)and some photoshop filters to make them look hand drawn or other effects (bg and nwn had the problem your guy usually didnt look at all like the portrait)

    i liked Mask of the Betrayer a lot (unlike almost everything else published/made by bioware it had personality), sadly its tainted by the crappy nwn engine and the epic levels, ah if Troika had done something like MOTB with temple of elemental evil’s engine instead of that… crap … oh well

  52. Sheer_FALACY says:

    You’re complaining that you want to live with the NPCs not liking you, but at the same time you want the NPCs to like you. Pick one. If you consistently murder everyone you meet, the ex-templar is going to object.

    Every class has a choice of goodish/evilish, as far as I can tell. Take along the one that agrees with your general actions and you’ll be in good shape. There’s certainly a less saintly rogue.

    And even without that, I don’t see huge issues keeping it up. Talk to them, explore every conversation option, and generally kiss their ass (or whatever they’re into) and that’s 10-20 rep right there. Do their quest and that’s another 20-30. Each gift that they favor is 6-10. The largest loss from conversation I’ve seen is -8 or so – either you lose more on higher difficulties or that -25 was from murdering orphans and puppies in front of Wynne. They didn’t hate me THAT much even when I murdered a village.

  53. Robel says:

    @Blackbird71 and Magnus

    I don`t even know how you can compare DAO to Baldur’s Gate. I just… don`t see it. And thanks for the heads up on SoZ, Magnus, I shall retry it. I did like IWD 2 very much. Although I got SoZ about a year ago and the reason I stopped playing it was because I wanted to remake a smaller party. I had heard that there are companions that you can get from the world and I wanted to make some room for them. Do you know anything about that?

  54. JKjoker says:

    @Sheer_FALACY: uh ? i saw two -25 as soon as i started the game, one from the rogue when i took the mass effectish/Jack Bauer choice of just slitting the throat of some merchant (its surprising how every single choice you can take with that merchant has someone hating you) and another when i choose to help some town fend of their zombies (one of my npc thinks that fighting anything other than orcs is a waste of time, another one did a me too and went -10)

  55. Sheer_FALACY says:

    Morrigan hates sidequests, but I sure didn’t get a -25 off of agreeing to stop the zombies. It was like a -8 or -10, so I swapped her out, but I don’t get why you see so much larger losses than I do.

    And I don’t know what merchant you’re talking about, but yeah, slitting a random guy’s throat is gonna make someone object. Maybe you don’t have anything in coercion – in a number of cases you get a chance to respond to your companion when they express their discuss, and there’s always a persuade option in there when you do. It doesn’t eliminate the hate but I’m pretty sure it reduces it.

    Also, any game requiring you to “game” a system is a game =P.

  56. Magnus says:


    There are a few companions you can bring along with you in SoZ, I think you can only bring one unless you have the “leadership” skill (which you can get on levelling), and then you are allowed two companions. I tended to have a standard party of four, plus the two most useful people I met along the way.


    I was a touch more diplomatic with the merchant in lothering, but also had the problem with the zombies. Sten just whines about the darkspawn the whole time, and you don’t have the dialog options to explain the bigger picture. Glad I could swap him out for Shale, a much better choice.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *


Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>