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  1. #1

    Finished a great game, one thing leaves a bitter aftertaste ( Spoilers! )

    Hi Guys.
    Finished the game for the first time and i have to say i was very pleased with it. I think its a great game with very much replay value.
    I liked the characters, think they are very well written. Also the choices you make made an impact on the ending slides.
    However speaking of characters and choices there was one thing that made a dent to my overall impression.
    And that's the "death" of Linzi.
    After i finished my game i googled a bit and found out that actually every companion can die somehow or be removed from the party depending on your choices in their quest. Which is totally fine. ( lost Jaethal that way )
    However only Linzi has a story death which can't be avoided no matter what.
    Considering that all other companions can survive and rejoin the party this felt a bit cheap. Like a death for the sake of having a death.
    I assume that was done to stir emotions in the player ( in case they were invested in the character at all ).
    This might work if you play the game for the first time. However overall it has more negative effects from my point of view.
    First of all it can increase the overall difficulty for new players, who made Linzi a fixed part of their party.
    It's unlikely they changed their party often and learned how to play the other classes. Also it's not likely they geared them up properly and that the gear that Linzi carried will be of any use for their other chars. And this happens during the most difficult part of the game.
    Also after experiencing Linzi's departure players might reconsider if bringing her along in future PTs might be even worth it.
    I mean you can make a Bard NPC to replace her. But than again why not doing it from the start and make a Bard NPC with better stats? This actually diminishes her value for the game as a party member.
    Don't know what other players think of this but i would like to see an option to either avoid her "death" or to have an option to bring her back to life.( returning her soul from the book in to her body )
    Both options would be actually a good opportunity for a DLC.
    The "avoid death" options could consists of side activities during the previous chapters to upgrade her ring to save her from death. Maybe some hidden content, which wouldn't be to obvious or hard to complete.
    The "bring to life" option would be some kind of resurrection ritual. This would surely prolong the end content a bit and bring more variety.
    This is at least my opinion.
    Anyway keep up the good work, and sorry for the long post.
    Last edited by ujope; 05-14-2019 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Villains have to do something really evil to be taken serious - especially if their appearance doesn't necessarily imply evil. So a strong option is that they kill someone - preferably someone helpless and someone the player is invested in. You encounter Linzi at the prologue already and she wants to stay with you by all means, she is small, she is physically weak, she is female, she readily accepts your leadership - all this makes you her protector. So killing her has the highest chance (among all companions) of getting an emotional response from the player, evoking serious hate against the final villain. I guess this was the design team's reasoning - and I guess it wasn't an easy decision.

    The death is softened, though. She survives in her book, at least - and she takes it rather well. As a bookworm and an inveterate optimist, she accepts her fate and regrets nothing. Isn't it her opinion that matters most?

    Yes, her unavoidable fate is a player's loss of control. At that point of the game you play a demigod who encountered hundreds of dangerous situations and conquered all of them. You reign an empire you created yourself, you have incredible magic and legendary weapons at your disposal. Still you can't help her. It's a mismatch in tone - probably an intended one. Victory sometimes comes at a price.

    In the pen and paper version of Pathfinder, it wouldn't be much of a problem to add a quest to free her from the book. I am a regular GM, and if my players would ask for a quest to save such a companion, I'd make something up. But I can totally understand other GMs who declare her fate to be final.

  3. #3
    Hi.
    Many thanks for your feedback. And especially for your insight from PnP. I'm not a PnP player myself. My suggestion comes only from my CRPG experience.
    And yes i agree with you about the reasoning behind the decision of the devs. Make a char as likable and vulnerable as possible and than let it die to get some emotional response. However i see 2 flaws in this approach:
    1. not every player has to be emotionally invested in the char. and thus the death doesn't accomplish anything.
    2. the "death" loses its effect on a second PT.
    Considering my other negative points regarding Linzis death ( artificially increased difficulty and replay value of the char ) i don't think the decision was a fair trade off.
    Honestly my suggestions are also a bit cheap from a RP point of view. I was more focused on the game play.
    Truth to be told i don't even mind the that the devs decided to kill off a char. My issues is more with the timing.
    To force the player to make changes in their party after they reached the "point of no return" and the game is almost over, is from my point of a view a bad design decision.
    Anyway this is my opinion. I am sure there are different views on this topic.
    Again thanks for your feedback

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steppenwolf's Avatar
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    Luckly i was sharing xp with all companions.

    I lost Jaethal and Linzi, and both were in my main party...

    While i never recovered that sweet competence bonus from bard songs, i was able to finish the game using Harrim and Ekundayo as replacement (extra healing and dps).

  5. #5
    I also lost Jaethal and Linzi.
    But in my case Jaethal wasn't in my party so had to replace only Linzi.
    After changing my companion a bit a decided to give Kanerah a try.
    Was a bit challenging as i had to basically figure out how to play with her.
    But in the end it worked out:-)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stratagemini's Avatar
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    So, I've actually had this conversation before. The Fact that Linxi was going to fie and her final fate was one of the earliest things about the game thatw as determined. It actually predated Linzi's writer being assigned to her. I think it even predated her name.

    My suspicion was that it was part of the development of the framing device of the book and the book events. But basicallt everything about Linzi? Every bit of dialogue as well as her design was written with her death as a known constant.

  7. #7
    Hi!
    With interactive media, there's always the problem of the need to tell a story versus giving the player some level of agency within it. It's very hard to do right, and any mistakes can leave a bad aftertaste. With Linzi, as Stratagemini has pointed out, it was one of the earliest decisions in the game design: that were' going to have a bard who writes down our story, and that in the end they would die, breaking the wall between character speech and game text like quests and book event. We decided to do it even before she had a name or a personality – and, yes, we went for drama here, somewhat diving up the player agency part. That was intended as a gut punch, and we didn't want to make that a "disney death". Linzi's original "good ending" epilogue text went around the lines of "I've seen many miracles going on around – who knows, maybe one day they'll find a way to get me out of here too", but I had to change it not to cheapen her sacrifice. Even though technically it's true: in a high-magic fantasy world nothing is off the table
    I'm not sure if this was the best decision possible – but, now that the game's out, we have to stand by it We've learned a lot from the players' reactions to it – especially from the backlash to the massacre in the last chapter. With this knowledge, I hope we can do better next time!

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Infinity Sock's Avatar
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    Well if owlcat are going to make a enhanced edition of kingmaker you will be able to fix that problem

  9. #9
    Hi Guys.
    First of all, thank you all for you feedback and background information about this topic.
    Just to clarify things. I have no problem with a character dying during the story, even if it's a party member.
    Honestly i also think it can be good for the story if done correctly. ( looking at Yoshimo from BG 2 )
    In my opinion the death of Linzi was a bit flawed in its execution, most notably the timing felt odd. That's why i opened this topic.
    Anyway thank you for you replies. :-)

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