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My Gripe on Influence

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For LS especially it's difficult to pry that stuff out of Kreia because you can drop your influence with her pretty low before you get a chance to boost it again.

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First, the NPCs dont change their personality reguardless of were they stand on the force aligment.

That is true. Unfortunately, that alone renders the influence system worthless. I mean, what's the point of redeeming Atton when he's still happy to gun down every man and his dog?

 

 

Second, the NPC influcence the player and not the way around.

That is not true. It's only that way if you are willing to sacrifice your roleplaying in order to gain influence, which is a rather lame thing to do in a role-playing game. :)

 

 

The fact is this is a GAME first and foremost. It is meant to ENTERTAIN.

 

I and many others are intelligent people and use our brains all day long.

 

I am willing to think, but to be honest, somethings, like the current Influence system, have a lot to be desired due to its mostly "hidden" nature and this points more to a failure in implementation/execution than players just not being "smart enough to get it".

I have the impression that instead of role-playing you have been doing something else. You don't need to think about the system. Just play and the system will do the rest.

 

If you are playing an evil character, you should be evil towards everyone, including your beloved NPCs. There is a point in the influence system in which if you have lost enough influence with somebody, the influence checks will begin to succeed. I believe this is a way of implying you have broken that particular NPC's will.

Granted, it's not the best way to do it, but at least it allows for development of those NPCs whose alignment is opposed to the PC's.

 

This however can lead to paradoxes such as NPCs becoming dark Jedi who are close to attaining LS mastery, but that's a completely different story.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I have the impression that instead of role-playing you have been doing something else. You don't need to think about the system. Just play and the system will do the rest.

 

Please do not presume to know what I am doing as a justification for this flawed system.

 

The main flaw is this system works at cross-purposes a lot of the time.

 

The best example of this is if you are a LS player and have to take a lot of DS hits to get Kriea to open up a bit. And this is essential since she carries most of the narrative backstory that you need to put the pieces together aside from the "Scion Bad, Jedi Good" that you are left with without her influence.

 

I don't see any other way to do it. And that IS roleplaying if I want to be a goodey-two-shoes LS player and don't want to take any DS hits.

 

It is almost as if this game IS more for DS players from a design perspective if you really do want to know the "whole" story and I think this aspect is also another paradox in that the whole point of RPG is to supposedly choose your own path and in the KOTOR games, which allignment you wish to be more alligned with.

 

See the paradox?

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IMHO, the Influence system as it stands now is worlds better and more interesting than the "I'll tell you my life story only if you're high level" of KOTOR.

 

That doesn't mean there's no room for improvement, but being able to interact with your party NPCs in that manner - make them like you or dislike you based on conversation options, rather than just hitting a 'wall' where you can't talk about anything more with them ever if you happen to say something rude one time. No, you can't gain maximum influence with everyone at once, and that is by design - you do have to pick and choose who you'll like, because of your diverse party. That is all roleplaying: making choices based on your character and having to deal with the consequences of those choices. Having all your NPCs tell you stuff and give you items based entirely on your level isn't really roleplaying, insofar as there isn't any choice to be made. You can be rude and cut off any and all dialog with that character forever, or you can be nice and play to their end of their predefined story.

 

The main story of the game isn't actually explained all that much by the party NPCs, Kreia being an exception. Rather, it is explained by the Jedi Masters and other NPCs. However, the main story felt a lot weaker to me than KOTOR's, while the party interaction was consistently interesting and well-written; that being the case, I can see it would be pretty easy to mistake the one for the other.

 

But I think that if you treat the Influence system IC and only make friends with those your character would make friends with it works pretty well. Only if you try to metagame and max everyone's influence do you start hitting problems, because the system isn't (and shouldn't be) designed for that.

 

That said - the Influence system could definitely stand some improvement, particularly when it comes to alignment shifts. In that respect I feel Obsidian just ran out of time, as there were some cases where alignment shifts did make a difference, and some of the cut endings involve NPC alignment playing a role.

 

But calling the system borked and useless is completely unwarranted - again, IMHO of course.


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Please do not presume to know what I am doing as a justification for this flawed system.

I am not presuming, you said yourself that the influence system required thought due to some "hidden" nature. If you were roleplaying, you wouldn't need to "think" about the influence system. It's that simple.

And I am not justifying the influence system. I have said so many times before, the system is broken, but not as much as you claim.

 

 

The best example of this is if you are a LS player and have to take a lot of DS hits to get Kriea to open up a bit.

