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Found 25 results

  1. End-game spoilers ahead, but nonetheless important for the developers to see I think. I'm in Byzantium at the moment, and for whatever reason the Early Retirement quest dipped my reputation with the Board over the edge. Now everyone guard in Byzantium wants to kill me and every citizen runs from me. This is unacceptable, as the end-game necessitates that you be in Byzantium. My enjoyment is almost ruined by this, since I couldn't take my way in or out of situations as I've done the entire game. The impact of being hated by a reputation you are forced to interact with shouldn't be shoot on sight - quite frankly, it's nearly game-breaking. Obsidian, I hope you find some way to fix this, because I don't want to experience, say, DLC, where everyone hates me. It would be really unfortunate.
  2. Every time I tried to complete the quest By His Bootstraps, Jameson is dead when I show up. I have reloaded and tried several times and he is always dead. I read on a forum that this may be tied to using the computer terminal to unlock the door before going upstairs, so I tried it without using the terminal and he was still dead. When I turned the quest in, I had a reputation loss with Auntie Cleo. This seems like a bug. This quest was given at the last minute by the quest giver as if an afterthought. That, to me, does not signal high priority. Because of this, I ended up doing this one after a few others, just because I ended up in that area later. Quests in these kinds of games are not usually *actually* tied to time, or if that is a factor it seems to typically be made pretty explicit upfront because we are not expecting it in an RPG. Besides, it is certainly not the fault of the strange space captain and crew, who show up in town voluntarily to risk our lives rescuing everybody, that this guy got eaten by dangerous monsters, which the quest giver was responsible for importing to this planet in order to torture them (even if inadvertently) and experiment on them. It seems that other people are having the same experience. I could not find anything online about how to do the quest in a way that does not involve Jameson dying. Either way, even if we fail to save him, it does not seem reasonable to give us negative reputation with the faction. Ok, reduce or take away the faction reputation increase if you need to, although really we still all risked our lives to go try to save this guy and kill all the raptidons and bring back news to his boss. If it were me, I would at least appreciate the effort. Please let me know if there is a way to make this work and please consider taking a second look at how this one plays out. I put so many hours into the gameplay here and I can only do it over so many times before it isn’t fun anymore. I am a completionist but I really don’t want to redo the whole Roseway section. I really appreciate any help you can give, and thank you so much for making a great game for us! I have always thought New Vegas was the best of the Fallout series.
  3. Okay, so I kind of stole everything out of Gladys' safe. And now every time I go to Groundbreaker, they shoot me on site. But, my reputation with them is Agreeable. So how do I fix this? I've tried leaving and coming back, I've done a few of their quests, but can't turn them in because everyone shoots me when I get off the Unreliable. How do I solve this?
  4. When I first started the game, I was under the impression that there could be a variety of combinations when it came to the companion's reputations with each other. Like one playthrough could have Aloth /Eder as friends and another as enemies. Or I suppose, to use a more extreme example, having Xoti/Pallegina as friends and another playthrough as enemies. However, as time goes on, it seems to be that their relationships with each other are mostly set in stone. There will always be a Xoti/Pallegina rivalry, Aloth will always dislike Tekehu and Serafen, etc. The only ones that seem to have a good potential of going either way so far are Eder/Aloth and Eder/Xoti. I'm curious at the amount of variations others have seen in their playthroughs with this system. So, is the game rigged?
  5. My main character does not appear to be gaining any reputation points with party members at all. On multiple occasions, with several different companions, I've had the prompt appear indicating that someone approved of what I just said but yet when I check the reputation page on my character sheet it states I have zero points and not a single "quadrant" around their portraits are filled. On the other hand, when a companion approves of another companion's actions they appear to be gaining points and "quadrants" with each other. Edér and Xoti reached a full 1 point after their first interaction. I've only left Port Maje recently and had a chat with everyone on my ship so it's relatively early in the game but that's why I want to know whether my game is working or not before proceeding any further.
  6. So after waiting for 1.1 I started up a new game. According to notes, they changed how reputation values were calculated. However, after doing the event at Ilonet's Fork, recruiting Xoti, and gaining the Dawnstar Blessing at Port Maje, I am at max positive reputation (2 minor, 1 moderate, 1 major positive changes in total I think). Is it supposed to rise that fast, or do some factions have different point thresholds?
