Jump to content

Sylvius the Mad

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Sylvius the Mad

  1. It's rare that a game will let you get through the final encounter without fighting something, but it clearly can be done. KotOR did it.
  2. That's only true if you assume a bunch of other things about the XP system. If the power curve is steep and linear, yes, this would be a problem. But with a shallower power curve, this problem goes away. Being far behind isn't a big deal, because the gap between low-level characters and high-level characters is pretty small overall. Or, if the XP curve is exponential, then low-level characters should catch up really quickly (BG did this).
  3. Only if they know with certainty, that you're telling them plainly. But they can't know that. Either way, we seem to agree that the NPCs can only react to their understanding of your motives, regardless of whether than understanding is correct. The problem arises when none of them do. That's usually the case. Early in DAO, there's a greedy merchant surrounded by an angry mob. You can defend the merchant or distribute his goods to the mob. I once had my Warden defend the merchant for altruistic reasons, as he thought defending property rights offered greater social benefits. That's not a motive that was likely to be persented to me as an explicit option. I would describe this as a central feature of KotOR2. Obsidian made KotOR2. That's why. And because someone above was claiming that roleplaying is impossible in a single-player CRPG because the PC is always pre-defined. I insist he is not, and this discussion arose from that. Because we realise that no finite list can cover all possibe motivations. Only a system that allows the true motivation not to be listed allows maximum roleplaying freedom. No, I hate the [LIE] option. Because people shouldn't be able to tell that I'm lying. And what if I change my mind later? The [LIE] option encourages writers to set plot flags and offer different options based on those responses. Sometimes quest lines get closed off because I said I was or wasn't going to do something, though if I'd been lying (or telling the truth) that shouldn't have happened. Like in NWN2, you're asked whether you're going to seek help from the Watch or from Moira's Gang - some games would actually make one of those options unavailable based on your answer to that question, and that's stupid. When I'm asked a yes/no question, I may not yet know the answer, but that shouldn't preclude me from offering the answer that I think will serve me best in this particular conversation.
  4. As long as the player gets to decide, sure. But without mind-reading, I don't see how it would make any difference.
  5. But even here, the NPCs aren't reacting to your motives. They're reacting to their own inferences about what your motives are. This discussion started because people were worried that the writers would define the PC's motives rather than leaving them for the player to define, and nothing you've said here requires the motives (or set of possible motives) be defined by the writers. You're only requiring that the set of possible motives the NPCs can perceive be defined by the writers, and I don't see anyone objecting to that. I certainly don't mind if the NPCs react to what they think my motives are, as long as the game doesn't demand that those actually be my motives. The game can do that a number of different ways. DA2 did it by having Hawke say things I didn't want him to say, thus contradicting my character design. Some games open or close quest options based on the PC's claims about his motives, effectively assuming them to be true. As long as these things don't happen, sure, the NPCs can respond to their perception of the PC's motives all they want. I have a degree in that crap. I know exactly how baseless most of Ethics is. Ethics has serious epistemological problems, and this is one of them.
  6. I usually did as well, but that was mostly because I didn't use a mod that gave access to a "respec" item and thought that the "auto-builds" for characters were terrible. Also my PCs usually felt more comfortable around people they were already familiar with. Yeah, I used No Follower Auto Level to make every joinable character level 1 when I met him.
  7. If you want to keep all companions viable, ie. at equal levels at all times, then you must switch them between missions, and that is a metagame forced upon you by bad game mechanic. Isn't keeping all of the companions viable a metagame desire? Or you could approach the issue in character. You know that, by not using some companions, they will fail to learn the new skills they need, so you can, in character, swap out party members to keep them all viable.