This is false. In my first playthrough I played a neutral character for most of the game, and I had no problems gaining influence with Kreia. And by neutral I don't mean "sometimes a Saint, sometimes a psycho". Besides, the info bits you get from Kreia that are actually relevant to the story have low influence requirements. It's all the stuff about Revan that requires you to be close to her.

Besides, it looks like you have conveniently ignored my point about high and low influences having actually the same effect.

 

 

It is almost as if this game IS more for DS players from a design perspective if you really do want to know the "whole" story and I think this aspect is also another paradox in that the whole point of RPG is to supposedly choose your own path and in the KOTOR games, which allignment you wish to be more alligned with.

 

See the paradox?

There is no such paradox. Both alignments can piece the story together unless they make an effort to avoid talking with NPCs.

 

I'm beginning to wonder what is it you seek here. You disapprove of the story, and you disapprove of the system that rules the PC-NPC relations. Those two points alone are probably the most important aspects of the game. It sounds to me like you don't like the game as a whole. Nothing wrong with that, of course; everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I think you should move on and stop dwelling in experiences you haven't enjoyed. Perhaps you haven't realized yet, but you can't change other people's tastes through posting.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Yeah don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the influence system but as it is right now, it's only eye candy.

 

When it effects the actual behavoir of your party then it will be much more rewarding.

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Zaalbar vs. Mission anybody?

 

Ahhh... to have that power at any moment... It would totally screw the game, so how about at a critical point, base on influence. All those that don't have that much with you get the great honor of being killed by their friends and companions.


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"Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"

-Obi-wan to Anakin (NOT advocating Grey-Jedidom)

 

"The Force doesn't control people, Kreia controls people."

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For LS especially it's difficult to pry that stuff out of Kreia because you can drop your influence with her pretty low before you get a chance to boost it again.

 

Thats an error a lot of people make. Influence works high or low but it wont work in the middle. If you keep losing influence with Kreia she will eventually realise that she cannot "shape" you and will tell you her story anyway.

 

It's not like any of this is a big secret it tells you during the loading screen hints.

 

That said my first LS used to view talking to Kreia like a trip to the heads office. She just has this way of making you doubt yourself and feel like a small child.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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But I think that if you treat the Influence system IC and only make friends with those your character would make friends with it works pretty well.  Only if you try to metagame and max everyone's influence do you start hitting problems, because the system isn't (and shouldn't be) designed for that.

 

 

Worked for me. Each character got a slightly different view of the world depending on who they buddied up with. I'll tell you the real suprise though was Hanhar, that guy is both twisted and remarkably deep in a low int high wis kind of way.

 

I never ever ever want to go back to Biowares gain a level be spoonfed some story approach again.


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

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Zaalbar vs. Mission anybody?

 

EXACTLY! That was un-freaken believable. To be honest, anyone who suggest KOTOR 2 has as much content as KOTOR 1 didn't really play KOTOR 1 to it's fullest.

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However, I think you should move on and stop dwelling in experiences you haven't enjoyed. Perhaps you haven't realized yet, but you can't change other people's tastes through posting.

 

"Thank you" for telling me what I can and can't do, Master.

 

If I didn't like the game that much I would stop posting.

 

The problem is I can see the huge potential this game had IF it was given more development time and some of the things... Like perhaps the Influence system... Were refined more and players given more options (or perhaps the player given more options to use within the influence system itself).

 

Your posts (in a lot of other threads) have this attitude that all of use "newbies" are irritating you since we don't have the "wisdom" of someone who is apparently smarter than all of us since you like the game and are obviously playing it "the correct" way and that we should all just shut up if we don't like it.

 

Guess what? That comes off as fanboy talk and it isn't very appealing... Not that you probably care. I mean, this is the internet and all, right?

 

In fact, I think I've been pretty civil toward you and others on this board a lot more than some of the treatment I recieved on the thread I started about the story if you really want to get down to it.

 

Just something to think about if you want people to judge the OE fans on some of the attitudes I've seen around here lately, regardless of what I post or not.

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The main story of the game isn't actually explained all that much by the party NPCs, Kreia being an exception.  Rather, it is explained by the Jedi Masters and other NPCs.  However, the main story felt a lot weaker to me than KOTOR's, while the party interaction was consistently interesting and well-written; that being the case, I can see it would be pretty easy to mistake the one for the other.

 

The thing is, it's obviously difficult to know that the information the NPCs have isn't all that important when you haven't heard it, and when the main plotline ends up with an unresolved feeling. It sets up the illusion that you're missing something important. It wouldn't have felt like that in KotOR 1, where you pretty much get everything completely settled.