  7. So, I was hoping that I'd be able to make this thread after finishing the actual game, but the issues with my computer are worse than expected (i.e. there's always a worse scenario than the worst case scenario) and so I doubt I'll get to finish it in some time. Likewise I've only been able to skim the boards of late so if this is all already being discussed elsewhere and people feel it comes across as spam or the likes, feel free to merge it with that other thread. For the most part I hope I can add something worthwhile to the discussion regarding the two titular topics and present some possibilities that could potentially help improve the same. So, I'll go ahead and reiterate that I have not finished the game so I would appreciate spoiler tags being used when appropriate and so on, and also that my assessments below are based on what I have experienced so far of the game, which I would still say is over 100 hours or the same. With that out of the way, I'll start off with the more contentious subject based on what opinions I've read, which is the companion relationship/reputation system. Right off the bat I would say that in general I dislike relationship systems based on a reputation scale the likes we've seen in previous games like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, and to me this is no exception to the rule. I feel that the more transparent these systems are, the more they invite the player to play to their companions' ego and "game" their way to a max relationship, and the more unnatural and mechanical the relationships feel; Deadfire seems to exasperate this further by adding a very clear set of traits that each companion likes and dislikes, and making them respond with stock reactions to every instance where either the player or another companion acts in a way that they like (leading to many strange reactions the likes we've seen many times in other threads already). In turn I also know that if I am to respond to a certain interaction in a specific manner, the rest of the party will inevitably "like" or "dislike" that response because that's what they're very broadly and obviously programmed to do - which is odd because even if someone is "light-hearted" for example, that same person won't necessarily find every joke amusing or every situation ideal for the same. Personally I would have liked a more invisible system myself which kept track in the background of what each liked and disliked and where we'd see only the results of these opinions more so than the ticking of every instance where we say something or do something that increases a character's disposition towards us; but what's done is done and for what it's worth I think the idea of keeping track of companion-companion relationships is an interesting one which I'm glad is to some extent or other being worked on, as it would seem a good way in which to make the party feel a little more dynamic and reactive and all that jazz. But still, even if the system can't be torn down and reworked from the ground, there's a few things I reckon could improve it going further in Deadfire's development. For example, one thing I would love to see looked at is the effect that certain actions we take have on characters regardless of whether they match with their "traits" or not. For example, I am of the opinion that there's things that very likely have a deeper effect on a relationship than whether or not you are one way or abscribe to a certain philosophy. I feel that in cases like these for each character, having a reputation change unaffiliated to companion likes/dislikes would do a lot of good towards making the relationship system feel a lot more natural and less "gamey" or jumpy than it does currently. I feel the like/dislike system is fine but it should really be relegated to very minor shifts, with maybe some big swings at very determined situations when things do get very personal, in either a positive or negative sense (e.g. Serafen helping Xoti out with her nightmares, or Aloth not being able to stand Tekehu's vanity anymore). Likewise it wouldn't be an entirely bad idea to have certain "critical" situations affect a companion's disposition to the *whole* party and not just the Watcher (to use Pallegina's example above, she'd probably be appreciative towards all who helped out with her personal quest and not just the Watcher). Also something that I've noted is that at the beginning of the game, when we were first shown the relationship system via the tutorial, the tutorial section mentioned that companions could lead to forging deeper and more unique bonds and these same would be detailed through the "relationship" box right next to the reputation compass and so on… But has anyone actually seen this box get updated with new content between companions? Or even between companions and the Watcher themselves? I reckoned it was a bit early in my playthrough at first, but as the game moved on, and having reached the point I have most recently, it seems very odd that I should see no update to the same, not even to indicate the ongoing relationship between Maia and my Watcher for example. This would be worth looking into, I think, whether it is working as intended or not. Moving onto the crew now… I for one will say I really liked the crew system, a heck of a lot more than the hirelings back in the first Pillars for certain. I liked the many vignettes involving them, I liked being able to collect them all across the Deadfire almost as if I were filling out my own little Eoradex, I liked how you could get an idea to their individual personalities through many of their introductory interactions and quests and so on. I also reckon that their personalities also determine the role they'd take in the vignettes out at sea, so I liked how Eld Engrim often played the pious character, Emeini the more combative type, and so on. However, I do feel that I would like to see a few situations more appropriately tailored to either the events of the game or to individual crewmembers, which I'll expand upon next. Likewise, and this is a minor addition but and important one I feel: when we look into our journal for information on the mechanics to crewmembers, be it the way they level up on their positions or what advantage does each position and experience in the same bring, these are either not present or very scarcely explained, with all that's said about them is that they're a "motley assortment of neerdowells" and so on. I don't think it's ever mentioned that crewmembers can earn four overall stars across all ranks before they max out either, and I only learned it once I looked at the wiki or a subreddit discussion about it. A more detailed clarification within the game itself that we could access at any time would be appreciated, I think. These are some aspects which I feel could improve both systems over how they presently are, which I also feel would be feasible to do for a future patch or something. What do you guys think? Anything else you would like to add, or would disagree with, or any changes you would propose yourselves?
