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"Meaningful evil"

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Well... you could pose the question of "is sombody that can eat planets really evil if they are just trying to survive?"

 

Mainly because if you look at it, killing somthing to survive is considered a "good" act. But Nihilus is considered evil because he's eating planets to survive. I think that Evil is generally an act WITH THE INTENT TO HARM or Cause harm. while most of the time this is potrayed as a nutjob with sadistic tendancies, you could find sombody like Dr. Manhattan (of watchmen) who is calculating and willing to wait (what is it with instant gratification?)


Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Well... you could pose the question of "is sombody that can eat planets really evil if they are just trying to survive?"

 

Mainly because if you look at it, killing somthing to survive is considered a "good" act.

Not quite: survival of the fittest (implicit: of non-aware intelligences) is regarded as amoral.


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Even when KOTOR's designers attempted to cast some doubt on whether the council's decision to abstain from conflict was wise, they couldn't really get around the fact that none of the jedi devoted to pacifism ended up as sith.

 

But in K2 they questioned wether ot not he did so to serve a greater purpose and not just his own.. so while Revan was not the altruistic and lawful Jedi he "should be", the game theorized on wether or not the end justifies the means.. because would it not be a greater evil to follow your principles only to weaken yourself and others when an even greater threat is coming.

But the counterpoint provided was that even though Revan empowered himself and succeeded in repelling the Mandalorians, in doing so he became the greater threat, and did more damage to the Republic and the jedi than perhaps the Mandalorians could. He protected the Republic but because of the corrupting influence of war or the Star Forge or both, he no longer valued the Republic and turned against it.

 

Same thing happens with Anakin, although it's a less compelling implementation. He loves Amidala, and seeks sith power to protect her, but when he starts after that power he loses his perspective and eventually forgets her. Standard "power corrupts" stuff.

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well, I do agree that Palpatine is the quintessential Chaotic Evil character...warm, charming, cunning, etc and that is the model that I think should be followed in the KOTOR games.

 

it hasn't happened yet: K1 had a *Lawful Evil* antagonist named Malak and K2's villains were either anomolies (i.e. Nihilus) or confused philosophers (Kreia) who really didn't like the Dark Side.

 

the Palps model hasn't been overdone in these games so I certainly would like to see that in future titles.

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A trade guild trying to exert its influence through trade would be great too!

 

oh, I'm all about having joinable factions and not just ones about the Force.

 

of course, they had the Exchange in K1 and K2 and that served as an important plot device

(that is how we come in contact with G0TO)

.

 

but, perhaps they could have developed it further....instead of having to take down the Exchange everywhere, having the option to work for them (and I guess this goes right along with having a "proper dark side path") and to advance the story that way, would have been interesting (though I would, personally, would not use that approach very often).

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    If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world ... Just as a stream flows smoothly on as long as it encounters no obstruction, so the nature of man and animal is such that we never really notice or become conscious of what is agreeable to our will; if we are to notice something, our will has to have been thwarted, has to have experienced a shock of some kind. On the other hand, all that opposes, frustrates and resists our will, that is to say all that is unpleasant and painful, impresses itself upon us instantly, directly and with great clarity. Just as we are not conscious of the healthiness of our whole body but only of the little place where the shoe pinches, so we think not of the totality of our successful activities, but of some insignificant trifle or other which continues to vex us. On this fact is founded what I have often before drawn attention to: the negativity of well-being and happiness, in antithesis to the positivity of pain.

 

    I therefore no of no greater absurdity than that absurdity which characterizes almost all metaphysical systems: that of explaining evil as something negative. For evil is precisely that which which is positive, that which makes itself palpable; and good, on the other hand, i.e. all happiness and all gratification, is that which is negative, the mere abolition of a desire and extinction of a pain.

 

    This is also consistent with the fact that, as a rule, we find pleasure much less pleasurable, pain much more painful than we expected.

 

    A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten.


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I've got this cool idea of an organisation whose (good?) purpose is taking a proactive stance to "encourage" "directed evolution". Their point of view is beings with special or positive traits show themselves better when they're the only ones left surviving after a catastrophe (say the germs resistant to antibiotics) than ones being crowded out when everybody's thriving or doing okay.

 

On the plus side the bosses would have cool abilities that'd make interesting fights.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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    If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world ... Just as a stream flows smoothly on as long as it encounters no obstruction, so the nature of man and animal is such that we never really notice or become conscious of what is agreeable to our will; if we are to notice something, our will has to have been thwarted, has to have experienced a shock of some kind. On the other hand, all that opposes, frustrates and resists our will, that is to say all that is unpleasant and painful, impresses itself upon us instantly, directly and with great clarity. Just as we are not conscious of the healthiness of our whole body but only of the little place where the shoe pinches, so we think not of the totality of our successful activities, but of some insignificant trifle or other which continues to vex us. On this fact is founded what I have often before drawn attention to: the negativity of well-being and happiness, in antithesis to the positivity of pain.

 

    I therefore no of no greater absurdity than that absurdity which characterizes almost all metaphysical systems: that of explaining evil as something negative. For evil is precisely that which which is positive, that which makes itself palpable; and good, on the other hand, i.e. all happiness and all gratification, is that which is negative, the mere abolition of a desire and extinction of a pain.

 

    This is also consistent with the fact that, as a rule, we find pleasure much less pleasurable, pain much more painful than we expected.

 

    A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten.

 

He seems to have not enjoyed much in life or to have wished for more and been disappointed. :huh:

 

Too bad. :blink:

 

I have experienced memorable moments admiring girls, flowers, bees, birds, dogs, cats, trees and such. I remember the pleasure and experience it again in the memory. I may have wished for less and been pleased. :joy:

Edited by Colrom

As dark is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good.

If you would destroy evil, do good.

 

Evil cannot be perfected. Thank God.

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From a game point of view I suppose it makes sense to portray those places which are most influenced by good NPCs as ordered, beautiful, and safe. It is a challenge for a game maker to make beauty a pleasure for players who are probably looking for challenge. Perhaps a different kind of challenge. Riddles? (Some folks hate riddles.) Level ups. (Most folks like that.) Nice rewards. (Greedy bastards arn't we?!) :huh:

 

On the other hand the places which are most influenced by bad NPCs might be disordered, ugly, and dangerous. No rewards. No level ups. Things are taken away. Greedy bastards might even get angry! :bat:

 

Lead them to the dark side! :blink:

Edited by Colrom

As dark is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good.

If you would destroy evil, do good.

 

Evil cannot be perfected. Thank God.

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    If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world ... Just as a stream flows smoothly on as long as it encounters no obstruction, so the nature of man and animal is such that we never really notice or become conscious of what is agreeable to our will; if we are to notice something, our will has to have been thwarted, has to have experienced a shock of some kind. On the other hand, all that opposes, frustrates and resists our will, that is to say all that is unpleasant and painful, impresses itself upon us instantly, directly and with great clarity. Just as we are not conscious of the healthiness of our whole body but only of the little place where the shoe pinches, so we think not of the totality of our successful activities, but of some insignificant trifle or other which continues to vex us. On this fact is founded what I have often before drawn attention to: the negativity of well-being and happiness, in antithesis to the positivity of pain.

 

    I therefore no of no greater absurdity than that absurdity which characterizes almost all metaphysical systems: that of explaining evil as something negative. For evil is precisely that which which is positive, that which makes itself palpable; and good, on the other hand, i.e. all happiness and all gratification, is that which is negative, the mere abolition of a desire and extinction of a pain.

 

    This is also consistent with the fact that, as a rule, we find pleasure much less pleasurable, pain much more painful than we expected.

 

    A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten.

He seems to have not enjoyed much in life or to have wished for more and been disappointed. :huh:

 

Too bad. :bat:

 

I have experienced memorable moments admiring girls, flowers, bees, birds, dogs, cats, trees and such. I remember the pleasure and experience it again in the memory. I may have wished for less and been pleased. :joy:

I think you're missing his point. :blink:

 

From a game point of view I suppose it makes sense to portray those places which are most influenced by good NPCs as ordered, beautiful, and safe. It is a challenge for a game maker to make beauty a pleasure for players who are probably looking for challenge. Perhaps a different kind of challenge. Riddles? (Some folks hate riddles.)  Level ups. (Most folks like that.) Nice rewards. (Greedy bastards arn't we?!)  :aiee:

 

On the other hand the places which are most influenced by bad NPCs might be disordered, ugly, and dangerous. No rewards. No level ups. Things are taken away. Greedy bastards might even get angry!  :bat:

 

Lead them to the dark side!  :huh:

That's not a bad idea, actually, to have negative consequences (besides "dark" alignment points). Characters could lose abilities, traits and even experience (or gain penalties; same thing).


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For me, I just grow tired of Evil being stupid in games.

 

You can kick the cat/dog only so many times before it becomes silly.

 

A good example of evils Id like to see is in Jade Empire actually (the concept anyways). Your master is evil but he manipulates (even if it was easy to predict) you to do his bidding by making you think your doing good.

 

A evil character doesnt need to call everyone names and insult them, doesnt need to steal from the poor to be evil.

 

Look how Palpatine got Anakin to turn to the dark side, it wasnt by insulting him, it was by tempting him and manipulating him.

 

Evils that think are so much more interesting then borish bullies. It takes not thought at all to be a bully, it takes alot of thought to turn someone thats good to your way of thinking through manipulation.