  8. Some people do care about the whys. Those people are crazy, because the whys aren't ever knowable.
  9. Ok, you two really need to learn the difference between a cRPG story with a set narrative and LaRP. 1. LARPing requires other players. That defeats the entire purpose of playing CRPGs. I see the job of a CRPG as to reproduce a tabletop RPG experience without the need for other players. Anything that detracts from this is a negative feature. 2.. I flatly deny that any game with a set narrative is an RPG. CRPGs have two narratives. There's the authored narrative, created by the writers, and the emergent narrative, created by the player's gameplay choices. Only by combining those two things do we have anything that could be broadly described as the game's story. Your argument is circular. You've presupposed a definition that precludes roleplaying, and then are using that to argue that roleplaying is impossible. The ME games and DA2 are exactly where BioWare went wrong on this. It is there where they started to define the PC's motivations and deny the player control over them. DAO didn't do that. KotOR didn't do that. NWN didn't. BG didn't. Fallout didn't. IWD didn't. Torment didn't. NWN2 didn't. ToEE didn't. Where do you see games that do define the PC's (or PCs') motivations?
  10. I don't uinderstand what you're asking for. Unless the NPCs can read your mind, they can't react to your motivations. They can infer your motivations from your words and actions, and react to that, but that's already available without defining the PC's motivations in advance. He'd be reacting to words or actions, though, not motivations. If you make it clear that you hate him, he'll react to that expression of hatred. He can't react to the actual hatred, because he can't perceive the actual hatred. As such, there's no benefit to having the writers force that hatred (or any other motivation) upon the PC. That would be great. But none of that requires that the writers limit the PC's motives in any way. Mostly it's because it doesn't make any sense. NPCs can't read the PC's mind. As such, the PC's motives will always be a mystery. Defining those motives thus provides no C&C benefit at all. In KotOR2, there was no reason why the Exile wouldn't have known about his past actions. The player didn't, so the player couldn't ever correctly adopt his character's perspective. There's a pivotal scene with Atris that made no sense because the player had no idea what she was talking about, but she was talking to the Exile like he knew what was going on (and he should have, given what it was). But because the player was kept entirely out of the loop, the game just fell apart.
  11. I'm not too surprised, actually. First, KotOR2 is very heavy-handed in its definition of The Exile. That's one Obsidian title where it's very clear that the player doesn't get to decide who the PC is (and the game suffers badly as a result, I think). Also, the many discussions I've had with people about the extent to which KotOR defines the PC - I think not at all, others think very much - has highlighted a perspective on identity that I'd not previously considered. Some people seem to think that you are always fundamentally you, even if you don't remember what you've done. But if you could do them at some point, then that will always define the sort of person you can be. Basically, that a person can never escape his past, even if that personality ceases to exist and he gets a new one rebuilt with magic. It's a sort of strong rejection of dualism. I've also seen this from people who didn't like Torment - they think that TNO's past defines him such that he's a horrible person who isn't fun to play. I obviously disagree - I see no necessary connection between the person I am now and the person I was before (particularly in cases of amnesia like KotOR and Torment) - but this perspective makes KotOR2 work really well as a game (where I think it fails badly). And people who like the KotOR2 approach would absolutely want the PC's character defined by the writers.
  12. That the PC claims a specific motivation doesn't necessarily make that the PC's actual motivation. The PC can lie. The PC can always lie. We don't need a [LIE] tag on a dialogue option to speak falsely. It's not his character. It's my character. It has to be my character. I need to know everything about my character's state of mind from the very first instance he steps into the game world so that I can correctly interpret events from his point of view. That's what roleplaying is: perceiving the world through someone else's eyes. We can't do that without full control over that character's perspective. How can anything in the game world ever react to a character's motives? Nothing in the real world ever reacts to your motives, because your motives only exist inside your head. No one can see them. Therefore, no one can react to them. A CRPG is about giving me a detailed setting (filled with interesting characters and interesting events going on - that's the authored narrative), into which I can release the character I've designed to find out what he does and how he deals with those events.
  13. The game should react to my character's actions, yes. My character's motives, though, aren't knowable outside my character's head, so it would be unreasonable to expect the game to react to them. If that ever happens, the game is broken. That simply shouldn't ever be done.
  14. The difference between jarpie's characters and yours is that yours are completely disconnected from the game. If neither the gameworld or other players/npcs react to your PC's actions/traits/etc they might as well not exist. They do react. They just don't react directly. Since my PC's traits directly impact him actions, and his actions are modelled within the game such that the NPCs react to them, the NPCs are reacting to those traits. Indirectly. Defining the PC's personality is unequivocally not the writer's job. If ever the writer does that, the game if fundametally broken as a roleplaying environment. Yes you do. The very existence of the story isn't knowable from within the game. When making in-character decisions, even knowledging that there is a story requires that you break character. Any awareness of the writers' authored narrative is metagame information, and can be ignored by the roleplayer. Character development of the PC can only ever occur inside the player's head. Any attempt on the part of the writers to do that themselves prevents the player from making any decisions. if you don't have perfect knowledge of your character's state of mind (and if the writers are defining it, you don't), how do you them choose among the options presented to you? You can't, because you don't know what your character's motives are. You don't know whether he values justice over security, for example. You don't know if he values fairness over equality. How can you possibly make decisions for your character if you don't know everything about his mind? What is true for books has no relevance in CRPGs, because books aren't interactive. Books don't ask the player to make decisions on the protagonist's behalf.
  15. If the companions are off adventuring by themselves to earn XP, there should be a chance they can get killed doing it. If not, then they're earning risk-free XP. And if there's risk-free XP available somewhere, I want my PC to be able to earn it, too.
  16. If inactive party-members get XP, it needs to be explained how they're doing it. And that explanation needs to make sense within the setting.
  17. This is nonsense. Of course you can roleplay in a single-player RPG. In fact, that's the whole point of a single-player RPG - to be able to roleplay without having to find other players. Yes, you're restricted, to some degree in what actions your character can take, but that doesn't mean you can't roleplay that character. Whenever a set of alternatives is presented to you, you choose the one that best suits the character you've designed. The reason your character does anything is not limited by the writers at all. Your character's interpretation of events is not limited by the writers at all. Your character's perception of the world around him is not limited by the writers at all. At any point, your character's state of mind is created entirely by you. That state of mind informs everyhing the character does. That state of mind has a direct impact on how the in-game events make your character feel, what motives your character has, what means he deems acceptable to achieve those objectives. Roleplaying is absolutely possible in a single-player roleplaying game. I'll agree with this. Unless the player posits extra interactions that occur off-screen, there isn't really enough time to form any meaningful relationships between the player-created PC and the other party members (whom I also consider PCs). However, if the player created multplpe PCs within the same game (like he can using the Adventurers' Hall in PE), then those characters could well have an expensive shared backstory. They could have a meaningful relationship. There's nothing about single-player games that necessarily precludes that sort of character design. I routinely create detailed personalities for my PCs in single-player games.
  18. As it happens, I did the opposite in DAO - I picked one party and stuck with it. But you're not describing BG accurately at all. There was so much XP available in BG that you could level 10 different characters to the cap without running out of game content. Swapping out party members there had basically no cost.
  19. If they're killing dragons, why do they never die? Whatever they're doing, it's risk-free. Why isn't the PC doing it, too?
  20. I wholeheartedly support this idea. No one should gain XP without having done something to earn it.
  21. CCP used this distrbution method when they ended their publisher agreement with Simon & Schuster. The EVE client was downloaded and shared using bittorrent, and then CCP collected the activation and subscription fees directly from the users.
  22. Did they have budgets of $20 million 10 years ago? Would those same games, with cheaper technology, have a budget of $20 million today? Looking at today's AAA titles is pointless, as they bear little resemblance to Project Eternity.
  23. Let us import our own portraits. If you import your own portrait, then you can have it match your character concept pretty much exactly.
  • Create New...