  8. I have seen many posts praising new factions and there is a lot to like in there. All four of them are well developed, with detailed backstory and with multiple representations throughout the Deadfire. Each of them have a companion to represent them and have a lengthy chain of well designed quests. How Deadfire handles its factions is in many ways similar to New Vegas. The political scene of Deadifire makes up the majority of games content and choosing with whom the player will ally with (if at all) is probably the most important choice in the game. Who will become your antagonist depends on that choice. That’s right, while Eothas might be the one who starts you on your journey, it is the fight before you confront him, which is the true resolution of this games conflict. It is a big deal – you face a major faction representative, with whom, most likely, you interacted for the big chunk of the game and you will have to kill one of the companions who traveled with you for tenths of hours (or from what I understand: you should have to. In my personal playthrough I managed to not kill said companion by now talking to her after making my faction choice, From what I have heard others a just as easy to exploit). Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel nearly as impactful as I am making it sound like and, as I believe, it should be. While there is a pretty elaborate combat sequence before reaching Ukaizo it isn’t quite the same as charging the enemy in the battle for the Hoover Dam in New Vegas. The final confrontation with the faction leader feels more like an afterthought, rather than a climax – perhaps it might be redeemed with a better difficulty, but personally I feel there is just not enough buildup to really allow this moment to properly pay off. However, I think that the weakness of this finale comes from fairly inconsequential faction and relationship system. In New Vegas the conflict between factions was active and present everywhere you went and you were part of it. The choices you made throughout the game – both following certain quest paths and by making mechanical choices (like killing members of certain faction) influenced your standing with various faction in both story and gameplay. This lead to said faction responding: either granting you access to their hideouts and helping you in wilderness or becoming unfriendly and later hostile and even sending bounties after you. Choices you made throughout the game actively allied you with certain faction, making the finale the result of your entire journey, rather than a single choice. While Deadfire has means to achieve a similar effect, it never utilizes it. While many of the quests will force you to favour one faction over the other, I didn’t notice my choices being reflected in the faction system. The following screenshot is taken from my “on the crossroads save” – all of the sidecontent completed with only the final choice and Ukaizo left to complete. How is my standing with all of the factions so high, in spite of my actions hurting some of them? I made a lot of choices against Royal Deadfire Company and yet, none of it is reflected. Only Principi ended up at “mixed” though outside one or two token reactivity in conversations it had little effect on my interactions with them. Even better, here is my standing after making the choice: allying with Valians, blowing up RDC’s powder reserves and lying to the Queen (while RDC might have been unaware of my actions, queen wasn’t). Nothing has changed. While hand crafted content might not support such flexibility, a worldmap is a perfect space to react to your choices – unsatisfied faction trying to raid your ship, you raiding faction ships affecting their reputation, friendly ships coming to your aid, ambushes in the city etc. Unfortunately, world map is static and shares no connection with the rest of the game, even though many ship claim to represent one of the four factions. Similar problems can be seen among companions – before and after the choice: I didn’t go out of my way to appease all of my companions. And yet as a character who didn’t respect the Gods, was fairly unsupportive to RTC and vocally supportive of Valians, trade and animancy I didn’t step on anyones toes. As a matter of fact, I was pairing companions with opposite worldviews (Pallegina+Maia, Takehu+Maia, Serafim+Pallegina) and yet I didn’t see any disagreement there. Your choice of faction should have repercussions earlier in the game and get reactions from both companions and factions. The final choice should be a natural extension of the previous adventure and not artificial “which ending slide do you prefer” choice, it is right now. It is probably unrealistic as expansions are planned already, but what I would much like to see is an expansion which would focus on core mechanics of the game. I feel that the way faction and companions interact with each other is in need of a major overhaul to make the story that is already in the game effective.
