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About Lurky

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  1. That would be relevant if, you know, the OP had actually started a thread for debating. Instead, he wrote an analysis, and after getting it out of his system he hoped that it would spark some interesting discussion. But what he wrote is an analysis, so it can be critizised as such. I also want to add that the criticisms I gave of that analysis were constructive, in the sense that I pointed out fixable flaws and explained and gave context to the reaction he got. It's not like I attacked him because I felt like it. So, Lephys, you said that you can't see any argument against romance that convinces you. When people point arguments, you say that the problem is with the existing games' implementations of romance. Even when the argument is that romances are predetermined (and thus exploitable) you say that's a problem of implementation, despite the fact that this one is a characteristic of the entire medium of videogames that merely manifests itself in romances in a particularly unfortunate way. You chalk up everything to the implementation of romances, no matter how varied and broad the problems being pointed out are. It's as if you believed that there's some magical way to implement romances that didn't have any of these problems. The way you answer every criticism with "yeah that's bad, but implementation!" suggests you think they can be fixed, at least. So I have to ask. Is it that you believe that such a thing is possible? As in, now, with our current limited technology on videogame AIs and systems, which means that character interactions will either be scripted and complex (and thus predetermined and exploitable) or emergent and shallow (because nobody has figured yet how to do better than that on a large and commercially viable scale)? Now, with the huge costs that deep character writing entails (some devs have already said that character writing is the biggest writing bottleneck, and other wanted features, such as NPC voice acting, had to be put aside for it)? Because I don't think we're there. Narrative designers like Avellone like to talk about emergent gameplay, and it would be interesting what their plans are for that, but we're not there yet. Emergent character interactions that feel vaguely humanlike will take even longer. Emergent, believable romance that can appeal to a variety of people and fulfill their expectations, even longer. In any case, it seems like a topic better suited for speculation of the future, and completely out of the scope of PoE. I won't bother saying that this thread should be moved, but I honestly think that a forum with a broader scope, like the Computer and Console one, would be better suited for this kind of discussion. Go ahead, create the topic if you're interested in this. Or maybe what you mean is that since all cRPG character interaction systems are flawed in one way or another, we should excuse these flaws when they manifest in romances. However, what if we said that these flaws manifest in worse ways in the case of romances, compared to other character interactions? It seems pretty self evident to me that out of all the possible character interactions, romances are the one that pales the most compared to the real thing, and I'm not sure if they can be improved significatively (or if they should come close to real life romances, at that... I did say they can be addictive, right?). Are you suggesting that we should still cut romances some slack for those limitations? I'm not sure I can agree with that. Content with obvious flaws can still be a drag on the experience for the player, and if some people insist on the presence of that content, the counterpoints should be equally present. In any case, I have to ask: what is your stance, exactly? And what do you think should be done to end with all these implementation problems, since you think they're not problems inherent to romance? I want to know your opinion on that, at least, even if you're not an expert on the topic. While I'm at it, I also make the same question to whoever bothered to read this wall of text. Should anything be done about the problems of romances, is it worth it? If yes, what do you think should be done?
  2. If we're taking into account factors that are external to the analysis itself (such as "how well is this case doing on the forum"), then other external factors (such as the fact that player romances won't be implemented, or the fact that the case in favor of romance has plenty of presence on the forums too) are valid reasons for not examining in depth the case for romance. Either you write your analysis taking in mind the current state of romance discussion on both sides, or you don't, and write an in-depth analysis for both sides. That is how you write a neutral analysis on any matter. Otherwise, the analysis is biased, which is what Hiro Protagonist II has been saying all this time. Say what you will about the higher purpose of this thread, but saying that the analysis is biased is a completely true statement. Speaking of the higher purpose of this thread, the OP explicitly said in some replies that he wrote it wanting thoughtful discussion around this topic. He genuinely seemed to think that he was being thorough and neutral in both points. It is valid for people to answer that he wasn't, and for that to be part of the discussion. I can't speak for everyone, but I guess some causes would be: - The OP was the one who started this thread and made the analysis. It felt like doing the analytics properly was his job to do, not for other posters to correct him. - I already did mention a sciency bit againt romance (the fact that the chemicals involved are addictive), and nobody cared or wanted me to elaborate. You didn't, either, as I can see. Of course nobody is going to write an analysis of that if nobody would bother to read it or pay attention to it. People on the against side know very well that it would be a wasted effort. See the discussion about willful ignorance earlier on this post. - If you want another type of argument against romance, someone on this thread also mentioned this. Literally nobody in favor of romance answered to him. Neither did you. Again, why should anyone bother to write an analysis for the against side, given that complete lack of reaction? Avellone had this to say for romance in general in Eternity. Of course, he's not the only writer involved, but somebody on the team having a view like that makes me think that "romance" won't be very present in PoE. Probably not inexistant, but given what I linked, maybe