 

KotOR2 actually did a great job with this in some aspects on how you effected your party members. Through your actions you brought them to your way of thinking but it was through the subtle actions, not the outright no mind evil actions.

 

A great example of this was on Nar Shaddar where you could tell those guys to jump over the edge killing themselves. Handmaiden objected greatly to this but if you set them up to be killed by saving the pesent she was fine with that. Thats a really basic example but it shows the difference in thought process.

 

Thats always been my biggest problem with KotOR1, it was so one dimensional in its good and evil.

 

Evil doesnt need to be stupid, you can still save the weaker person to attain a greater objective, you dont have to insult them and kick them as they already down.

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Why assign (read: force) a motive to a compliment?

 

More modular development can be had if a game just took statements like "you look good" to a NPC at face-value. Whether such a statement works for good or for ill should depend on the player's later actions.

 

This is why having the game try to "adapt" to a player's mindset or "offer" good/evil points for non-commital actions are bad ideas. If I compliment a NPC, I might be doing it for a number of reasons - whether I genuinely mean it or is simply being a nefarious sycophant has no bearing on the game world or the NPC's reaction, and should not thus factor into the gameplay. The NPC should, based on my past actions and speeches, react the same in either case, unless he or she can read minds (in which case the situation *is* far more complicated).

 

In other words, dialogue should represent *actions*, not *intents*. As such, the ideal case would be for every possible action to be represented at every stage of the game, so as to maximize the number of possible "intents" being represented. Naturally, this isn't possible given limited development times. That's part of what makes game development an art - deciding which options to give, given that you can't give them all.

Edited by Azarkon

There are doors

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That's a good point.

 

But, sometimes a person (i.e. the PC in a game) will have a nefarious intent and this may or may not be detectable / detected by the NPC(s) in the scenario. Sometimes, too, a false negative should occur, where the NPC thinks the PC is lying when they aren't.

 

The system that they have outlined over at Afterfall seems a pretty good basis:

The personal opinion of the NPC concerning the player

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It's certainly a thorny issue for the reasons you've mentioned, but that's what makes game development difficult. The tradeoff, as I see it, is between making preset "intended" paths (and if they were preset, you might as well make them transparent - ie with indicators like [corrupt]), and modularity, which allows for a greater degree of freedom in what the player can interpret.

 

Still, while on a theoretical level there are definitely issues, things are, in my experience, somewhat easier at the implementation level. There are times when it's obvious that a choice is non-commital. Take the compliment, for example - perhaps the player *is* trying to seduce the NPC as opposed to simply praising her. But if so, is it realy necessary that you make the fact that you have/don't have such a path transparent to the player? What is lost if, later in the game, there isn't an option to seduce the NPC? Well, obviously the player has just wasted an opportunity to insult the NPC, but even if so, the inherent weakness does not lie in your presentation's lack of clarity, but rather in your game's lack of options. If you had put [this will make the NPC like you better and is not meant to induce a scenario of corruption later down the line], you might have saved the player some ambiguity, but it would not have solved the inherent problem (ie that you did not have an option for seducing the NPC), and would've made modularity more difficult (since you'd now have to commit yourself, with each dialogue option, to some preset path that you must reveal to the player beforehand - hence the transparency of "good, evil, neutral" paths that people now take for granted in Bio games).

 

It's not unacceptable, in my mind, for the player to be wrong at interpreting the result of their actions. After all, the same happens in real life - things do not always go as planned.

 

Btw, Afterfall looks intriguing, but what are the Fallout community's impression of the game?


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After watching several episodes of Beast Wars on youtube, I realize the truth of meaningful evil.

 

Never do anything Starscream or Terrasaur would do. Tarantulas is okay, though.

Edited by Tale

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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Someone should try a campaign where they're obviously the bad guys and have fun doing it. Something like Dungeon Keeper, now that had style.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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You know, when I pick my alignment, I think a game should take me at my word. I'm tired of having to pick out the one line of alignment-appropriate dialogue. It's not fun, and it's not "roleplaying." It's just massive suck.

 

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> OH ALL RIGHT!

"You've changed your alignment! Yay! You are now Evil Good.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

 

Give me choices that are relevant for someone of my stated alignment, or just give me a damn cutscene.

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You know, when I pick my alignment, I think a game should take me at my word. I'm tired of having to pick out the one line of alignment-appropriate dialogue. It's not fun, and it's not "roleplaying." It's just massive suck.

 

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> OH ALL RIGHT!

"You've changed your alignment! Yay! You are now Evil Good.

"Do you want to change your alignment?"

> no.

 

Give me choices that are relevant for someone of my stated alignment, or just give me a damn cutscene.

My contention with this thinking is that roleplaying, is not simply taking a character idea and then reacting formulaicly. That's shallow, the best characters all have the opportunity to change based on their experiences. There's not a single reason in the world why a character has to remain good or evil throughout a game.

 

One thing that I'm trying for my module is I'm taking away the flaws of language. Most developers give you choices of what specifically to say. It's very limited and prone to miscommunication. I'm going to give the player's the option of actions, not words. Instead of giving the option to say "what's in it for me" which the developer can either use as a prodding for reward OR ultimatum, I would give the player the option to "extort" or "inquire into reward."

 

Definitely not as interesting an approach, but I see it as more appropriate.

Edited by Tale

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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I do think that having alignment be a moving target is a good thing (I believe Fallout was the first major cRPG to feature this).

However, for those who are not interested in that on the current playthrough, there should always be an obvious, non-committal, "safe"

answer that does not involve a shift of any kind. And, of course, Chaotic options.

 

It just needs to be more 3-dimensional.

 

 

With regard to joinables, I never again was to see so much fuss about changing the alignment of a joinable. Party management is how

you deal with incompatible joinables, IMO. As I've said before, I like having some joinables that are absolutely essential for storytelling

reasons, but they should not all be that way. I like being able to release a joinable once they reveal their "clue". Even if you release the person,

the person could still reappear in the game for story reasons.

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one of the problems with how evil is done now is that you CAN'T manipulate the player. Usually if you attempt to manipulate the player into doing evil acts after the first success he realizes that he's evil because:

 

Darkside Points gained/Alignment evil +1

 

Also one would think that haviang people react to you being Evil on the street would be interesting (like having merchants visibly tremble when you try to purchase somthing.


Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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one of the problems with how evil is done now is that you CAN'T manipulate the player. Usually if you attempt to manipulate the player into doing evil acts after the first success he realizes that he's evil because:

 

Darkside Points gained/Alignment evil +1

 

Also one would think that haviang people react to you being Evil on the street would be interesting (like having merchants visibly tremble when you try to purchase somthing.

 

I agree. Having the alignment visible to the player can lead to unwanted meta gaming. It would be better if the alignment considerations were completely hidden from the player.

 

You might even be able to have a situation where the player thinks their character is "good" but the game mechanics has the character as "evil" - presumably a liar/thief/murderer.

 

Of course the player can never know otherwise they might get pissed.


As dark is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good.

If you would destroy evil, do good.

 

Evil cannot be perfected. Thank God.

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one of the problems with how evil is done now is that you CAN'T manipulate the player.

Not with that attitude.

 

But, you really can. A long string of events, playing off ridiculous overused scenarios that so many players demand. Convincing an evil character to turn good, only to realize after all is said and done, he's still slaughtering villagers. And oops, upon this revelation, every Paladin in your party is kicked out of the order.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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My contention with this thinking is that roleplaying, is not simply taking a character idea and then reacting formulaicly. That's shallow, the best characters all have the opportunity to change based on their experiences. There's not a single reason in the world why a character has to remain good or evil throughout a game.

 

The proper way to handle an alignment change is to give the player the option of opening the character sheet, clicking on the character's alignment, and selecting "new alignment" from a menu. The point of an alignment is that it's a statement from the player about how he or she plans to play the character. This is an opportunity to tailor the game around the players experience. Instead, it gets treated as a scorecard in a pointless minigame, or worse, as an excuse for lots of irrelevant nonsense.

 

For example: a beggar stops you in the street and asks for a coin. You have the choice of (a) giving the beggar a coin [good], (b) saying "no," [neutral] or © kicking the beggar in the face [evil]. Your choice does not matter in the slightest, so why is it even there? to let you "roleplay?"

 

The answer is that it's there to let you feel like you have a choice without giving you one. You're not fooled, of course, because it's a meaningless interaction, and you'll never see the beggar again. But your character has theoretically become "more good" or "more evil" and you're supposed to be satisfied with that.

 

Suppose, instead, that a game (a) never changes your alignment for you, (b) gives you options based on your stated alignment, and © makes sure your interactions are meaningful.

 

Well, we can get rid of the beggar encounter. There's only one response per possible alignment and it was irrelevant anyway, except to make good people poorer. Instead, let's look at the character's alignment. Hm. Chaotic evil.

 

Well, that says he prizes himself rather more highly than he prizes other people, and he's not one to get stuffy about laws being broken. Let's say he's walking past an alley and he overhears some thieves busy discussing a planned job.

 

He could (a) keep walking, (b) offer to join the thieves for a small cut of the loot, © offer to lead the thieves for a big cut of the loot, or (d) rob the thieves -- what are they going to do, call the guards?

 

For Mr. Lawful Good Paladin, on the other hand, nothing happens. He can walk back and forth in front of the alley all day -- it's empty for him. He really has only one choice -- demand the thieves surrender, then kill them when they don't -- and so it's not meaningful. Instead, he gets to defend the innocent man being marched off to the gallows, over by the city hall.

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