  9. I have a lot of maxed dispositions and a lot of them have gone up despite me playing super good (I'm Cruel:1 for some reason) meanwhile my companions struggle to go up in reputation. A lot of them are stuck at 1 despite me pleasing them in every other conversation option. Is there some bug I'm unaware of or is the system just a bit flawed?
  10. I've got a bunch of different faction colors and was wondering... Does it matter which flag I use when attacking ships? Do flags have any impact on reputation with the attacked faction (like losing reputation attacking Vailian Trading Co ships with Watcher colors)? I know that a flag can be used early on for a quest and there may be more of those. What I'm curious about is the open world naval combat impact.
  11. "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." --Matthew 6:2 (KJV) In the most recent Q&A (and elsewhere), Sawyer mentions that they're changing some of the disposition dynamics to reflect only stuff your character has done that is knowable to others. The example given being that in Pillars 1, a character with Deceptive 4 was actually the lousiest liar around, because everybody knew that (s)he lied a lot. So they're re-naming "deceptive" to "shady" and, presumably, allowing masterful lies to pass without affecting Reputations. For the "reputation" element of the Disposition mechanic (i.e., what folks think about the Watcher), this makes sense. But that's not the only thing that Dispositions affect for some characters-- Priests and Paladins get game-mechanical benefits/penalties from these, too. The system in Pillars 1 tried to serve two masters in representing both your character's outward reputation and his/her inner values, and Josh is correct in pointing out some of the issues that this caused. But, I don't see the problem as being wholly solved so long as the Priest/Paladin favored/disfavored dispositions continue to rely on the same variables as the character's public reputation. Shouldn't the strength of a character's faith or devotion reflect what the character knows and does, rather than just what the outside world knows about his/her actions? Just to build on the Deception example, above, a Priest of Skaen or Wael has "deceptive" as a favored disposition, and this makes perfect sense as-implemented in the first game-- these deities value misdirection, tricks, and secrets. However, the ideal deceptions practiced by Skaenites and Waelites would be effective ones, no? A masterful act of deception to conceal a revolutionary plot or obscure some hidden point of knowledge seems like the kind of action that the game should reward for such a Priest. Conversely, for a Priest of Eothas, deceptive acts should reflect negatively on the character's devotion, even if nobody ever learns of them.
  12. So, I've completed the quest "Blood Legacy." Beside being disappointed at the very limited options as to what to do with The entire point of reputation is (believed) knowledge of actions performed. Even though I actually performed an action, no one knows about it, thus effectively rendering my actions (to others) as unknown.
  13. Description: This is a guess at a bug, but when completing Ferry Floatsam the hero LOSES minor reputation with Defiance Bay. This seems to be a mistake. Description: Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2
  14. I encountered a potential bug, though it's possible that it's a design choice that I just don't fully understand. Behavior: Convincing Delem he doesn't need to eat birds leads to reputation loss. Expected: I don't believe this path should cause you to lose reputation—at least using the Survival-based chat option. I would expect it to give a reputation gain, or at least be reputation neutral. Details: In Oldsong (Twin Elms), Delem offers you a quest to collect three birds, which he'll eat to gain greater powers of song. If you go ask people about his request, they will all tell you that this is a superstition. I found two different ways to talk him out of his quest: The first is to tell him that it's just a superstition and that all previous singers were just looking for an easy way out. It makes sense that this dialog option might lead to a reputation loss, as it indicates a misalignment with the traditions of the local culture. The second is to make an argument based on a minimum level of survival, that leads Delem to conclude on his own that it's not a practice that makes sense. I think this should give a reputation gain, or at least be reputation neutral. With the survival approach, Delem is happy, nobody's bird was stolen, and we haven't disparaged any local traditions. This seems to me like it should be the maximum reputation gain, or at least a reputation-neutral solution. If we're role playing, it seems this would be at least as good for your local reputation as if you stole somebody's pet bird so a singer could eat it. I'm happy to accept it if this was an intentional design—either to reward the more difficult task of gathering all the birds, or based on some theory of Orlan culture that overrides my interpretations. In the former case, I would suggest that maybe an additional quest reward other than reputation would make more sense as a reward rather than taking away reputation for the harmless, survival-based solution.
