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  1. #1

    Experience - active companions vs all

    Can someone explain how the "Only active companions gain experience" options works? I just tested on a series of traps - with "active companions only" disarming the results in a message of 'Gained experience: 270', whereas turning it off results in 'Gained experience: 45'. Why does allowing my 4 unused companions to gain experience reduce the experience gain by a factor of 6?

  2. #2
    Well, you'd get 270 experience for the skill check, but the experience is divided for the team you have present with you which is also the amount your other companions back at Olegs or in your capital receive. Not sharing experience only works with teams smaller than 6.
    Afaik, it also affects companions you haven't recruited yet.

  3. #3
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    So let's talk about pro's and con's for both systems. My gut feeling says I should use "only active companions gain XP" because:
    A. You, as in you and the companions that actually count, get more XP.
    B. If you really need to level up one of your "useless" NPCs that you have assigned to city council duties, you can just bring them along for a couple troll hunts until they level (at which point they should be underlevelled and gain XP fairly quickly).
    C. More logical. I actually found this a bit annoying in NWN2 that all companions levelled at the same rate as me - at one point late into the game you recruit that warlock's peasant daughter (Shandra?) and she starts out as a 1st level fighter, only to immediately level up to 17 because you shook her hand.

    ...But I might be wrong. Maybe the game gets impossible to finish if I select this option, due to severe underlevelling of your city council (because this is what I fully expect out of this game by now).

    Thoughts?

  4. #4
    Does the division of experience also works for quests and killed monsters?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    So let's talk about pro's and con's for both systems. My gut feeling says I should use "only active companions gain XP"

    ...But I might be wrong. Maybe the game gets impossible to finish if I select this option, due to severe underlevelling of your city council (because this is what I fully expect out of this game by now).

    Thoughts?
    Few first things what came to my mind are:
    1) Companion quest(s): if your companion is low level and you want to make his/her quest what will happen? (Some of them need to let's say duel = automatic failure)
    2) Your council kind of need allso XP and levels, yes you can give (companions) some items and get they important stats up but still. If you have level 1 vs level 20 NPC it mean (in theory) 5 more points for they stat what effect direct to they dice roll (yes, it is not nice way to put it in RPG, but it is true. If for example someone have 15CHA (s)he get +2 bonus vs 20CHA +5 bonus for council "roll" just from that one stat).
    3) Even if you just "want to take your companion to quest with you" what it mean if you are at level let's say 10 and your companion you want to train is level 4? Let's say she is Amiri, level 4 barbarian while rest are level 10. You most likely just leave her behind. Or what if she is level 4 Octavia or Tristian? You just hope enemy do not use any fireball or anything area effect kind of spell while your level 4 party member use crossbow and small healing / attack spells way back and you use most of your time trying to micromanage them (what if that is Nok-Nok at low level and try to go into melee backstabbing.. ..err, not so good thing. Let's face it, AI is not great but 6 or more level under everyone else Amiri is allso going down pretty fast not to mention more softer companions). Specially because if I have undestand it right some quests are kind of "mandatory" that you take certain companion with you. And if these companions are in worst case like level 2 (Linzi) while you head for certain capital nearby.. ..err.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  6. #6
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    So if going by your points, Pathfinder, then maybe the game indeed does become unplayable or nigh on impossible if I set it to "only active companions gain XP"?

    Then why give us the option?

    I'm trying to get my head around how the game works before I start my first serious run, and this particular setting is impossible to change once you set it when you create your character, which is why I want to get it right first time. I don't have the time or patience for restarts 100 hours in. So please, any more thoughts on the matter, keep them coming.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Karpophorus's Avatar
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    You already know the advantages and disadvantages. Simply choose what will serve you best. There is no hidden mistery.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    Then why give us the option?
    Because developers are even too kind if there is such an option. So yes, they give us option to create mercenaries (and get complains that they are too expensive), they give us option (if someone want to try and solo / play only using mercenaries and put kingdom management in automode/can not lose mode) to get XP only for "person who is at party" (may it be PC only or PC + mercenaries) and again.. ..people are not happy.

