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Josh:"The Watcher don't have particular reason to fight Eothas."

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Press 5 to conveniently ignore everything else that happens in the game


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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All your examples are of movies. Can you name any video games where the hero's participation doesn't matter?

None, including of course this one where the hero's participation matters in a ton of ways

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The epilogue is a story the game tells you about what impact your choices had on the setting after the story. Here are the specific things it mentions:

 

What Eothas does

Which faction controls Ukaizo

What happens to Port Maje

What happens to Neketaka

What happens to the Children of the Dawnstars

What happens to Tikawara

What happens to Crookspur

What happens to the Splintered Reef

What happens to Eder

What happens to Xoti

What happens to Aloth

What happens to Serafen

What happens to Pallegina

What happens to Maia

What happens to Tekehu

 

All of these are determined by actions you take in the game. So if you think the player has no agency, an opinion which is outright contradicted by the facts, it might be worthwhile to examine exactly what is making you think that.

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Also, as much as i hate the fact that your influence on Eothas' final decision rests on a single conversation choice with no connection to the rest of the game, it's still fact that you, the player, gets to influence Eothas' final gift to kith directly before he goes on and destroys the wheel. Hell, you can have him destroy all life in said choice. It's not exactly well-developed plot-connected agency, but it's definitely a big choice you get to make directly.

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So if you think the player has no agency, an opinion which is outright contradicted by the facts, it might be worthwhile to examine exactly what is making you think that.

This is a function of people confusing gratification with agency. The former is apparently what the medium exists to provide and must be heaped upon the player at every possible opportunity, regardless of all other considerations. It’s not enough that we get to kill every god in the next game, I need to a video game to make me feel powerful and important *right now*

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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You have no idea what are you talking about.

 

I mean, the newest DLC allows you to fight god's incarnation in his own realm, make a cloak out of his furry ass and when he still spares your sorry life call him a "jerk".

 

It's not like gods have still any dignity or mystery left about them, so killing them wouldn't even provide any gratification for players I'd say. They're all a caricature by this point.

Hell, you can have him destroy all life in said choice. It's not exactly well-developed plot-connected agency, but it's definitely a big choice you get to make directly.

Which will be retconned in PoE3.

 

This choice, by the way, is the best example of how not to give player choices. "You can destroy the world!... at the end of the game using dialogue node followed by a picture".

 

The epilogue is a story the game tells you about what impact your choices had

Ending slides have nothing to do with the actual game. You can write as many as you want even for almost a linear game. They are the laziest way to add consequences to player's actions and became a crutch for designers - here, we added some slides, so your actions mattered (a-la ME3 ending).

Edited by Shadenuat
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All your examples are of movies. Can you name any video games where the hero's participation doesn't matter?

You help decide who controls the Deadfire and power balance with the Gods. That's not exactly not mattering.

Edited by Verde
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Ending slides have nothing to do with the actual game. You can write as many as you want even for almost a linear game. They are the laziest way to add consequences to player's actions and became a crutch for designers - here, we added some slides, so your actions mattered (a-la ME3 ending).

Sure, but the only other ways I can think of to give the player agency are choices in stats, skills, equipment, dialogue, quest outcomes and party member relationships, all of which Deadfire has. So I'm not sure what you mean when you say the game "removes player agency".
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It's not like gods have still any dignity or mystery left about them, so killing them wouldn't even provide any gratification for players I'd say. They're all a caricature by this point.

Caricatures or no is beside the point. So far, every person who has complained about “agency” or “choice” seems to be really upset that they didn’t get to stop Eothas. They ignore the fact that the plot of the game was never to stop Eothas and dismiss the argument that “not stopping Eothas” is probably necessary for what appears to be coming in part 3. Therefore, it’s pretty easy to deduce that the concern isn’t really about agency or choice, but rather how upset they are they their ego wasn’t sufficiently stroked by the game.
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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I'm not sure what you mean when you say the game "removes player agency".