  15. In the game you see different amount of reputation gains. I was wondering what the stages are and which is more? For example: Minor Positive Moderate Positive Average Positive Major Positive ?? Does anyone also know the value of each. For example Minor + moderate = average?
  16. So, I am completing quests in and around Defiance Bay, and it seems that nothing I do changes my reputation with the city. It's not showing up in the log, and it's not actually changing on my character sheet. I turned on the [show personality/reputation] option in, well, Options, and tried submitting Cinders of Faith and All Hands on Deck - they show in the dialogue that I should be gaining moderate and exceptional reputation, respectively, with Defiance Bay, but in neither case does the reputation change show in the log with the experience gain, nor does it change my reputation from Eccentric (Fairly Mixed). My last reputation change came from resolving the Aelyse quest in Dyrford Village, when I lost moderate rep for killing Lord H. That showed up in the log and changed the listing on my character sheet. Any ideas? Anyone else having this issue since the latest patch? Thanks!
  17. So I understand that the various factions in Defiance Bay are at odds with each other and that choosing one will result in not being able to interact with the others. That makes sense to me, even if I messed it up in my most recent play through. However, I found that when aligning with one (the mafia-like one), I had already completed quests with both the dozens AND crucible knights. As such, the game has now locked me out of ALL factions, as I am at a "faintly good" reputation with each of them. Is this a bug or intended? I like the idea of exclusive faction quest-lines and such, but the execution here is baaaaad. It should be structured so that when you compete a quest for one of the factions, your reputation with the other factions drops considerably so that you are unable to complete any quests you currently have for the other factions but your aligned faction's quest-line stays intact. Currently I cannot do quests for any of them, and that's kind of a bummer. I hope that makes sense. Can anyone shed light on the topic for me?
  18. As a lvl 4 Paladin of the Shieldbearers of St Elcga my favorite dispositions are Honest & Diplomatic. Disfavored are Cruel & Aggressive. I currently have a rank 1 in Honest, Diplomatic, Benevolent and Passionate. I recently also killed Raedric which gained me one point in Passionate. Is there anyway you can change or are there different ways you can take/handle a fight with an other result? How can I see which will be the outcome?
  19. Record Keeper at the Ducal Palace, when speaking abou Eder problem I can just keep conversing about it, thus allowing to farm reputation like diplomacy. I used the [Resolve 17] option to continue and from there I can just repeat.
