Author Topic: Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.  (Read 8253 times)

Offline Ranadiel

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 5
Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:07:44 AM »
First of all I'd like to thank you for the effort that went into this mod.  It's well written and helps further establish a character that prior to this I just wrote off as a cheap replacement for Imoen.  Thanks to the de'Arnise romance, I finally gave Nalia a fair shot, and she did not disappoint when it came to both personality and firepower!

This mod also got me to consider actually writing my own Nalia-based mod for Throne of Bhaal, as she is drastically lacking in content, though there seem to be hints of Nalia having a personality shift and a possible subplot that was abandoned for some reason by BioWare.

In any case, here's my review!

*  I enjoyed the pace of the romance.  It was slow going, which felt appropriate as Nalia strikes me as someone considers herself very much a noble first, rebellious or no.  She tries to keep the relationship between you and her professional, though you manage to wear her down over time and she gradually opens up to you.

*  The dialogue and length of her Lovetalks.  Let's face it, they're long.  Nalia has a lot to say and - especially in the beginning stages of the romance - will prattle on about her upbringing, her family, her responsibility to help the less fortunate and her unyielding ideals towards equality.  In fact I noticed that Nalia practically ignores any response you give her and will continue to preach on, unless you happen to say something that really grabs her attention - ie: piss her off.  I feel this is a good thing though and rings well with her character.  Nalia is self-absorbed and incredibly insufferable; almost reaching Anomen-level proportions, and anyone that wants to pursue a relationship will have a thick shell to crack and a lot of idealist mantra to endure until she actually starts to pay heed to your advances.

*  The first night.  I loved how you made sure it would only take place in the Keep, as it was special to Nalia.  It's little touches like that which make a story great.

*  I enjoyed her conflicts with the other girls.  Nalia appears to have been written to be rather catty; able to put down and demean the other girls in a very well spoken and eloquent manner as befitting a noble.  I found it highly entertaining that she would try to subvert their advances while at the same time being unable(or unwilling) to tell you how she felt.  Though I didn't quite feel that your response choices should always end with Nalia's romance ending or the other girl's romance ending.  At the point in which these conflicts occur, Nalia and the player aren't even flirting, so it seems kind of unfair that you can, for example, tell Nalia you appreciate her concern but don't mind giving Aerie an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on because she needs it; this choice abruptly ends a romance with Nalia that hasn't even really begun.  It's either that or tell Aerie to jump in a lake.  Though I suppose this is in line with how the BioWare romance conflicts are written, too.  What I'd really like is to be able to tell Nalia that you don't mind listening to Aerie, but get the chance to talk to Nalia later and ask her something along the lines of, "What was that all about just now?" and explain to her that you don't feel anything for Aerie other than a friendship.

*  The flirtpack - I liked it.  It struck me as very well put together and never deviated from Nalia's character.  Even after the two of you are committed, Nalia almost never "goes wild" and is always self-aware, especially when in the presence of others.  There are lines she won't allow you to cross, even after you commit to each other.  The few times she does give into her passions are fleeting, as she seems unable to dismiss what she feels as proper.  This seems appropriate for someone of her upbringing that despite having a rebellious streak never lets her behavior go into what might be considered disgraceful or unbecoming of a noble.  I also liked how the flirtpack included both her thief and mage skills; again another nice touch.

*  The "Stronger" conclusion.  Predictable but nonetheless satisfying, though it does sort of conflict with a dialogue she has with Imoen in Throne of Bhaal and to me is the only moment in the mod that betrays a conflict of character with Nalia.  Personally I think he should have been able to escape, or at the very least Nalia would have reconsidered killing him and left him there to rot.  I've got no lover for the guy but it seems out of character for Nalia to kill him.  At this point his family name is disgraced and as his life as a noble was everything to him, killing him would be more of an act of mercy than anything.

Top grade mod and definitely worth a play!  Here's hoping we see a Throne of Bhaal extension sooner than later!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 03:36:11 AM by Ranadiel »

Offline jcompton

  • Niche Exploiter
  • Administrator
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 7244
Re: Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 09:39:56 AM »
First of all I'd like to thank you for the effort that went into this mod.

Thank you for thanking me.

Differing interpretations are the spice of life, but on the other hand it's nice when players pick up on pretty much everything a writer is actively trying to accomplish, and it sounds like you picked up on it. Hooray!

Quote
Nalia is self-absorbed and incredibly insufferable; almost reaching Anomen-level proportions, and anyone that wants to pursue a relationship will have a thick shell to crack and a lot of idealist mantra to endure until she actually starts to pay heed to your advances.

Like that.

Quote
*  The first night.  I loved how you made sure it would only take place in the Keep, as it was special to Nalia.  It's little touches like that which make a story great.