 

And being able to turn the companions into Jedi is a pretty powerful incentive to metagame; in retrospect, that might not have been the best way to handle the Jedi training.

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"Thank you" for telling me what I can and can't do, Master.

Anytime. ;)

 

 

If I didn't like the game that much I would stop posting.

 

The problem is I can see the huge potential this game had IF it was given more development time and some of the things... Like perhaps the Influence system... Were refined more and players given more options (or perhaps the player given more options to use within the influence system itself).

So? Dealing with "ifs" isn't going to change what the game is. So far, I haven't seen any of your posts that actually hint that you might have liked any aspect of the game. Obviously the game could have been much better if... But as you can see, the former statement can be applied to almost any game you can think of. It's cool and all that you are fond of what the game could have been, but it seems you don't really like what the game is.

 

 

Your posts (in a lot of other threads) have this attitude that all of use "newbies" are irritating you since we don't have the "wisdom" of someone who is apparently smarter than all of us since you like the game and are obviously playing it "the correct" way and that we should all just shut up if we don't like it.

Yep. I'm condescending, pompous, and from time to time, trollish. So what? It's not like anyone is pointing a gun at your head to reply or even read my posts. My attitude is my own and it's not your place to tell me how to behave. I'm not even going to describe yours, because this could quickly degenerate into a flame war and I'm not in the mood for one, right now.

 

And as for the "correct" way to play the game, well, there really isn't such a thing. But this is a role-playing game, not a social relationship simulator. If instead of roleplaying you do something else and the game isn't so good, don't complain. It's as if you cheat and then you complain because it spoiled your fun. Metagaming and cheating aren't really all that different. I try to play the game as the devs intented it was played first, and then fool around, metagame, and cheat.

 

 

In fact, I think I've been pretty civil toward you and others on this board a lot more than some of the treatment I recieved on the thread I started about the story if you really want to get down to it.

So, you want to make this personal? Sorry pal, but I didn't flame you on that thread. Getting all defensive on me now isn't going to work. If you can't deal with other people's comments, you're going to be in for a tough ride around here. So grow up and deal with it.

 

 

Just something to think about if you want people to judge the OE fans on some of the attitudes I've seen around here lately, regardless of what I post or not.

You obviously haven't been to many other boards. I can tell not only from that comment but from the way you react to comments. You see, every board has its share of trolls. Add that to the fact that these are the forums of a games developer, and you have to take into account all the AOL kiddies that can't even spell the name of the town they live in right.

But at any rate, that's what we've got here, whether you like it or not. If you like it and want to stay, be my guest. But if you don't, the white cross against a red background in the top right corner of your browser might be what you've been looking for. ;)


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Infulence was both a gift and a curse.

 

It was somewhat realistic. But annoying because you couldn't get any stories out of anybody if you had low infulence.


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Yes but if you lost a certain amount of influence with someone, new dialogue options appear. Influence works both ways.

(w00t)

 

Somebody has actually been paying attention! I'm flabbergasted.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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"Thank you" for telling me what I can and can't do, Master.

Anytime. :ermm:

 

 

If I didn't like the game that much I would stop posting.

 

The problem is I can see the huge potential this game had IF it was given more development time and some of the things... Like perhaps the Influence system... Were refined more and players given more options (or perhaps the player given more options to use within the influence system itself).

So? Dealing with "ifs" isn't going to change what the game is. So far, I haven't seen any of your posts that actually hint that you might have liked any aspect of the game. Obviously the game could have been much better if... But as you can see, the former statement can be applied to almost any game you can think of. It's cool and all that you are fond of what the game could have been, but it seems you don't really like what the game is.

 

 

Your posts (in a lot of other threads) have this attitude that all of use "newbies" are irritating you since we don't have the "wisdom" of someone who is apparently smarter than all of us since you like the game and are obviously playing it "the correct" way and that we should all just shut up if we don't like it.

Yep. I'm condescending, pompous, and from time to time, trollish. So what? It's not like anyone is pointing a gun at your head to reply or even read my posts. My attitude is my own and it's not your place to tell me how to behave. I'm not even going to describe yours, because this could quickly degenerate into a flame war and I'm not in the mood for one, right now.

 

And as for the "correct" way to play the game, well, there really isn't such a thing. But this is a role-playing game, not a social relationship simulator. If instead of roleplaying you do something else and the game isn't so good, don't complain. It's as if you cheat and then you complain because it spoiled your fun. Metagaming and cheating aren't really all that different. I try to play the game as the devs intented it was played first, and then fool around, metagame, and cheat.

 

 

In fact, I think I've been pretty civil toward you and others on this board a lot more than some of the treatment I recieved on the thread I started about the story if you really want to get down to it.

So, you want to make this personal? Sorry pal, but I didn't flame you on that thread. Getting all defensive on me now isn't going to work. If you can't deal with other people's comments, you're going to be in for a tough ride around here. So grow up and deal with it.

 

 

Just something to think about if you want people to judge the OE fans on some of the attitudes I've seen around here lately, regardless of what I post or not.

You obviously haven't been to many other boards. I can tell not only from that comment but from the way you react to comments. You see, every board has its share of trolls. Add that to the fact that these are the forums of a games developer, and you have to take into account all the AOL kiddies that can't even spell the name of the town they live in right.

But at any rate, that's what we've got here, whether you like it or not. If you like it and want to stay, be my guest. But if you don't, the white cross against a red background in the top right corner of your browser might be what you've been looking for. o:)

Ahh..feel the love. :devil:


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Yes but if you lost a certain amount of influence with someone, new dialogue options appear. Influence works both ways.

 

:devil:

 

Why oh why does no one read the between area loading screens. Makes you wonder dosnt it ?


I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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Are the extra dialogue options that appear when you lose influence the same as when you gain? Will it allow a DS character to fully repair T3 by being mean all the time to get that +1 wisdom boost and experience rewards?

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IMHO, the Influence system as it stands now is worlds better and more interesting than the "I'll tell you my life story only if you're high level" of KOTOR.

*snip*

 

I totally agree and I agree with rest of posters as well as rest of your post: there


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Yes but if you lost a certain amount of influence with someone, new dialogue options appear. Influence works both ways.

 

Read that in the Harbinger and loading screens, but on my first play never got ANY dialogue:succes when being a Influence:Lost improver (DS against those LS'ers).

As this game isn't supposed to be to understand the system after 2 or 3 plays (doesn't seem to be), why is it?

Never gotten a single member Jedi too. After reading on this boards from the X-Boxxers how the influence system works I could get ALL Jedi-able members turn Jedi in one game, gain Max influence with al DS-ers (when being LS master) which I couldn't reach as DS'er. (And all that without Influence guide)

 

And why can I gain Influence:Succes options with GO-TO and HK-47 with LS mastery, but being a DS master they refuse (Influence:Failure)???

Doesn't make sense.

 

And Krei? Both LS and DS I get Influence lost warnings and not a single bit of info. Why? Because I am TOO DS (or LS)? (That's something she has to say, little :thumbsup: )

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Evil characters should loose influence with the good ones .. and good characters should loose influence with the bad ones ..

I can't say I agree. Evil characters should be adept liars and masters of deception, unless they happen to fall into the all too familiar 'dumb evil' archetype that runs rampant in far too many games. As such, working the system to gain the trust of NPCs is less powergaming than it is fully immersing yourself in the role of an intelligently evil PC... at least that's how I justify it to myself :)

 

I want my evil PC to be intelligent enough to feign righteousness and compassion while under the scrutiny of lightside companions to gain their trust (there's never enough [lie] dialogue options for darksiders, in my opinion), then get to work currupting the good natures of those companions once they're wrapped around my little finger.

 

Darkside and deception would seem to go hand in hand, and a well fleshed out influence system should allow a darkside character to remain firmly entrenched in their darkside mastery, all the while playing lightside NPCs for the easily manipulated saps that they are. A lightside PC, however, should have a much more difficult time doing this with darkside NPCs, since lies and deception aren't nearly so closely tied to the path of light as they are to the dark. Lightsiders should have to go the pansy redemption route instead.

 

Hopefully, the influence system in KotOR 3 (assuming it gets made) is more dynamic in this regard, and allows for more subtlety in influence manipulation.

 

 

I agree 100%. It seems that charisma and persuasion play no role in the influence system to me. There should be a way for DS players to tell LS characters exactly what they want to hear but not mean a word of it, and they believe you, if you have high enough charisma and persuasion skill. If your char/persuade is too low, then they should see through your lie. But the option ought to be there.

 

It also seems to me that there's too many events that SHOULD give you DS points, but don't. I could list a few off, but I'm afraid they could be spoilers, so I'll refrain.

 

Conversations seem to give you DS/LS points when it's not so clear cut that you said anything a Sith / Jedi might say.

 

I don't like the way the influence system makes you feel compelled to gain influence. It goes against natural thinking to believe that a low influence grants the same results as high influence. It's not realistic and it's difficult to comprehend how they arrived at that conclusion.

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