we shoudl talk about it less, if we wanted to be proportional. We would definitely have to change the discussion anyway, since this is still about player romances. This is an excellent example of the kind of fallacies that are frequently presented against the sheer aspect of romance. Instead of pointing out the flaw here, I'll simply ask: Would the problem in that example have ceased to exist if Viconia had blurted out some random bit of dialogue -- still completely unbefitting of the situation -- that simply had nothing to do with romance? What if she had said "I wonder if the next tavern we come across will have Elvish wine... it's quite delicious.", for example? I would say that the problem wouldn't have ceased to exist, but it would have been diminished. A random comment can be easily ignored, a Serious Discussion About Heartfelt Feelings, not so much. A better example would have been if, instead of asking about marriage right before a bloody battle, Viconia had wanted to discuss the religious beliefs of the last town. Nonetheless, I think that the point is clear: not everybody will find romance discussion appropiate at a given time, and the game has no consistent way to know when that moment is for any given player. Sure, you could make the player initiate the conversation, but then people complain that the NPC has no will of its own and that's unrealistic. So then you'd have to put some serious effort to program NPCs that can judge when certain conversations are okay to have, which is something that even humans have trouble doing. And then people have the gall to say that romances are easy to make?! And before you say "aha, but non-romantic conversations have the same problem!", I disagree. Conversations about a topic related to some place or some concept seem like they'd be far easier to tie to a place and trigger when you're in that place, thus becoming relevant. Conversations about complicated feelings, which would involve time together, context, reputation and other things, would be way harder. And romance especifically is too volatile a topic to screw it up like that.
  3. I'm curious, are you asking the devs what kind of romances are out, or are you asking the antimancers what kind of romance they oppose? I highly doubt there's going to be romance all over the place. Not even in real life is romance all over the place, but rather in some places only, usually private. Most people are concerned with other things in public, and I expect that to carry into the game too. With that said, what you are referring to is usually known as seduction, not romance. It is possible that seduction could be an available option for the player as a way to get what you want from NPCs. It certainly seems less costly to implement than romances, as they're a far less volatile subject (no player feelings have to be taken into consideration), and cost of implementation is the stated reason why romances aren't in. It would be very cool to discuss possible NPC interactions we could have in the game, indeed. Sadly, that's not happening, partly because people's attention is currently focused on this one specific type of interaction they want and can't have, and instead of moving on, people keep focusing on it, some of them even claiming that all other interactions are meaningless in comparison to it. Under that light, surely you can understand now why some people want this particular topic of discussion to die off, right? To clear the minds of people and clear the way to other forms of discussion. In other words, it's not so much "let's also talk about this, along with that" as it is "people are too drained to talk about this because that is hogging all the attention and energy of people". If you say "well then, don't focus on that then", I would like to ask what is your advice to achieve that goal, because people's interests seem to lie elsewhere.
  4. I don't think discussion about narrative is on the same footing as discussion about gameplay and mechanics. We have a lot of information about the latter, as most updates deal with that, and we can expect some things about how the gameplay will work. Thus, we are in a much better position to suggest changes and improvements to that, because we know some of the nitty gritty of how it'll work and we can extrapolate from the rest of the IE gameplay to fill in the gaps. We know very, very little about the narrative and the companions, though, which means we aren't really in a position to suggest improvements, or to suggest that romances would improve the narrative. We can't extrapolate advice from IE stories either, because they were so different from each other and because that's an area that Obsidian surely won't recycle. Only the people at Obsidian have the detailed information to know how to improve it, they have evaluated that romances are not worth pursuing, and we're not really in a position to discuss that. Considering their posts about companion design and story design and tidbits of lore it seems like the narrative is being paid a good chunk of care and attention, but we don't know enough to know if they're doing a good job. We can only hope that they do, because they have a reputation for being good at this sort of thing. As I said, we don't know enough about the narrative aspects of PoE to give advice on implementation and possible specific pitfalls. We can only do that in general terms, which isn't doing Team Eternity any favors either. At least if it were on the general forum the discussion could benefit other games. And then the devs said their thing on durability, there was some fallout caused by their decision, and the discussion eventually died off. Now the devs have said their thing on romance, so a similar process should be expected.... except that it's not clear that romance discussion will ever die off, because some people are just too attached to it. Hence why some people are giving this particular topic a little nudge.
  5. I'm not sure that's a very wise thing to say. The pages and pages of discussion about it, and the flamey posts they can still gather would tell me that it's not just a simple discussion. It's far too emotionally charged for that, and as such, I'd say it deserves a more cautious treatment than that. Discussing the merits and flaws of videogame romances involving the player might be a valid point, but if that is the only intention behind these topics, then why post them on the PoE forums, when it's confirmed that such thing won't be featured? There's the Computer and Console forum, which seems perfectly suited for this discussion. You'll be bothered far less there, too. Why not move the discussion?