  20. Please discuss your thoughts, ideas, complaints, suggestions etc. on Pillars of Eternity here.
  21. This is in response to the many threads in disagreement over how XP rewards and quest objectives should be handled. There have been many good arguments from many different perspectives. I will summarize my own personal opinion on the matter, and leave the floor open for you to add constructive criticism. This isn't about right or wrong or an aversion to change. It's about creating a "balanced" system for all play styles that doesn't prevent certain behaviour, but rather reacts to it. Thankyou, and keep smiling. My thoughts on Cause and Effect (in a nutshell): - Cause should be controlled by the Core Mechanics. You can run around and hit things. It's your choice. - Effect should be evaluated by the Reputation System. If you hit things you shouldn't hit, there are consequences. - The Core Mechanics should only deal with numbers. - The Reputation System should adjudicate character behaviour. - If the numbers say your character has been a naughty boy, then your reputation influences the appropriate factions. - If you continue to be a good boy, you remain in good standing with the appropriate factions. Or it may even increase your standing. - If you continue to be a naughty boy, the appropriate factions react to you accordingly, i.e., If you go looking for trouble, you will find it. If a player's actions seem unlawful, or despicable, or grindy, or in bad taste, do not prevent it from happening by excluding it from the core mechanics or blatantly denying them XP. Add incentives or disincentives in the game content that allow the player to make a choice as to whether they continue that play style or change. The same goes for lawful behaviour. We need to treat players like adults and let them accept responsibility for their actions. I would like to play Project Eternity as a good guy, as a bad guy, as a good guy who turns bad, as a bad guy who turns good, and maybe the odd neutral play style too. I don't want to be pre-judged by the core mechanics, only judged by my actions that are then handled by the reputation system. Love, peace, and chicken grease. Some background threads to this post: - Degenerate Gameplay - Balancing Stealth vs Combat - Good vs Evil Roleplaying Rewards
  22. Basically: High Profile (High Reputation) versus Low Profile (Low Reputation) How many chases after you as a "High Profile" character, how many wants autographs? How much ego stroking? Quests that you wouldn't find before? (Some old man trusting the White Knight wherein he doesn't trust the random Low Profile character). How many assassins go after you? How many who would've attacked you on one playthrough just don't because you have a high enough reputation, how many wants to challenge out of honor? As a "Low Profile" character, does that necessarily mean that you are a Rogue/Stealth/Non-Lethalist? No I don't think so. It just implies you don't leave any witnesses of your passing and are very adept at covering up your tracks. Might not get as many assassins after him, but could end up in fights where a "High Reputation" character does not. How does Reputation affect the game, on low's and high's? Is Mid-Reputation important? Does a Low Profile open up more possibility for more suburb Quests, thieves guild or whatnot, but locks out from some High Profile quests? Vice versa. Hugs, have a great day
  23. Hey all, i was just thinking about one of my BG2 playthroughs where i punched some woman for claiming her child was mines (silly i know but i was role playing a nasty bastard) and suddenly the entire Temple District wanted me dead even though nobody saw it, not to mention that i'd saved them all from that dodgy beholder dude. I really hope this all or nothing mechanic is removed or better managed, i would like to be able to brawl with annoying people (with the exception of neb / neeber who ironically i spared lol) without locking game areas off, i would also like to commit crimes unnoticed and not recieve reputation drops, but i suppose the main question is how would people like the crime and punishment system to be treated in PE? I think it would be fantastic if they implement different punishments for different towns or factions, for example for getting caught stealing in one place you have to pay a fine and return goods, in another town/civilisation/race/faction however they insist you must serve a prison sentence etc.. Infact expanding upon this, it would be interesting if there were different laws entirely for different places, they've already stated that the worship of certain dietys is outlawed in different areas, so what happens with your priest/preistess of whomever refuses to remove their insignia? Could make for some interesting character dialogue options aswel. I'm hoping that crime will be linked to reputation which will be unique for each faction, meaning you can be a criminal in the eyes of some but a hero in the eyes of others. Finally, i always thought it was a really neat feature in Arcanum where if u slaughtered a town/village you were labeled as the "butcher of stillwater" or something, regardless of your good deeds that label never dissapeared, no matter how many kittens you save afterwards.