Yeah, I was very pleased with myself when I came up with that. It just seemed so obvious once I thought of it--of all the characters in the game, she's the one who already has a comfortable private bedroom.

Quote
*  I enjoyed her conflicts with the other girls.  Nalia appears to have been written to be rather catty; able to put down and demean the other girls in a very well spoken and eloquent manner as befitting a noble.

It has always been my impression that the romance conflicts are meant to show us the characters at their worst. When people say, "You know, I really didn't like the way (NPC I was intentionally romancing) was so mean to (NPC who was lobbing lovetalks at me because I hadn't gotten to a breakpoint yet), it made me rethink the whole thing," I say, "good."

(I often lament our inability to have the original voice actors read all these lines for us. One that I would particularly love to hear is Aerie's jab that "I'm not the one who... who picked him up in a seedy bar.")

Quote
Though I didn't quite feel that your response choices should always end with Nalia's romance ending or the other girl's romance ending.

It would take more time than I can put into it this minute to really research this, but I don't think I did anything especially out of whack with the Bioware conflicts. I just paged through Aerie's romance and the make-or-break point for Aerie vs. Nalia is the same as it is for Aerie vs. Jaheira/Viconia.

Quote
I've got no lover for the guy but it seems out of character for Nalia to kill him.  At this point his family name is disgraced and as his life as a noble was everything to him, killing him would be more of an act of mercy than anything.

In a crime perpetrated against someone else, I might agree, but not in this case.
Cespenar says, "Kelsey and friends be at the Pocket Plane? Ohhh yesssss!" http://www.pocketplane.net

Offline Ranadiel

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 5
Re: Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 09:44:57 PM »

It has always been my impression that the romance conflicts are meant to show us the characters at their worst. When people say, "You know, I really didn't like the way (NPC I was intentionally romancing) was so mean to (NPC who was lobbing lovetalks at me because I hadn't gotten to a breakpoint yet), it made me rethink the whole thing," I say, "good."

(I often lament our inability to have the original voice actors read all these lines for us. One that I would particularly love to hear is Aerie's jab that "I'm not the one who... who picked him up in a seedy bar.")

I read this a few times and I admit that I have to agree with your conclusion.  As I mentioned, it's not out of scope with how the other BioWare NPCs treat each other.  "Seeing them at their worst" is a great way to describe it.  And yes, that was an excellent jab Aerie got in at the end.

Offline CamDawg

  • Infidel
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 775
    • The Gibberlings Three
Re: Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 10:08:04 PM »
*  The first night.  I loved how you made sure it would only take place in the Keep, as it was special to Nalia.  It's little touches like that which make a story great.

Yeah, I was very pleased with myself when I came up with that. It just seemed so obvious once I thought of it--of all the characters in the game, she's the one who already has a comfortable private bedroom.
Which, incidentally, also has a door that she didn't bother to close.
The Gibberlings Three - Home of IE Mods

The BG2 Fixpack - All the fixes of Baldurdash, plus a few hundred more. Now available, with more fixes being added in every release.

Offline Ranadiel

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 5
Re: Just finished SoA - comments on the de'Arnise romance.
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 02:24:59 AM »
I was going to mention this earlier but it slipped my mind; again regarding Nalia's personality.  She strikes me as the type that would actually get offended by someone refusing her help, though the methods in which she would deal with that kind of rejection would differ greatly as she goes from SoA to ToB.  There are some folks out there that have a sense of pride that wouldn't accept charity, even if it came with no strings attached.  Nalia never encounters anyone like this in SoA, though I wonder how she'd deal with it in ToB?

Nalia would probably bring said charity back up when it was convenient.  Say, for example, when her family's Keep is being raided by trolls and she goes to the Copper Coronet for help.  Out of a moment of frustration I'm sure, she lets slip the line "I've helped lots of your kind!" - essentially saying, "You people owe me for what I've done for you."  She also strikes me as the type that performs charity and champions "equality" more for herself than the actual merits of the actual charity.  She seems more than happy to talk about all the times she's helped people and what a difference she's made, almost like she's reveling in it or it somehow makes her better than her peers.

When you break it down, she's actually a pretty deep character that we hardly get to scratch the surface of.

Edit:  Hey, if you ever happen to release a v2, maybe you could include an encounter in SoA where Nalia comes across an urchin or something who asks for money but gets chastised by a nearby parent for asking for a handout, who recognizes Nalia and has words with her.  I think it would be interesting to see just how Nalia would react to someone refusing her charity.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 02:28:30 AM by Ranadiel »

 

With Quick-Reply you can write a post when viewing a topic without loading a new page. You can still use bulletin board code and smileys as you would in a normal post.

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

Name: Email:
Verification:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image
Type the letters shown in the picture:
What color is grass?:
What is the seventh word in this sentence?:
What is five minus two (use the full word)?: