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About Azarkon

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    (5) Thaumaturgist


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  1. I don't see discussing romance and its implementation in games as a side track in the romance thread. Anyhow, I dislike the term 'wish fulfillment' precisely because it has a connotation of lacking in the player actually having to work at or towards a goal. The player wants it, so they're going to get it; this is true whether the wish is fulfilled in their wildest fashions or in a 'monkey's paw' sort of way to create drama. "You would never say that the action segments of a game being boring is the fault of the player not being able to put themselves in the character's shoes, so by t
  2. I disagree; making the romance an explicit wish fulfillment is leading down the path of creating a feel good mini-game at the expense of your NPC. I think what needs to happen is that the game needs to allow the player to make a choice and have the game react to the consequences of that choice. How I'd approach making a respectable romance - Romance should not lock out the player from having an interesting traveling companion if they don't pursue the romance and should not lock players out of essential elements (ie items, xp) The NPC's goals and interests should not be subsumed for a roma
  3. I don't want to put romance on a pedestal. Romance isn't special. It's just another facet of human interaction. It's common. It's basic. Almost everyone will engage in it, and likely on several different occasions. There's little that is more base than sexual attraction. Little that is more crude than being captivated by the symmetry of a face or the fullness of a bosom or the broadness of a shoulder. Even when we extend that attraction to personality, it remains chemistry: instincts and hormones drive almost the entire process of looking for, evaluating, and committing to a mate. Of all the l
  4. I have not posted on these forums for a long time - ever since Avellone left, in fact - but since you did not bring this issue up on the Codex, I will respond at length here. The naming system of Tyranny most resembles that of Dungeons & Dragons, and it is not a coincidence that you think it also resembles that of American cartoons, and I'll add American comic books, because that's the popular cultural environment from which early Dungeons and Dragons drew. Consider Greyhawk, the first edition Dungeons and Dragons setting and Gygax's brain child. The following is a list of names dr
  5. The cultural problem isn't that we reject romance, but that we have a difficult time accepting romantic wish fulfillment as a valid indulgence. It's a problem of immersion, of becoming sufficiently emotionally invested in a video game character to actually enjoy interacting with him/her romantically. Such immersion is vital to effective romantic roleplaying, but is incredibly hard to achieve when you refuse - eg for cultural reasons - to become emotionally involved with a video game in that way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about 'Aerie is my eternal waifu I no longer care about 3D
  6. I don't oppose your idea, but at the same time, I don't think it's a matter of choice - ie 'bring it on!' vs. 'kill it with fire!' Badly executed romances are just bad, and it's the poor execution of romances that drives people to the other side. People who hate romances in video games weren't born that way. They were made that way by crappy execution, and I don't blame them, because the track record is terrible.
  7. You have to learn to walk before you learn to run. I think the problem with a lot of the well-intentioned promancers in this thread is that they've set such a high bar for romantic content that developers are liable to run away from it than embrace it.
  8. Western culture? We have been doing romances for centuries and include them amongst our most treasured cultural achievements. Aren't you being just a little hyperbolic here attacking an entire culture for a few people's opinions on RPG romances? Maybe instead of burning down a civilization in a bizarre bit of generalization you should just stick with the argument that wish fulfillment is what we are in the business of here. I was obviously talking about modern Western culture; it isn't necessarily a condemnation; and it isn't limited to video games. Romantic 'wish fulfillment' is de
  9. Video games in general are puerile sorts of adolescent wish fulfillment. Do you think games eg CoD, GTA, FIFA, etc. are any easier to take seriously when put besides RL? Games aren't life experience simulators. I don't think what people want out of video game romances is 'serious RL relationships,' just as I don't think what people want out of GTA is a 'serious simulation' of what it is to be an organized crime boss/inner city gangster. In fact, fantasy/sci-fi themed RPGs, even further so than games eg GTA and CoD, are all about wish fulfillment. Archetypal fantasy RPGs are variations on
  10. The DA series proved to me that 2D/isometric RPGs are a proper platform and not merely a nostalgic throwback. I am loath to tolerate this WoW inspired, Frostbite induced over-the-shoulder gameplay in a game that tries to be a classic RPG. For one, moving around is an absolute chore, and it doesn't help that Bioware has a passion for abusing elevated terrain. In the IE days, all you had to do to move from one area of the map to another was a click, pathfinding willing. Now? It takes me 10 seconds of WASD just to get around a fallen tree, not to mention the time wasted on getting past chairs, br
  11. I am in complete agreement as to the idea that romance is no different than any other deeply felt relationship. As to why people want them in games - I ought to hope it's not simply because they want what they lack in life! But that rather, it's because romance is a form of character interaction and critical to certain types of characterizations. Going back to the Annah example, the pathos of her story depends on the fact that the love she develops for TNO results only in a state of greater misery for both of them due to TNO's curse. There's no way to represent this pathos without romantic
  12. It actually is harder to portray. The classic JRPG romances are made the way they are because it's easier. When you're writing romance, it's way harder, and much more expensive to deal with the changes that happens after the romance starts. The character development and the change in group dynamics etc is not easy to make credible. That's one of the reasons why most games with romances ends with some defining quest, event or battle after the shagging. I think you're putting romance on a pedestal, so to speak. Again, I go back to PS:T because this being the Obsidian forums, I reckon th
  13. Because there is no tomorrow? I think the answer is in Sawyer's statement. He said they didn't have the resources to do romances correctly. And he's probably right about that. Obsidian does not have a staff of Harlequin novel writers, like Bioware does. So any romances they would have attempted for PoE would have probably sucked ass, like they do in every Obsidian game. And that's, You know, the opposite of correctly. PS: there's no such thing as a platonic romance. If it's platonic, then it's a friendship. And Obsidian did not rule out friendships in PoE. It's a good bet they're in.
  14. I'm going to take issue with Sawyer's statement about not having the resources to do romance correctly. Romance is simply a facet of a character - and didn't Obsidian set as a design goal, highly reactive NPCs with their own unique personalities and developed story arcs? How does one distinguish, resources-wise, between an in-depth PC-NPC relationship and a romance? In my mind they are one and the same. It's though Obsidian completely forgot about their own experiences working on games eg PS:T, where love - both amorous and platonic - was not a mere appendage but a central conceit woven into t
  15. Japan having nukes is pretty irrelevant in the scenarios they're in conflict over. Japan is not going to fire nukes at China because China took one of their offshore rocks; that's the sort of escalation that only happens in armchair fantasies. Nobody takes that sort of gamble when it's their existence on the line; MAD in this situation simply cancels itself out.
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