    They just try to make everyone happy and that is part of the problem. Actually when we last friday had a developer stream there was fellow asking repeatly is there option to kill everyone in the game. Even after I (and others) had told him that "no, there is no spell to destroy entire planet" he kept asking it. Luckily developers did not answer him. Because what ever answer would have been my bet is his question would be "why?" :)

    What I am trying to say is: quite many people asked for many options what we get to the game. After people start asking "why?". Like why Octavia choose so often to use her level 0 cantrip? Why there is "normal" version for was it Monk or Barbarian? And so on. Answer is usually: because developers actually listen for people and tried to make they "customers" opinnion in the game (fullfill they need) if it were possible.

    So atleast we have that option, it made many people happy (no, I will not try to run game solo or using only mercenaries so that option is not for me but I bet many will try it).
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  9. #9
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    The discussion is still open, despite what Karpophorus thinks. ;)

    Pathfinder make fine points and I'm trying to build on them.

    -Doing the companion quests. So the following is not viable? You pick up companion A (assumed to be around your level when you meet them, because it makes little sense if Nok-Nok is level 1 when you meet him around level 9), do their companion quests to get the most out of the story line and then ditch them. Kind of like how you would play BG2. Of course, if the companion quests are not accessible when you first acquire them but activate much later, then I definitely see Pathfinder's point.
    -It's true it seems that the council "kind of" also needs XP and levels, but what they really need are ability scores right? So the bonuses of a Regent will range from +1 (Cha 12) to +10 (Cha 30 from headband +6), assuming positive numbers only. I also gather they need to roll against DCs, again assumed a d20 roll? Ability checks are quite different from, say, skill checks in that they scale differently. If there are DC 30 ability checks, then yes, levelling your advisors to 20 is absolutely mandatory (as is giving them +6 stat items). But there would be little point in creating challenges like that, because a maxed out advisor would still only make that check in 5% of the cases. Which leads to the assumption that the ability checks are going to be reach about DC 20, maybe DC 25. In which case success is still possible with Cha 14 + headband. But this is the whole essence of my question, isn't it? As Pathfinder points out, it makes sense to want a +5 over a +2. But is it actually impossible without the +5?
    -There are 11 companions and X NPC advisors accessible to fill 10 government positions. You don't need to level all companions to fill advisor positions. Let's say you have your romance and one or two of the companions regularly in your party, cycle a few other companions in the party to get them to level 4 (or maybe even 8 or 12) to boost their advisor stats a little and simply leave Amiri and Nok-Nok permanently at the town's Inn (except I reckon Nok-Nok would actually do quite well as a minister, wouldn't he?). And once your level goes high enough for it to be unfeasible to cycle through part-time adventurers due to squishiness you simply stop doing it and use your mercenaries to fill the remaining party slots. As an example, when the game has handed out XP to make a party running on "all companions" setting level 10 (1155000 XP for the sake of the example), then you could have on "active only" setting 192500 on your main PC and two more (level 11), while you maybe managed to cycle through six more on a 50% XP wage, leaving them at 96250 (level 9). The rest of the companions you would simply not use, for the squishiness issue Pathfinder described (and because you don't like them). There is simply no point in picking a level 4 Amiri for this party, certainly no point in playing her like she was level 10 if you did, and doubly pointless because she sucks at most advisory positions anyways due to her rounded stats so chances are you will either have her as a permanent party member or not at all.
    -I'm particularly interested in confirming what Pathfinder has heard about some companions being forced on you for parts of the main quest. Because if this is true, then running the game on "only active" would become a severe pain, unless said companions were already full-timers in your party.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    (...)They just try to make everyone happy and that is part of the problem.
    But there really isn't a problem, is there? Why do you assume I'm unhappy? Am I coming off as confrontational here? Because from ya'll lot's posting it kinda seems so, quite frankly. All I'm after is trying to understand this option given in the game and trying to discuss the pros and cons of either option. And whether it breaks the game choosing the one option. I was expecting opinions to and fro, some hints and facts from people who are a bit into the game and a general discussion.

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