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StaceyPowers

Keeping track of minor character/quest information in RPGs

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I look at a game like Skyrim for example, where there is a lot of quests main and side where you meet a lot of characters. I am not someone who has played Skyrim a ton. I played to like level 45 or something, and then haven't played much since. But from what I did play, I don't remember anyone's name. Maybe the sidekicks you can have. I think one of them was named Lydia? Right? I don't remember. But yeah I forget characters from most games, unless it's a linear story where I'm with a small group of people and get to know just them. 

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Most of the RPG’s I play have short side quests and the names of the characters are super insignificant. The names of the quest characters are just to give it a tad bit of spice as opposed to “villager A”

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That's a design problem more than it is a player problem. If the game doesn't give me compelling characters and plentiful quest information, why should I care to remember? If there's too many NPCs and quests, again, that's on the developers for bloat. I haven't played a whole lot of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, nor have I in a long time, and I remember a great deal more of that than I do most of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's characters, or V: Skyrim's quests.

The test I give to a modern RPG's quest design these days is "can I complete this without any aid from the UI based only on the information the quest giver and my journal give me?" The answer to that most of the time is a resounding no. If a developer cannot take the time to tell the player how to perform the quest without map markers and so on, I'm not going to take the time to learn the character's name: it's evident they care more about me spending time in the game for metadata, and I'll only care for XP in a bloated reward system.

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2 hours ago, Withywarlock said:

That's a design problem more than it is a player problem. If the game doesn't give me compelling characters and plentiful quest information, why should I care to remember? If there's too many NPCs and quests, again, that's on the developers for bloat. I haven't played a whole lot of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, nor have I in a long time, and I remember a great deal more of that than I do most of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's characters, or V: Skyrim's quests.

That's exactly the case, a video game is supposed to give you an incite into what the contents of the side quests is.

I don't pay close attention to the side quests as much as I do for the main story, so remembering what the NPC's or what should be accomplished doesn't really strike a chord in mind.

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12 hours ago, Withywarlock said:

I haven't played a whole lot of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, nor have I in a long time, and I remember a great deal more of that than I do most of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's characters, or V: Skyrim's quests.

You took the words right out of my mouth - I can remember far more side characters and quest from the Witcher 3 than I can remember from most of the other Elder Scrolls games and mind you, I've been playing Skyrim for more than a decade and almost every day at that.

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22 hours ago, killamch89 said:

You took the words right out of my mouth - I can remember far more side characters and quest from the Witcher 3 than I can remember from most of the other Elder Scrolls games and mind you, I've been playing Skyrim for more than a decade and almost every day at that.

I think with the Witcher, that games characters felt more real and fleshed out compared to the robotic like characters in Skyrim. I could see it being a lot easier to remember a side character in The Witcher 3 over Skyrim, mainly because I feel those characters have more character, does that make sense? 

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19 hours ago, Kane99 said:

I think with the Witcher, that games characters felt more real and fleshed out compared to the robotic like characters in Skyrim. I could see it being a lot easier to remember a side character in The Witcher 3 over Skyrim, mainly because I feel those characters have more character, does that make sense? 

That absolutely makes more sense. In an Elder Scrolls game (barring daddy Oblivion, naturally) NPCs are quest dispensers but because they follow daily routines they're quest dispensers on wheels. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is made in such a way that NPCs have conversation and banter with Geralt, a mutant who has to put up with bigots who see him no better than a necessary evil and convenient scapegoat for all their ails. The Witcher is a very different game if you skip through the dialogue and get straight into the combat, which is mostly what an Elder Scrolls game is even if you hang onto a character's every word.

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4 hours ago, Withywarlock said:

That absolutely makes more sense. In an Elder Scrolls game (barring daddy Oblivion, naturally) NPCs are quest dispensers but because they follow daily routines they're quest dispensers on wheels. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is made in such a way that NPCs have conversation and banter with Geralt, a mutant who has to put up with bigots who see him no better than a necessary evil and convenient scapegoat for all their ails. The Witcher is a very different game if you skip through the dialogue and get straight into the combat, which is mostly what an Elder Scrolls game is even if you hang onto a character's every word.

Yeah, from what I saw with The Witcher 3, was that there was so much dialogue to choose from, and it was all voice acted. Skyrim has voice acting for a lot of the main characters, but doesn't it have some moments where the characters just speak via the text box? I know it's kinda like that in the Yakuza games, where it has some voice over work, but smaller NPCs just speak with a text box. 

But yeah, the animations too are a big one. With Skyrim, everyone acts like robots, at least with their character models. Some of the voice acting is great though.

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Depends on the RPG. If it's Bethesda, I don't. I just log back in and do whatever I feel like doing. Talk to some people, kill some stuff, get some loot, do some quests. Remember what I was doing? Who gives a shit? I wanna do what I feel like doing now. Most of the time I just write it down on a notepad or something so I remember, but that's a habit I have regardless of which game type it is since I tend to be playing through lots of games at once.

When it's a focused narrative, I usually start over from the beginning.

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On 8/4/2022 at 7:55 PM, Kane99 said:

I think with the Witcher, that games characters felt more real and fleshed out compared to the robotic like characters in Skyrim. I could see it being a lot easier to remember a side character in The Witcher 3 over Skyrim, mainly because I feel those characters have more character, does that make sense? 

That's a pure fact. When the developers put in decent effort in developing characters, it's going to be very realistic in every way possible. It's going to be very difficult for any player to forget such unless the gamer isn't really committed to the game. 

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4 hours ago, Heatman said:

That's a pure fact. When the developers put in decent effort in developing characters, it's going to be very realistic in every way possible. It's going to be very difficult for any player to forget such unless the gamer isn't really committed to the game. 

Especially when you hire pro voice actors. I know in Skyrim they have a lot of great voice actors. But I have a feeling the Witcher 3 has better voice actors, or more well known. But still. I think Skyrim had good voice acting. It's just that the character models were stiff and didn't articulate much. 

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On 8/8/2022 at 5:14 PM, Kane99 said:

Especially when you hire pro voice actors. I know in Skyrim they have a lot of great voice actors. But I have a feeling the Witcher 3 has better voice actors, or more well known. But still. I think Skyrim had good voice acting. It's just that the character models were stiff and didn't articulate much. 

When it comes to how good voice acting is in The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt, it's one of those games where I find it very difficult to skip any dialogue because the voice acting and it's transcript is very interesting. There are some random folks used in the voice acting obviously, but they did an excellent job. 

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18 hours ago, Heatman said:

When it comes to how good voice acting is in The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt, it's one of those games where I find it very difficult to skip any dialogue because the voice acting and it's transcript is very interesting. There are some random folks used in the voice acting obviously, but they did an excellent job. 

Of course, they did a wonderful job at hiring great voice actors to realize their vision. I rarely want to skip when a character talks and actually looks realistic. Then again the Witcher 3 is a gorgeous game, so it makes sense. 

Anyway, I wanted to add to this topic. In regards to minor characters. Are there any minor characters that you like as much as the main character? I think in GTA games, they really do great with the smaller characters, in that they're actually fun and I would like to see them more. I think GTA IV and V did it good, with some of the minor characters showing up and stealing the show. I think Packy was one from GTA IV, where you help with a heist. He was a fun character and I wanted to see him come back in some way. I don't remember if he appeared in GTA V, but I remember that buff bald dude made an appearance and he was always fun. 

So yeah, in a sense I do kinda keep track of the smaller/minor characters in bigger games. 

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