  24. Ok so I have been thinking about this a long time. I wanted to wait to post for a number of reasons, some to do with wanting the board to dilute down to only the serious forum visitors, others because I wanted to wait until it was all fleshed out and maybe some other threads had touched on things. So what is the post/topic about exactly? Namely Character Creation, more specifically how many games do it wrong. Secondly it is about Alignment, how many games do it wrong, why it matters and should be in game, how to do it right, how it relates to character creation, and lastly how it should effect npc interactions in a fairly simple way. Lastly it is about "romance" but more specifically NPC relationships in general. Before you proceed I am warning you now. This post.... it will be long. First before I go into anything we need to touch on the idea of "Comeliness". Specifically the idea of a statistical number representing how attractive your character is. For a number of reasons I think this is important to good RPG's of all types and should exist in P:E. No it should not be a simple "stat" derived from your other character statistics. You might wonder "Kark why does this matter and why the heck are you mentioning it at all?" For a couple reasons. First, I don't know about you, but in the real world it is my experience that appearance not only forms a large portion of a persons first impression but it can also be deceiving. For believable and immersive NPC interactions you need to make certain inroads to allow for a partially realistic approach. Part of that is making NPC's react based on things that make sense and are logical. Example: How many times have you been wandering through the woods, follow a road, and get ambushed by some bandits who demand a toll be paid? Isn't it kinda silly that they don't bother noticing you are armed to the teeth? You have dude wearing archmage robes with a staff pulsing with power behind you but they don't care? It takes you out of the game because there are no rules to account for your appearance. "But Kark WAIT! Wouldn't simply having them do a level check count too?" Well yeah.... but I did say appearances can be deceiving right? Who is to say your current mode of dress or appearance is an accurate representation of your power? Forton looks like a psycho crack head but I bet he could beat the crap out of an average bandit. Here comes Zaotaichi the Blind Masseuse who kills people like it is going out of style. By looks he is just some blind dude with a cane in shabby clothing. Sure he could kill you easy, but he doesn't "look" like he could. So we can agree appearance is important to NPC interaction. Whether you are trying to woo the Baroness into the bedroom, intimidate a thug, smooth talk your way to discounted good from a merchant, or inspire a group of town guards with a speech as the goblins attack appearance can have an effect on this. A large part of that is "Comeliness". After all the Baroness is not going to get it on with someone who looks like they took a hoof to the face then got chewed on afterwards. Likewise though is the veteran town guard sergeant going to relate to a pretty boy Adonis as well as he would a guy who looks like he could be found at the pub? So this isn't a one way street. Beauty is after all in the eyes of the beholder. So this is important to relationships with NPCS for a number of reasons because it can help form an initial reaction as well as a guidepost for certain entry requirements for relationships if they are in game. Of course gear and such can also have an effect on this. You can hate the games all you want but titles like Saint's Row and Fable for example are actually pretty good at this and serve as great examples of how gear should effect NPC reactions. So you need two "measures" for appearance. 1: Comeliness. 2: Gear or clothing. Combine them and you have a general idea of what your character looks like and how people will react at first glance. This is nice because it also gives a valid excuse for those who like the idea of "town clothes". So clothing is pretty obvious. How do you get a "Comeliness" score if it isn't just a stat (which it shouldn't be)? Thus we enter..... Character Creation. Blank slate characters SUCK. Don't get me wrong, I love the new Fallout games like New Vegas. I put over 200 hours in Skyrim. For me though they are not "blank slate" games because regardless of whether the game realizes it or works with it or not I create my own backstory for these characters. Just like I did in Icewind Dale, just like I do in Baldur's Gate with the caveat that Imoen is my friend "maybe" and Gorion raised me. How do you avoid the blank slate but still leave the character up to the player. Well you take a dash of Mount and Blade, a pinch of Ultima, a sprinkle of sweet roll crumbs Morrowind, a peppering of the old 16 bit original Ogre Battle game, melt it all down, and pour it all over a cake made from the character creator options in Dragon Age Origins. Meaning... You do more than just say "Yhat sex are you? What race? What's your Class? What are your skills/special powers? GO!" You start with the basic stuff like male or female and what race. Then you pick your class. Heck let's even roll our stats now. Then you get to the part that matters. What subrace are you? Meaning are you a Elf from those woods to the east? Or are you one of those Elves who live in that swamp to the north? Make a social class be chosen, what did you do for fun as a kid, so when you got older did you take up a job or go to some school, ever have a important someone, yada yada yada. You ask a specific series of questions that pin down (in general) where you grew up, what your status was socially, why that was your status (did you get solid into slavery or was your parents a merchant etc), how were you raised, what did you choose to do when you became a adult, and so on. This gives a general framework for your character. NPC's can now make comments about your accent, you can be given flavor text about how you visited