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PatrioticChief

Why do all the factions require me to be evil?

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily. And this shouldn't be interpreted as a negative post on its face. But it just seems odd. Anyone have some theories for why the game was written this way? 

Edited by PatrioticChief

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you don't have to side with a faction to finish the game. i just fully outfitted my ship and went all by my loathsome self (well, just me and my crew at any rate).

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Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish, I wish he'd go away... -Hughes Mearns

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you don't have to side with a faction to finish the game. i just fully outfitted my ship and went all by my loathsome self (well, just me and my crew at any rate).

 

This is a good point. 

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily. And this shouldn't be interpreted as a negative post on its face. But it just seems odd. Anyone have some theories for why the game was written this way? 

 

Like Casper said, you don't have to pick a side.

 

However ...  some thoughts.

 

1. The Principi:  Yep, they're pirates.  They're not nice people, and yet some of them are willing to help the downtrodden.  However, others are slavers.  They're basically a loose crime syndicate.  They will thrive as long as there's chaos in the Deadfire.

 

2. The Rauatians (Royal Deadfire Company):  They're expansionists, colonizers, and perhaps conquerors.  But they don't really seem to be fascists looking to  kill all the locals.  They seem to believe that they can bring order to the Deadfire and make things better for people (at least "better" as they see it).  Of course, to do that means that they have to conquer it from its current rulers.  So it's far from bloodless.

 

3. The Valians:  They seem like exploiters.  They don't  seem particularly interested in conquering the Deadfire so much as stripping it of whatever they can find that's valuable, and then moving on.  There certainly seem to be honorable Valians (Pallegina being an example), but they're tied to a nation with less than honorable goals, or at least less than honorable means of achieving those goals.

 

4. The Huana:  They're the locals who are traditionalists.  Actually, that's about the extent of what I know about them.  Oh, they don't want to be taken over or exploited or raided.  But beyond that, I'm not really sure what they want yet.  I probably haven't talked to enough Huana to get a firm grasp on what they want.

 

I think that the message in the game is that none of the goals of these factions can be achieved without getting your hands dirty.  Heck, it seems that even if you don't side with any faction, you're still getting your hands fairly dirty, given that one of the Watcher's main jobs is being a bounty hunter and that's far from a bloodless task.  Of course, one assumes that all of these bounties are for people who probably do belong on a "needs killing" list.  OTOH, I'd imagine that the Rauatians don't exactly see one of their  captains as deserving of being on someone ELSE's list (for example), though I must admit that I often try to avoid having Maia in the active party when I accept and carry out a bounty on a Rauatian, or Pallegina and a bounty on a Valian.

 

I guess that there is no path for a white knight.  You are forced to decide which faction you (or your role-played Watcher) find least objectionable, and how much blood you want on your hands.   I will say that perhaps it is a shame that there's no white knight path through the game, since how do you role play a Watcher who truly is meant to be a white knight in an environment where every faction has blood on their hands?  I guess that picking no faction is the best option left for the white knights.

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Each of factions have its goals and ideals. You can agree with them, or not. I wouldn’t call allying with them “evil” as they generally have some greater good in mind. You might not be comfortable with their line of thinking and that’s fine. New Vegas had similar ideals which Republic and House being deeply flawed, however they went overboard with Legion. Killing legion was usually a good thing.

 

As mentioned above, you don’t have to go all the way with each faction. If they ask for something you don’t like, do it your way. Of what they ask you for is too much, then go solo.


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I do think the premise of the post is flawed because it ignores the solo path. Honestly since every one of them is willing to do something terrible, you could probably morally justify all of the actions to an extent. Is it bad to murder a queen in her palace while your allies massacre civilians as a distraction? Sure but the Queen is also fine with massacring innocents and framing the trading company. 

 

Still, Huana is probably the least immoral option even if it does involve doing something very immoral. It's their lands and everyone else are essentially invaders biding their time before they conquer the region in function if not in name. The Queen's action can at least be justified as a measure of self defense. The Pirates are probably the second best. They actually only require you to kill an evil slaver and undead monster but their victory arguably causes the most suffering in terms of the epilogue. Deadfire is a pretty miserable place if they win. So you're basically weighing the morality of your individual actions versus the consequences of those actions. I don't have to really do anything bad but as a result a lot of bad things happen to other people. 

Edited by PatrioticChief
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You can always kill the leaders of each faction and sail to Ukaizo alone.

 

As for why it's written that way, I think they were going for a "no one is fully good/evil, just shades of grey" - GRRM style, probably 'cause they felt it would be more realistic/believable that way. Whether or not it worked depends on the player. That being said, I have seen quite a few posts (elsewhere) questioning why pirates are the least "evil" faction, so there might be something to it.

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I sided with the Huana and no one left. As for being evil, I don't think it forces you to be evil. I mean, you are killing people all the time anyway and a lot are prolly innocent or victims of circumstance. It's not like you sit every dude down and ask for their side of the story. I think the point is to give the character the sense that although they are super duper important they don't actually have any power and if they want to do this thing, which arguably isn't that much, they have to pick someone to help them and there are no good choices. There are just a bunch of people following their own selfish goals who are unwilling to make compromises, and you will have to make a choice or not bother with any of them while realising whatever you do will have repercussions. I also don't think pirates are "worse" than others, they are just more honest and don't pretend to be helping when actually they want to colonise your country to nab the adra, grow stuff for back home and replace your culture with theirs which they consider superior.

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'mLike Casper said, you don't have to pick a side.

 

 2. The Rauatians (Royal Deadfire Company):  They're expansionists, colonizers, and perhaps conquerors.  But they don't really seem to be fascists looking to  kill all the locals.  They seem to believe that they can bring order to the Deadfire and make things better for people (at least "better" as they see it).  Of course, to do that means that they have to conquer it from its current rulers.  So it's far from bloodless.

 

The DFC don't look to kill people, outside of blatant assassination of people they think might be any sort of problem for them. And privateering for them. Outside of that though ... :D

 

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You don’t even need to outfit your ship, you can just steal the ghost ship from pirates and sail by yourself. It doesnt require you to join them.


Emissary Tar: At last, someone who looks like they could be of some assistance! The assorted boobs and dimwits around here have been of very little help.
 
Charname: I’m afraid you have mistaken us for someone else. I’m Dimwit, this is my good friend Boob, and behind me you’ll find Brainless and Moron. How do you do? 
 

 

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Still, Huana is probably the least immoral option even if it does involve doing something very immoral. It's their lands and everyone else are essentially invaders 

 

 Yes, but the Huana have a permanent underclass who are required to give everything they produce to their leaders and are lucky if they get any crumbs leftover and are treated badly in other ways. The Roparu seem to do better under the Rauatai than under their own rulers so it isn't a clear moral good to side with the Huana.

 

 It's a little bit like Alexander the Great. Part of the reason he was able to hold on to so much territory is that he often was an improvement over the previous regime who tended to chop off body parts etc.

 

 As to the point of the OP, I think that issue is the good part. If you take the story seriously, you have a difficult choice to make. If there was a clear obvious good choice and a clear obvious bad choice you would just take whichever one matches your character sheet.  

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If there was a clear obvious good choice and a clear obvious bad choice you would just take whichever one matches your character sheet.

I don't understand why so many people think this is a bad thing. Isn't this a roleplaying game? Aren't we supposed to be making choices that match our character sheets? Why take the ability to make that choice away?

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If there was a clear obvious good choice and a clear obvious bad choice you would just take whichever one matches your character sheet.

I don't understand why so many people think this is a bad thing. Isn't this a roleplaying game? Aren't we supposed to be making choices that match our character sheets? Why take the ability to make that choice away?

 

 

 Yes, but the roles aren't pure saint and pure psychopath and the factions aren't either. Real world choices are nuanced and and most of us aren't saints or psychopaths; the game is trying to reflect that. You still make the choice that you find consistent with the character you are playing.

 

 Having a pure good outcome and pure evil outcome isn't a choice; if you're playing good you pick good and if you're playing evil you pick evil (or you can mix things up and play a character who will fall to evil/redeem yourself) - not much thinking involved. That isn't necessarily a bad thing but the angst people have been posting about this indicates that they really are taking the decisions seriously and thinking about them. 

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You still make the choice that you find consistent with the character you are playing.

 

Not if the choice isn't available. If you're playing a pure good (or evil) character and the game devs have decided to remove pure good or evil choices for the sake of "thinking" or reflecting "real world choices," then you've just been screwed over.  The choice you made to play that character is no longer a vaild one in that game. Either you have to change your concept or quit. I'm on the side of more choices for roleplaying in roleplaying games, not less.

 

 

Having a pure good outcome and pure evil outcome isn't a choice; if you're playing good you pick good and if you're playing evil you pick evil (or you can mix things up and play a character who will fall to evil/redeem yourself) - not much thinking involved.

 

It's absolutely a choice. Just because you think it's easy doesn't make it invalid, or any less fun to play. If you want to play a morally grey character and choose between morally gray options, that's fine; I'm not going to go around advocating that such choices be taken away. And if I want to play a morally black or white character and have appropriate choices available, I'd appreciate the same accommodation.

Edited by Tarlonniel
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You still make the choice that you find consistent with the character you are playing.

 

Not if the choice isn't available. If you're playing a pure good (or evil) character and the game devs have decided to remove pure good or evil choices for the sake of "thinking" or reflecting "real world choices," then you've just been screwed over.  The choice you made to play that character is no longer a vaild one in that game. Either you have to change your concept or quit. I'm on the side of more choices for roleplaying in roleplaying games, not less.

 

 

Having a pure good outcome and pure evil outcome isn't a choice; if you're playing good you pick good and if you're playing evil you pick evil (or you can mix things up and play a character who will fall to evil/redeem yourself) - not much thinking involved.

 

It's absolutely a choice. Just because you think it's easy doesn't make it invalid, or any less fun to play. If you want to play a morally grey character and choose between morally gray options, that's fine; I'm not going to go around advocating that such choices be taken away. And if I want to play a morally black or white character and have appropriate choices available, I'd appreciate the same accommodation.

 

 

Well I could make the argument that if a morally pure option was present, the morally gray becomes necessarily darker as a result. But I agree with your point. It's basically impossible to be a white knight in this game. I don't think that is some terrible thing by any means. But it is clear limitation the other game did not possess. It was hard but you were able to get pretty damn close to a white knight ending if you chose wisely. 

Edited by PatrioticChief

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It was hard but you were able to get pretty damn close to a white knight ending if you chose wisely.

And that's fine. I like working hard for my happy endings. If that's how devs want to compensate for the apparently braindead nature of the choice, go for it.

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It was hard but you were able to get pretty damn close to a white knight ending if you chose wisely.

And that's fine. I like working hard for my happy endings. If that's how devs want to compensate for the apparently braindead nature of the choice, go for it.

 

 

That wasn't a complaint. I agree the best endings should generally come from a second play through, unless you just get super lucky on your first try. Gives you something to aim for. 

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I struggled with picking a faction because of the quest to declare your allegiance. It felt a bit too underhanded for my character to ever agree with? If you have difficulty from a roleplaying perspective, one thing that works is that the Rauatai leader will attack you if you object to her assassination plans.

 

You still have to kill her, but you no longer need to be the one to make the first strike.

 

Once that happens you can then side with the Huana or the Vailians, and they no longer require an act to prove loyalty. 

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You still make the choice that you find consistent with the character you are playing.

 

Not if the choice isn't available. If you're playing a pure good (or evil) character and the game devs have decided to remove pure good or evil choices for the sake of "thinking" or reflecting "real world choices," then you've just been screwed over.  The choice you made to play that character is no longer a vaild one in that game. Either you have to change your concept or quit. I'm on the side of more choices for roleplaying in roleplaying games, not less.

 

 

 Fair enough. What I mean to say is that you make the (difficult) choice that is as close as you can get to the preferences of the character you are playing.

 

 

 

 

It's absolutely a choice. 

 

 

 Again, I didn't explain my point well. I meant it effectively isn't a choice because in a good playthrough you wouldn't consider doing anything else. 

As PatrioticChief pointed out, any other choice would be suboptimal in that case - that is what meant to say when I said that it wasn't a choice. 

 

 There is certainly an argument to be made that choices in the real world are hard enough and that in game choices should be easy. That would be games as escapism. There is nothing wrong with that but it clearly isn't what Obsidian was going for. Not everyone will like it. I like it because these are difficult choices that we can all agonize over and argue about in the forums. YMMV 

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I meant it effectively isn't a choice because in a good playthrough you wouldn't consider doing anything else.

 

Of course not. You make the choices appropriate for your character, whether your character is good, bad or anything in between. And if you want to explore different choices the next time, you make a different character. It's all about the player deciding how to play. Put in "difficult" choices for those who want them and "easy" choices for folks who want those. Is it really any skin off the writers' noses if I think their moral quandaries are silly and just want to get on with smiting evil?

Edited by Tarlonniel

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily. And this shouldn't be interpreted as a negative post on its face. But it just seems odd. Anyone have some theories for why the game was written this way? 

 

Well, the game is about brutal power politics.  Not generally a topic very conducive to being a nice dude.

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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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I find them fascinating for this very reason, the way the factions operate and try to undermine each other are extremely realistic. How do the Huana fight off foreign invaders without getting their hands dirty? How are the RDC meant to improve conditions in the Deadfire if they don't remove the Huana leaders in their way?

 

They force you to consider what the Watcher wants for the Deadfire and how far they're willing to go to achieve that. If your Watcher draws the line at assassinations or slavery or even lying then that's a valid choice, but that choice needs to have a cost. You're giving up a greater good for the sake of your morals. It's really no different from what you do to House in New Vegas, yet somehow everyone seems to be okay with that.

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily. And this shouldn't be interpreted as a negative post on its face. But it just seems odd. Anyone have some theories for why the game was written this way? 

 

they are  selfish or more accurately they're looking after their own interests (at the cost of others). It's more like our real world if you think about it. but just like others have said you don't have to join a faction to finish the game.

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I don't want a game that requires me to be a good two shoes. I like having the option to dirty the water. But I can't help but feel no matter what path I choose I have to be evil. In fact the faction that on it's face is the most evil, pirates who live for booty (in all it's forms), actually require me to be the least evil of all the factions. It's also the only faction that allows you to keep all of your companions.

 

I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily. And this shouldn't be interpreted as a negative post on its face. But it just seems odd. Anyone have some theories for why the game was written this way? 

 

4. The Huana:  They're the locals who are traditionalists.  Actually, that's about the extent of what I know about them.  Oh, they don't want to be taken over or exploited or raided.  But beyond that, I'm not really sure what they want yet.  I probably haven't talked to enough Huana to get a firm grasp on what they want.

 

The Huana don't know what they want. That's part of the problem; they're not *nearly* as unified as the front that they give off to outsiders. The RDC, the VTC, and the Principi tend to treat the Huana as a single whole, but in reality it's a thousand different tribes with their own cultures, traditions, and governments--not all of whom agree with each other. If they get conquered or exploited, it will be due in part to their inability to truly unite into a single nation.

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I meant it effectively isn't a choice because in a good playthrough you wouldn't consider doing anything else.

 

Of course not. You make the choices appropriate for your character, whether your character is good, bad or anything in between. And if you want to explore different choices the next time, you make a different character. It's all about the player deciding how to play. Put in "difficult" choices for those who want them and "easy" choices for folks who want those. Is it really any skin off the writers' noses if I think their moral quandaries are silly and just want to get on with smiting evil?

 

 

 Well, it's ok with me if you want to smite evil (in fact, I encourage it), but the writers had an idea of the story they wanted to tell. You're certainly free to criticize their choice.

 

 Just to bring this home, how would you change the game so that it worked the way you want - add two more factions? 

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