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Everything posted by Giantevilhead

  1. I hope there will be some evil options like being able to kidnap people to put in your dungeons for ransom, "annexing" nearby territories, hiring "specialists" to "neutralize" the leaders of other strongholds so that you can place a puppet ruler in their place, raising armies to raid/invade your neighbors, luring foolish do-gooder adventurers into trying to attack your keep so you can kill them and take their stuff.
  2. This isn't really an issue of "realism" or making a game "realistic." It's about using real world knowledge to craft a fictional world that has logic and consistency. As for realism and gameplay, that just depends on the type of game. In some games, it's tedious to have weapon durability but in other games, having weapons break down can help enhance the atmosphere. Plus you can maintain a sense of verisimilitude within a game without needing the gameplay to match it. You don't need to have item durability to have the players believe that things in the game world break down over time and use.
  3. It's pretty much impossible to objectively judge art since the very idea of "good" or "bad" art is subjective. You could objectively say that a piece of art has more of something like fidelity, depth, or complexity or that it took more time/effort to create or has a bigger audience or a higher price but then you cannot objectively define those qualities as "good" or "bad." Simple easily created art can be viewed as good, as can obscure art. Complex art that took massive amount of effort to create can be viewed bad, so can popular art that make a ton of money. For example, a lot more people have probably seen Transformers than Citizen Kane, and Transformers also cost a lot more to make than Citizen Kane and probably took a lot more effort to make, but does that mean Transformers is a better movie? You can make subjective judgments using objective information. For example, the extended cut of a film is objectively longer than the theatrical release. However, whether or not those extra scenes make the movie better or worse is a subjective judgment. As for Mass Effect's companions, although I like most of them, they have some glaring problems. There is a focus on having them fill a certain role rather than be developed as characters on their own. Jack is a good example, they force her into the role of a romance option at the expense of the character where a huge chunk of her development is missed if you don't romance her. Also, the whole "having sex with a rape victim" thing isn't dealt with nearly enough. The characters have their motivations/personalities weakened in service of the player. It's especially glaring in the way the character conflicts in ME2 are resolved, particularly the conflict between Jack and Miranda. It's rather ridiculous that a short conversation could fix that, even temporarily. And of course, there's the lack of subtlety and nuance.
  4. My favorite companions are from KotoR 2 and Planescape: Torment. I like how the characters don't feel like they were created to fill a specific role or with a certain archetype in mind. You don't get the sense that a companion was designed from its inception to be the noble stoic warrior or the femme fatale or the plucky underdog, etc. It feels like they were developed naturally and then became a certain way as a result of their experiences. So there's a lot more depth and complexity to them. I also like how they took a lot of risks with the companions. They didn't telegraph everything, they were willing to be subtle. Companions are rarely straightforward and would hide things and tell a lot of half truths. They would lie to you and try to manipulate you. You have to pay attention to the details of their dialogue and actions to get a sense of what their real intentions and motivations are. Even when you earn their trust and they tell you more about themselves, they may still hold certain things back. And I think that's really where the Bioware games fall short with their companions. A lot of companions feel like they were created to serve a purpose and don't really set themselves apart from that. A lot of them also end up talking to you like you're their therapist. There's rarely much subtlety or implied/hidden meanings in what they're saying.
  5. Yes, the genetic samples have been obtained. Project Obsidian Beyond is on schedule.
  6. It would be cool if there were situations or quests where you can split your party up and have different members perform different tasks. Like you could have party members pretend to be strangers so you can run cons and scams on people. Or you could have one party member distract someone while others set up an ambush or sneak into some place.
  7. You just offended every person who has experienced torture on this board. As far as going off topic, this is spot on topic. We are discussing human psychology and ascertaining what is going too far and what is acceptable in games. If you and all those who liked your post have too weak of a stomach for these kind of discussions then, I would kindly ask you to leave this thread. Rape, torture, child killing, etc. is not something that should be avoided in a discussion, unfortunately all those things are part of the human condition and as such should be discussed and understood. As for your take on rape, power is an illusion (women rape men), there is no trust between strangers of the opposite or same gender. Rape is not locked to the opposite gender (men rape men, women rape women). Torture leaves physical and psychological long turn damage, death leaves nothing, what exactly was your point here? To add one more thing, everyone thinks that they have it the worst when something bad happens to them, people are egoistical creatures. But the fact is that how bad something is, is in the eye of the beholder, ie. not everyone would react the same to every scenario. You do realize that you just proved his point, don't you? And how is power an illusion? When someone stronger than you or has more friends than you forces you into a compromising position, is that an illusion? And did you just suggest that rape doesn't leave long term physical and psychological damage?
  8. Reminds me of this Boondocks episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_wWdTryqLY (some offensive material). Male prison rape was pretty much the whole joke of the episodes. I think male on male rape is seen as less offensive because generally men are seen as "less weak" and "independent". There is also the fact that prison rape involves criminals and many people feel like the criminals are getting what they deserve. Much of our morality is dependent on our ability to empathize with or feel compassion towards others. The advent of psychology has been a pretty big factor in our system of morality. We now know much more about how people, and animals, think and feel, and what experiences can traumatize them, so we are better empathize with them. As a result, we are far more sensitive to "evil acts" than before. If the game is to deal seriously with evil, the lack of empathy and compassion is the main factor that has to be dealt with. It may not be malicious or even intentional. For example, the mentally challenged were often treated extremely poorly in the past simply because most people didn't even think that the mentally challenged could feel pain or despair, not to mention the superstitious beliefs about demon possession and curses. It could also be a result of how people are socialized in a culture. For example, in a lot of cultures, empathy and compassion are not considered to be very important for men. That's why male on male rape isn't considered to be as serious and there's a big stigma against men seeking therapeutic help when they suffer from emotional/behavioral problems or trauma.
  9. Societal/cultural standards and rules have to be taken into account. We do make certain exceptions in how we view heinous crimes. For example, for a very long time, homosexuality was considered to be as bad as rape and people didn't even care when homosexuals were raped. However, a homosexual raping a heterosexual was seen as especially perverse. That has changed in more recent times due to changes in our attitudes towards homosexuals. And even in today's society, prison rape is not considered to be nearly as bad as rape in other contexts. In fact, people make jokes about prison rape in primetime television shows and on late night talk shows. They even make "dropping the soap in the prison shower" jokes in PG-13 comedies where a lot of kids go to see.
  10. It would be cool if making "evil" decisions affected your perception. If you act like a power hungry megalomaniac, you could perceive other people/characters as being smaller and more insignificant. The plea of others become more muted while praise heaped at your feet become more salient. If you went around slaughtering and stealing, then you could be desensitized to violence and suffering. Dialogue and descriptions concerning pain and suffer can be worded differently to either be far less detailed or emphasize the glory and macabre beauty in death and destruction to reflect your character's callous merciless mental state.
  11. Regional pricing can, perhaps should, be used to serve a greater purpose of expanding merchants into more developed characters. If you treat merchants like real characters, then they would have goals and motivations of their own. They would use the money you spend in their shops or the items you sell to them for their own ends. For example, a merchant might be working for a necromancer, so they're willing to pay extra gold for magical items that are related to necromancy. Any time you sell necromantic items to that merchant, the necromancer they work for becomes more powerful. Any time you buy items from that merchant, they give a part of their profits to support the necromancer. So there may be disadvantages to getting the best price on stuff you sell.
  12. I think the weapon degradation/upkeep system could work if there's some kind of bonus associated with it. For example, if you keep using the same weapon or armor for a long time, you get some attack/damage/defense bonus or if you repair it a lot of times, then you can upgrade/mod it more.
  13. I'd like to use money to manipulate a region's economy influence a region's politics buy intangible things like respect, secrets, and silence frame/incriminate/trick enemies that I cannot easily confront directly
  14. What reason was there for Lois to do that? Just saying that there's a reason doesn't make it true. She had no reason to suspect Clark of anything and no reason to follow him. However, she had far more reasons to try learn more about what the military and the scientists are doing. What does being an adventurer have to do with it? What kind of adventurer randomly stumbles upon some stranger and just starts following them? And journalists are supposed to gather something called evidence. Journalists are supposed to conduct interviews, look for useful clues, they don't just randomly follow things for no logical reason. If she had interviewed Clark or tried to interview him and thought that he was trying to hide something then maybe she would have had a reason to spy on him and follow him but she didn't.
  15. Lois is reckless when she's pursuing a story. There was no reason for her to follow Clark there.
  16. Lois isn't reckless for its own sake.
  17. I found Man of Steel to be a mixed bag. I really liked the slower smaller character moments. In fact, they were my favorite parts of the film. The acting really made those scenes, especially in parts where the dialogue wasn't great. I was very impressed by the secondary characters. Colonel Hardy, General Swanwick, Perry White, Jor-El, the Kents, and Faora were all great. In fact, I really think they should have given Faora more scenes, her cold calculating attitude could have really complimented Zod's passion. I really liked Cavill as Superman. He's able to do a lot with not much dialogue. Amy Adams is great too but they made Lois too reckless, put her in situations that didn't make much sense, and didn't really utilize her too well. As for Michael Shannon's Zod, it was really hard for me not to compare him to Terence Stamp and it's not nearly as memorable as Terance Stamp's Zod. The action scenes, while being visually stunning, don't really serve the story too well. There was just way too much destruction in highly populated areas. The fact that they've tried to make this a more "realistic" or grounded film makes it even worse. It's not like in the animated shows where it's easy to assume that all the buildings are empty. It also really undercuts that last big moment with Superman and Zod. The romance between Superman and Lois was poorly developed in my opinion. It really didn't feel like they had enough interaction for much to develop. There are some plot problems and Zod's actions are questionable. Some of the editing was problematic too. The change between certain scenes are pretty jarring.
  18. The problem with making character interactions better is that the number of choices and consequences can increase exponentially. For example, the consistency with which you act or treat people should be important. If you're a ruthless murderer one day and an altruistic saint the next day, your companion should think that you're insane. If you're honest most of the time then your companions should fall more easily for your lies but if you lie a lot then your companions should be more wary of what you say. There are also little things like the nuances of your interactions. Are you sarcastic, serious, logical, emotional, terse, long winded, simple, eloquent, detail oriented, absent minded, etc.? All of which may interact or conflict with NPC's.
  19. Not when the whole point of the argument at hand deals with people's reasoning capabilities and not their reasoning inclinations. The difference being that, to be come inclined to suppress reasoning urges, one must first be affected over time to do so. Thus, a world in which EVERYONE always gets affected to strongly abandon reason is not very feasible. Plus, there are instances of people who are beaten their whole lives into thinking one way, and STILL hold true to the opposite, and fight back their entire lives. Who beat them into resisting being beaten into abandoning reason? If there were never any instances of people who essentially changed their minds about something that was beaten into them later on in life, then you'd be right. The distinction would be irrelevant. But it isn't, since kids who are given assault rifles at age 6 and told to kill their whole lives can potentially grow up to lead a rebellion against the people who brought them up that way, in an effort to see to it that no kid should ever have to do that. They don't all just go "Oh well, I guess this is good." That's my point regarding this. And, as interesting as it is (really and truly), we should probably save it for another thread, or PMs or something, as it's still a bit off-topic. Except the exact opposite can be true as well. There are people who have opportunities to explore their curiosity and doubt but remain rigid and willfully ignorant. Not to mention the fact that each person's resistance to change is different. Some people only need to punished or rewarded once to learn something while others may need to be punished or rewarded many times, not to mention how there are people lack the mental capacity to learn certain things. And capabilities are expressions of potential. Someone with the genes to grow 6 feet tall can potentially grow taller than a person with the genes to grow 5 feet tall but happens if the person with the 6 feet tall genes is malnourished and the person with the 5 feet tall genes is well fed? We may all have some potential for reasoning but whether that potential can be met will be dependent on upbringing. Also, I never said that everyone can be forced to abandon reason. A society where everyone abandons reason won't advance past the stone age. However, throughout most of human history, exploration of doubt and curiosity was a luxury. As for how it relates to the issue of good, evil, and morality, one must consider the society within which someone dwells and their upbringing in order to determine the type and amount of reasoning they use in their moral system as well as how it interacts with other societies and moral systems.
  20. But if a child is beaten every time he doesn't listen to instructions, his brain will tell him to listen to others rather than explore on his own. Alternatively, if the child is born with a congenital condition that makes him insensitive to pain then touching the hot stove would teach him nothing and it is up to the parents to devise a way to get him to follow instructions rather than his own curiosity. Ultimately, the distinction between what determines someone's reasoning and what affects their reasoning is irrelevant as environmental factors can affect a person's innate drive for logic so much that it might as well be considered a deterministic variable.
  21. I'd say that suppression of expression of doubt is logical, not the suppression of doubt, all-together. I think when people KNEW their brother was innocent, and the Inquisition came in and kidnapped him, then brutally interrogated him and killed him, they didn't just say "Well, it's dangerous to say anything against the Inquisition, so I now simply choose to believe that they're good and just, and that my brother was obviously a heinous devil-worshipper." They said "Hmm, well, that's pretty terrible, and I hate the Inquisition, but I better pretend I like them and not make a ruckus, until I can do something about it without instantly being killed." You see, logic just tells you that they're hypocrites. It doesn't dictate the ability to do anything about that. Logic merely separates the possible from the impossible. It doesn't convey the absolute way of the world. Anywho, things like the Spanish Inquisition USED the label "morality" do further their own goals. To get from what they said/did back to actual morality, you have to head towards logic/reason. In other words, nothing is good or bad "just because." It's good or bad for a reason. That's why you can't even begin to deduce whether or not killing is bad until you know the specific circumstances surrounding the kill. Except this still has a lot to do with a person's upbringing, disposition, culture, education level, standard of living, etc. Some people do not have the mental flexibility or acting skills to hold a belief that is different than what they express. If you're the kind of person who always says what you think then if you want to survive the Inquisition, you may very well have to believe that your brother was a devil-worshiper.
  22. Yes, but it's illogical to know you don't know something and decide to know it anyway. "I saw that ship sail off, and now I can't see it anymore, THEREFORE THE EARTH IS FLAT!" isn't logical. It's logical to consider that possibility. But, to see that same ship return from "off the edge of the earth," and still just go "Well, everyone says the earth is flat, so I'm still gonna go with 'the horizon is the edge of the flat earth' here" is pretty illogical. In other words, the absence of doubt isn't logical. "Just believe this and never worry about anything ever again" is the suppression of logic. It's logical to consider the possibilities when you have the luxury. For most of human history, exploration of the unknown was dangerous. Just leaving your village could expose you to dangerous animals, diseases, warring tribes, etc. Suppression of doubt is logical when expression of doubt is dangerous. Try telling people that you doubt the Church when the Spanish Inquisition was around.
  23. There are different kinds of undead. Zombies and skeletons are generally mindless or have animal level intelligence but liches, vampires, certain types of ghosts retain human level intelligence and agency. Although, most fantasies have other types of intelligent undead. And emotional reactions are dependent on a person's upbringing, disposition, their culture, education level, standard of living, etc. For example, people from cultures where etiquette and honor are highly valued are more likely to be offended by minor insults and hold grudges while people from cultures that are more easy going are more likely to take minor insults with good humor and make jests of their own. Computers have logic without emotion. Emotion and logic are two separate realms. They're both products of the brains capable of them, and thus can be influenced and overridden by each other, but logic isn't an extension of emotion. Logic can and does exist outside of the realm of biology and emotion. Math doesn't have emotions, and yet it is the purest, most infallible form of logic, capable of describing the universe and predicting unknowns about it with unparalleled accuracy. Emotion drives humans to engage in logical pursuits, but logic is not rooted in emotion. Emotion overwhelmingly leads humans to make irrational decisions, not rational ones. In the case of psychopaths, it varies. Spree-killers who go on a one-off rampage are usually driven to do so by stresses in their circumstance (and may not be psychopaths in truth,) but most successful serial killers use reason and plan their crimes ahead of time, often choosing targets on the basis of minimizing their chances of being caught (a rational course of action.) While it's the pursuit of a twisted pleasure that drives such behavior, they can still use rational thought to plan their actions in order to avoid the negative consequences that would come of being caught. In other words, emotionally defective or damaged people incapable of empathy are still wholly capable of using logic and reason. People who've suffered severe trauma can still be functioning members of society, it's not a given that all victims of certain traumas are all psychotic pedophiles or drug-addicted husks. Except emotions don't lead humans to make irrational decisions, if they did then humans, and all other animals with emotions, be extinct. The problem with emotions is not that they're illogical, they're perfectly logical for the environment they were evolved to deal with, they're simply not logical for today's society. They're meant to deal with the immediate problems that our ancestors faced like animal attacks, food acquisition, the elements, etc. They were not meant to deal with things that have long term consequences like debts, college education, retirement, etc. It's the same thing with any kind of logic and reasoning, it all depends on the kind of knowledge you possess. For example, people used to believe that the earth was flat, based on that belief, it's perfectly logical for them to be afraid of sailing off the ends of the earth. We only think that it's illogical because we know a lot more than those people. However, if we grew up in those conditions, we'd believe the same thing. If you program a computer with that knowledge, it would tell you that you can sail off the ends of the earth.
  24. There are many issues of culture, history, tradition, standards of living, education level, perception, rumors, etc. that have to be dealt with in order to create a realistic morality system. For example, with witches, why are they considered evil? Who considers them to be evil? How much of that fear is justified? How much of the fear is based on superstition? Are people intentionally trying to spread falsehoods about witches to further some agenda of their own? Are people educated enough to understand how magic works? Are people in the right state of mind to listen to reason? How much do witches and magic users know about their reputation? How much are witches and magic users responsible for their reputation? Are there advantages to this reputation? What if magic users shroud themselves in secrecy and intentionally spread rumors about themselves so that people would fear and respect them? Perhaps everyone who pursues magic knows of these risks and chooses to accept them because they believe the power acquired through magic is worth it. What if people's persecution of witches is the result of some deep rooted systemic problem like the lack of education and ignorance of the laws of science and nature? Peasants in medieval settings aren't exactly the most learned people and you can't exactly blame them for being illiterate, superstitious, and paranoid. Preventing them from burning a witch/magic user could just be a short term solution. It could make people even more paranoid and fearful. They might decide to turn their anger towards the next stranger that comes into town. They might start casting aspersions against each other and tear themselves apart. They might decide to sacrifice their harvest to the gods to ask for forgiveness and then end up starving to death during the winter. The only permanent solution would be major societal changes like better education and improved standards of living. You run into similar problems with necromancy. What are the rituals concerning the dead and why do they exist? Do people revere the dead and why do they revere the dead? What are the taboos concerning the dead and how deeply are they tied to other beliefs? What priority do they place on reverence for the dead vs. pragmatism or comfort? If people are fighting a war, are they willing to raise the dead to fight for them rather than risk the lives of living soldiers? What about practical uses of the undead in other situations like having them do dangerous backbreaking work in mines, hauling/loading supplies, building roads/houses/castles, etc.? What about allowing highly educated or skilled people like historians, artists, blacksmiths, architects, etc. to be turned into undead in order to preserve their knowledge and allowing them to continue their contributions to society?
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