a place once, basically the game has a set of general info that it can use to more immerse you in the game while allowing you to have actual control of who and what you want to be. You could (but don't have to) even use this to determine what sort of starting scenario your character plays out ala Dragon Age Origins just better. Depending on how far you want to take it these answers could even effect your stats in slight ways or your options come actual character customization. Third we go into the morality spiel. Maybe you aren't the Avatar and I am not a Gypsy in some wagon but this is important anyway. Once we get to the point where "you are an adult and you found yourself at X point" part of the questionnaire we redirect and put the player in a scenario based on previous answers. Now you get the morality questions that range through different topics and scenarios. Straight forward right? Lastly we finally get to actually customize our character maybe with facial models, body type, hair style, skin, eye, and hair color, yada yada. Whats neat is the options you have right now are based on your race, your sex, and the choices you made leading to this point. You might get stuck with a scar on your right eye no matter what because of how you answered the questions. So on so forth. In the end we are done and the character is created. Why did it have to be that complex, well I am glad you asked, because it diluted down into what I call the "Big 4". They are.... 1: Comeliness: Little did you know while customizing your character look in the background you are being assigned a score on how attractive you are based on the options you chose. Go figure that a ratty afro is not as sexy as long flowing full hair like Fabio. 2: Style: Simply put how intimidating/crude you appear versus how stylish and debonaire you are. That scar on your right eye may not actually make you uglier, but it certainly makes you look a lot scarier and brutish. So a guy with a low score is Sarevok on a bad day while a high scorer is James Bond. 3: Perception: This is primarily scored by the first half of the questions you got asked. It is in a nutshell how society in general sees your character. Are you a law abiding member of the upper social graces or a dirty roguish thug with no respect for authority? This is broken into two sub categories. Society and Morality. Society being the Law versus Chaos dichotomy and Morality being plain old good versus evil. 4: Alignment: Guess what this is? It is exactly the same as Perception, except instead of it being what society "thinks" of you it is the cold hard reality of your character. Society may have looked at you as a lawless scum of low morals for stealing food from the castle kitchens, but in reality you did it to feed your starving friend who would have died to illness without food. So while you might not respect laws, it is not to the degree society likely thinks, and while society considers theft evil, you did it for a moral reason. Get where I am going with this? The most important thing is that all four of these "stats" are 100% hidden. You simply don't see them or know they are being created. Thus character creation is about making the character you want, while giving the game the tools to understand and work around that character in an immersive way. Why do you need two separate "alignment" stats? Because one is what people will think of you the first time you meet, when coupled with appearance you get a base starter "reaction score". IE: How much does this character like me? As you interact with that character the "Perception" score is slowly over time changed by the "Alignment" score. They no longer base their opinion on what they "hear" it is now based on what they "saw". Lastly, and probably the most important, these things tie into important NPC interactions in a key way. Like I said, why would the Baroness hop in bed with a ugly dude? This can effect everything from what NPC's will refuse to join you as companions, to who will be romance-able (sorry Jaheira and Viconia now have different preferences instead of just wanting to get with you cause you are the main character and a dude), how major story npcs will relate to you (turns out the leader of the thieves guild was a better friend than the King), and it may even effect the story itself in some ways. The whole point is it allows for "blank slate" design in that you can be any character you want, while also creating a system that allows the game itself to react to that character in a reasonable and believable way. End result is NPC's that feel more real, a character that is unique to the player, and a story and world that you care more about. Will this make it into PE? Probably not. Will you write in exactly detail how you could do all this? I don't have all week so probably not again though I could go into some detail if I had to. I am posting this because I want to share my thoughts on these issues and how they can be addressed and done right, that's all. Feel free to share thoughts and or flame as you feel needed.
  25. One of the things that kind of bothered me about Baldur's Gate was the automatic deduction of reputation once you'd done something bad. Most of the time it was fine but say if you killed a lone commoner asleep in the top floor of their house, you'd lose 5 reputation or something. I hope that in Project Eternity, when you're doing something that might upset another faction, that it's not an instant deduction from your reputation but rather there's a reason for it. This is a quote from the recent Wasteland 2 update I am hoping that in a situation like this, that your reputation would only be affected if the local resident saw you and made it back to town to speak of the tale. There are other ways around this though (magic, investigation) etc etc that could be used to explain away the reason for automatic reputation deduction, but it would be cool if you had the opportunity to exercise your ability to get away with stuff as well.
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