Game can't remove anything, but decision to make main narrative about pointless errand which player has no control over did.

 

it’s pretty easy to deduce that the concern isn’t really about agency or choice, but rather how upset they are they their ego wasn’t sufficiently stroked by the game.

People don't experience stories to have their "egos" "stroked".

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Hell, you can have him destroy all life in said choice. It's not exactly well-developed plot-connected agency, but it's definitely a big choice you get to make directly.

Which will be retconned in PoE3.

 

This choice, by the way, is the best example of how not to give player choices. "You can destroy the world!... at the end of the game using dialogue node followed by a picture".

 

The epilogue is a story the game tells you about what impact your choices had

Ending slides have nothing to do with the actual game. You can write as many as you want even for almost a linear game. They are the laziest way to add consequences to player's actions and became a crutch for designers - here, we added some slides, so your actions mattered (a-la ME3 ending).

1) While i get your meaning, I don't see how a choice as overblown as "destroy the world" could go without ending the game's timeline then and there, nor why any player would believe he can import that choice in a future installment. It'd be like continuing a PoE1 game where you died at the end of The White March, or importing an ME2 save in which Shepard died: technically possible with some tweaks, but a slap in the face of all C&C. That isn't a retcon, just a case where your in-game choices led to a timeline the designers logically can't take into account for a sequel, since it makes a sequel impossible. It's also why I don't like that people could import an unfinished white march playthrough, as they should by all accounts be dead, though I understand why Obsidian made it possible.

 

I don't like that they retconned certain choices from PoE1, but I can see why they'd be hard to implement in an originally unplanned sequel. But considering they're likely planning a third game considering how things are set up in Deadfire, I'm loathe to see what'll be retconned to make it work, as e.g. the Berath ending leaves a very different world compared to the other ones. It's a general problem with story-design in a save-importing game series: either you give your players as much freedom as possible and retcon the inconvenient choices between games, or you restrain your players a bit for the sake of a cleanly evolving world. Neither is fulfilling for a plot-crazy guy like me, but I definitely prefer the first.

 

2) Almost all isometric RPG's, going back to the epilogue texts given at the end of the holy grail called Baldur's Gate 2, make use of some sort of ending compilation to provide the players with some information on what happened after their journey. I agree that it's sometimes abused as a replacement for visible in-game consequences to your actions, but it's preferable to just ending it after the final battle/cutscene/choice without any conclusion for your companions or the locales you made an impact on. Have to see some sort of reactivity to how you chose to end things, right?

 

As for ME3, I'm not saying that ME3's contrived ending slides make up for the ridiculous ending in any way, but it's vastly preferred over the original "choose your RGB colour" lightshow ending.

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it’s pretty easy to deduce that the concern isn’t really about agency or choice, but rather how upset they are they their ego wasn’t sufficiently stroked by the game.

People don't experience stories to have their "egos" "stroked".

 

It's actually way worse than that: some people TELL stories to stroke their ego. :blink:

 

Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

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Ending slides have nothing to do with the actual game. You can write as many as you want even for almost a linear game. They are the laziest way to add consequences to player's actions and became a crutch for designers - here, we added some slides, so your actions mattered (a-la ME3 ending).

 

Taevyr already covered this, but the ending slides to show the consequences thing is a classic feature in this kind of RPG.  It seems weird to complain about it at this point.

 

I personally really like the epilogue slides.  It gives the developers more freedom to say what changes occurred and lets you know what happened when the adventure was over.

 

Additionally, there are some in-game consequences that occur.  The most obvious that I can think of are the possible riots in Neketaka.  It's not a huge part of the game, but it's definitely there.

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it’s pretty easy to deduce that the concern isn’t really about agency or choice, but rather how upset they are they their ego wasn’t sufficiently stroked by the game.

People don't experience stories to have their "egos" "stroked".

 

It's actually way worse than that: some people TELL stories to stroke their ego. :blink:

 

Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

 

Great post


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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it’s pretty easy to deduce that the concern isn’t really about agency or choice, but rather how upset they are they their ego wasn’t sufficiently stroked by the game.

People don't experience stories to have their "egos" "stroked".

 

It's pretty obvious that some people play video games for precisely that reason.

 

But I'm sure you and I would agree that these aren't the "experiencing stories" type.

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

It has nothing to do with "egos". You have a very strange idea about people's psychology. Flashing lights, exploding stars and other pachinko-level experiences are not comparable to following a storyline about giant statue. That's a different problem and it lies within realm of immersion and if story is good to explore it's themes correctly or not. If the idea is not to confront the antagonist but to have a revelation from the story, then story didn't do the revelation part correctly. Josh himself arrived to this point at the end of his own post: "maybe I set up story to be told in a poor manner", and is completely correct.

 

 

 Taevyr already covered this, but the ending slides to show the consequences thing is a classic feature in this kind of RPG

And it's getting exploited.

 

What's the actual good thing about choice? The ability to live through consequences of that choice. Not to just read about them later.

 

PS:T for example didn't have any slides, just a single cutscene. Instead of slides you got very long talks with each and every companion who would tell you what they would do after. So slides are not 100% necessary.

Edited by Shadenuat

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Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

It has nothing to do with "egos". You have a very strange idea about people's psychology. Flashing lights, exploding stars and other pachinko-level experiences are not comparable to following a storyline about giant statue. That's a different problem and it lies within realm of immersion and if story is good to explore it's themes correctly or not. If the idea is not to confront the antagonist but to have a revelation from the story, then story didn't do the revelation part correctly. Josh himself arrived to this point at the end of his own post: "maybe I set up story to be told in a poor manner", and is completely correct.

 

It has everything to do with gratification which has something to do with ego.

 

Obsidian has acknowledged that they dropped the ball on explaining the pre-Engwithan Wheel vs the post-Engwithan Wheel, but that's one component of the story and is not at all necessary for understanding the theme. It also has nothing to do with people inventing expectations that they were going to fight Eothas at some point.


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I'm going to bail out of this conversation soon, but:

 

What exactly did you want from this game?  Do you have a problem with Eothas deciding to do his own thing despite how you feel, or the fact that you couldn't conjure up something to force him to stop, or do you just not like the way it was executed?  

 

---

 

 

Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

It has nothing to do with "egos". You have a very strange idea about people's psychology. Flashing lights, exploding stars and other pachinko-level experiences are not comparable to following a storyline about giant statue. That's a different problem and it lies within realm of immersion and if story is good to explore it's themes correctly or not. If the idea is not to confront the antagonist but to have a revelation from the story, then story didn't do the revelation part correctly. Josh himself arrived to this point at the end of his own post: "maybe I set up story to be told in a poor manner", and is completely correct.

 

 

 Taevyr already covered this, but the ending slides to show the consequences thing is a classic feature in this kind of RPG

And it's getting exploited.

 

What's the actual good thing about choice? The ability to live through consequences of that choice. Not to just read about them later.

 

PS:T for example didn't have any slides, just a single cutscene. Instead of slides you got very long talks with each and every companion who would tell you what they would do after. So slides are not 100% necessary.

 

 

While I don't like the way people have put it, the underlying concept is accurate.  Not everyone plays to just have their "ego stroked," but that's absolutely an element, especially in parts of the RPG community.  I am guilty of enjoying it to an extent if I'm being honest with myself, but there's a point where it becomes too much (e.g. when everyone dotes on you and is romantically interested in you and praises you and listens to every word you say). 

 

All RPG's provide this to some extent.  BioWare games are especially guilty of playing to this desire, and I noticed that they played more to that element when they started stripping out the rest of their mechanics and features.

 

--

 

I think it's fair to say it can be exploited.  I'm not sure if I agree with you or not about it being exploited here, I'd have to play the game again and keep a more critical eye on it.

 

That said, I'm a little disappointed that you truncated the rest of my comment and didn't respond to it.  As I mentioned before, the story does respond in-game to the choices you make.  I actually thought it handled it all really well at the time I was playing.

 

Additionally, I unfortunately lost my save for PS:T and never finished it (I got to the weird angel, then lost it, so frustrating), but I don't recall there being a lot of direct consequences in-game.  And if I understand what you're saying right, your companions just say what they would do when this was over, they didn't change what they were doing in the game.  That's just a different way of doing the ending slides, man.  You can argue about which one is the better way to do it, but it has the same function.

Edited by Tick
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Yeah, plenty of people play games for instant gratification, as visible in 90% of all mobile games. In which case, they should stop playing OBS games before they ruin it for everyone. For those people, it's not about experiencing a story, it's about having a story constantly affirm and congratulate you for being such a great and important part of it. Which is bloody awful.

It has nothing to do with "egos". You have a very strange idea about people's psychology. Flashing lights, exploding stars and other pachinko-level experiences are not comparable to following a storyline about giant statue. That's a different problem and it lies within realm of immersion and if story is good to explore it's themes correctly or not. If the idea is not to confront the antagonist but to have a revelation from the story, then story didn't do the revelation part correctly. Josh himself arrived to this point at the end of his own post: "maybe I set up story to be told in a poor manner", and is completely correct.

 

 

 

What I said wasn't meant to be a criticism of people who think the main story in Deadfire's lacking, and I agree that it fails to connect with the PC and is rather disconnected from the rest of the game overall, especially considering the quality of the faction dynamics and quests. It was mainly aimed towards people who actually think it's reasonable for us to go and fight a god whose been sucking out souls left and right with not so much as a snap of his fingers, or who think the gods should listen to the watcher as if he were a fellow god rather than a convenient errand boy "who should just do as he's told".

 

There's no reason for either to happen, nor is it ever presented as a reasonable possibility in the story. Berath actually remarks on the fact that you may be the only one able to convince Eothas, showing that it's a pretty big deal for someone to potentially influence a god. The other gods don't have that connection to you nor do they particularly care about you beyond a potential deal involving Thaos' souls: even that was just a fair deal. It may make them more amenable, but doesn't give them any reason to give leeway concerning their programmed beliefs and purview.

Edited by Taevyr
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It was mainly aimed towards people who actually think it's reasonable for us to go and fight a god whose been sucking out souls left and right

There was already a precedent of fighting a god, so even that is not unreasonable. There probably were even a few, i.e White March.

 

But the reason some people want to see Eothas go down is not because they didn't kill enough gods in JRPGs. What it actually is is a push against one-dimensional main narrative where players don't feel any connection to what is happening and lack any freedom to do anything.

 

That said, I'm a little disappointed that you truncated the rest of my comment and didn't respond to it.  As I mentioned before, the story does respond in-game to the choices you make.

They are irrelevant to main story.

 

Plus, the faction play is fairly weak. Many players did not feel much connection to them. It's not New Vegas where players were dead set on saving BoS because it represented something special for them, for example, and where whole story indeed was about faction you support.

 

While I don't like the way people have put it, the underlying concept is accurate.  Not everyone plays to just have their "ego stroked," but that's absolutely an element, especially in parts of the RPG community.

Thats what i hate about videogames, they're all about that male fahhntasy

Edited by Shadenuat

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There is no precedent of fighting and defeating a god. It turns out if you have an asteroid you can mash one up, or if you have a big bomb one might let you blow him up with it if it serves his purposes to do so.

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If gods can't stop each other from re-making established world order by possesing random titans and all the power levels are off/unknown it's even worse for the setting.

 

Also, the already incoming retcons just prove that the premise was too big to handle to begin with.

Edited by Shadenuat

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