  6. Dude, not even the people on Obsidian have faith that they'd deliver. That is the greatest reason they have cited for not writing romances.
  7. It can also plant me firmly in the anti group. You do know that the rush of chemicals is addictive, right? And that a bunch of the people at the BioWare forums do show symptoms of addiction, right? And that you show symptoms of addiction too, right? That's a reason behind the complaints that the OP didn't use SCIENCE™ for the against argument, in fact. Also don't quote me while I'm still editing my post
  8. Because that's uncomfortable to acknowledge. If there's still a bunch of people who have trouble dealing with the fact that PoE won't have romances, of course they're not going to acknowledge how utterly exploitable videogame romances are. I'd also add that most times, videogame romances are designed to be exploitable, because otherwise people complain that they're too hard. Really, I know this post was writer by just one guy, just one of the writers at BioWare that is not representative of the rest, but that whole "I actively want these games to be indugences because life is hard" is pretty telling of the general philosophy. ...Have you considered, I don't know, fixating your attention on other character aspects? Personality quirks, memorable actions, character development and progression during the story, things like that? I can understand that remembering characters is easier if they give you the quick rush of chemicals romantic feelings can provide (look, I can into science too!), but you just said that you're almost unable to remember characters unless they give you that. If you're not exaggerating, then you really should do some introspection of yourselves. Diversify your interests a little, it'll be good for you!
  9. So you take the parts where I say favorable things to your position and summarily ignore the actual criticism I mixed in, in hopes that you'd be more receptive to it if I put it nicely? No wonder you're still going at this. There's no way to get through that wall of denial, is there?
  10. I never said that all people in the BSN are like that. Of course there are many sane individuals in there who are not comparable to the Tali Sweat poster, otherwise the forums themselves would have imploded long ago (though I'd like to mention that the Mass Effect romance subforum got so out of hand that it did get close to imploding, and mods closed it down for that reason, so food for thought). The point is that some people like that can be found there, in opposition to the majority of the Internet who has no such individuals posting that kind of content so openly. The fact that the BSN can be grounds for that kind of content, the fact that it has an ambient where that kind of thing is merely "an extreme example" and not a complete deviation of the standard shunned by the rest of the community is what makes it noteworthy, and that is why it's mentioned so many times. I won't deny that there are people who do, indeed, use the infamous Tali Sweat post with the purpose you stated. Many of them have done so in these forums in the past. But that is not the purpose I intended, and I think I made that clear in my post: I brought up that example mainly because of the content of that post, not because of what it represented. I mentioned what it represented merely to show why it was rather famous and people had brought it up. You're right to say that some of its fame is undeserved, but you can't deny that there is a kernel of truth in it, either. Incidentally, I don't condone the pointing and mocking that some people have done of the people who had their hopes of romance dashed, either. I do believe that some promancers have been very blind to the reality, keeping unrealistic expectations and ignoring all the pointers indicating that what you wanted was never going to happen, but some of the comments thrown at you could be considered to be kind of cruel (or at least unsporting), considering that you're probably still feeling hurt at the news. I'd give them a spanking for not being nice, but alas, I'm not their mother
  11. Then behold, because it can be found here. Enjoy your read. You may have noticed that the conclusion of that analysis was to say that Tali's sweat was pleasant and aphrodisiac and just plain better than that of humans. Basically, the post used SCIENCE™ to prove Why Tali Is A Better Waifu Than The Rest, in a context of fans talking and gushing about her character, which is why that post has become infamous and an example of lonely Bioware fans that have crossed the line into creepy obsessiveness. And now you come here and try to use SCIENCE™ to put having romances as a good thing, which is why the comparisons started coming up. Look, I can understand your desire to let it out and write about your feelings about this topic, because as time has shown people have a lot of strong and very different feelings about it. But you have to be mindful about what you're saying and where. You say that people over-reacted to your analysis and took it the wrong way. I say that what happened is because of your analysis itself, as it is faulty and misplaced. It's faulty because it's incomplete and biased, as Hiro Protagonist II pointed out, and i'ts misplaced because you put it in a forum where people just don't want to talk about this topic anymore. That is why you got that reaction. Hopefully it's clearer now.
  12. ...Okay, we now have a post that is roughly similar to the infamous analysis of Tali's sweat on the Obsidian forums. I don't know how to feel about that. I mean, NanoPaladin, you spent a large part of your post explaining biological functions. Your post did not need that. We all know that doing stuff in games makes us feel stuff in our bodies because we like fooling our brains and entertainment is basically that. That's basically the argument you said in the "romance is good" part, and using SCIENCE™ to say it did not make it stronger. Seriously, nothing against you, but the OP seemed like a huge rationalization of your own feelings about the goodness of romance in videogames, with a half-arsed section of bad things so that you could tell yourself that you were being neutral on this matter. And you did this in a forum where the regulars are completely burned out on the subject. I am not surprised at the reaction you got. By the way, if you want to talk about hormones, you could have also mentioned them in the part of bad things, too. Some of the hormones linked with love can be very addictive (you did mention that drugs mess with dopamine, which is a reason why drugs are bad), and this can lead to very unhealthy behaviours. Behaviours that are not, in fact, unheard of in videogame communities that deal with romances, if you look at the BSN. You could have examined that, too, and then I may have believed your attempt at honest discussion a little more. I may have come across as rather cranky in this post, but after seeing that we got official confirmation that could finally put this topic to rest, seeing this thread made me die a little inside.
  13. That's exactly what I was asking (Thanks!), but now I have the answer I realise it doesn't necessarily answer my question. Fallout 1 and Fallout: New Vegas were both M-rated, but F1 was comically gruesome but fairly fantastical whilst F:NV had an awful lot of moments that were about more human darkness and I, personally, found it desperately unpleasant. Which again, is not a criticism of the writing of NV, which was superb when it was at its most unpleasant, I just don't associate the IE games with being particularly harrowing, and I don't generally look to high fantasy to harrow me. Ymmv, of course. Edit: For the avoidance of doubt, it's not a deal-breaker for me if it is like NV, I'd just rather know in advance so I don't put on my 'let's go dancing with elves' hat only to get there and find a flashback of them all being stripped, raped and strangled. Perhaps this interview and this other one might be what you're looking for, then. Of course, these are the intentions of one designer, and they were made during or shortly after the Kickstarter campaign. I doubt they stray too far from that, though.
  14. There's...something...about...that...sentence...that seems...a bit...harsh on...Josh... Anyway, I'm curious for a bit of a Dev response here. What sort of certification would P:E be shooting for? Personally, for something like this, I'd like it to either sit in the (to use British classifications) 15, or high fantasy 18 category (Fallout 1+2, THE ORIGINAL CONAN ). I really admired much of the writing in New Vegas, but it was appallingly grim and on several occasions left me feeling like I shouldn't have bothered playing it (which is to it's credit). I just don't know if P:E needs that level of grimness given that it is essentially high fantasy. Dragon Age dipped in with a few gruesome pieces but it was never the horribly nihilistic sounds of people screaming as they're burning to death that F:NV was. Obviously I'm not after a Disney/Pixar, but I don't want another game that leaves me feeling like I'm a worse person for having played it. Tim Cain mentioned in the Kickstarter pitch that they wanted to do an M-rated game, so I imagine that's the certification they're going for. That's 17 years and older, in terms of age. I'm a little confused about the scope asked for in this thread, though. Is it about subjects that can be shown in the game, or about actions that the player can engage in? Because the measuring sticks tend to be different for both.
  15. On the other side, some arguments in favor of romance come across as saying that snow really really should be in the game, and thus there should absolutely be areas of frigid climates included. And it's like, hey, the game might not have areas like that, and it's perfectly okay if it doesn't. I'm sure snow exists in some place of the world, and you might find mentions of it, but it's no big deal if players can't encounter it and play with it themselves. I mean, if you look at this from the point of view of a professional writer who knows what he's doing, a lot of discussions here are completely pointless. The way I look at it, that's because a lot of discussions here are not directed at the developers, but at other players. You see people like Bruce affirming things that sound like "it's inevitable for romances to be included, resistance is futile, join us or be assimilated", and I just can't help but think it's a completely wrong mindset if taken seriously. What if what you expect isn't there? Saying "I'm sure that won't happen " seems very naïve to me, because it could happen. Damn right it could, and if you've read how the designers feel about the subject, the chances are much higher than you might think. Likewise, the line of thinking that goes "well, if it doesn't happen I'll be very disappointed, so the developers better not disappoint me " will only succeed in looking like an attempt at emotional blackmail, which I doubt is going to affect the developers. So, either the developers will go on with their ideas for romance because that's what they wanted regardless of what you said, or you will set yourself for a painful disappointment if their plans really don't include your interest. So, you know, that's another reason why I keep hanging out on these discussions. You might not like what is said here, and to be completely honest I don't like repeating myself either, but ignoring reality won't make it go away. You guys have to be aware of what the situation is and why, to set your expectations accordingly. Otherwise, well, let me tell you that self-inflicted disappointments are not fun, nor are they likely to garner you sympathy. Look at the threads of people who expected D&D gameplay mechanics and were disappointed to the point of being upset. Do you want to be in that position? :\
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