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Ok. First off, Alpha Protocol looks like an amazing game. Although I wanted to confirm something about the diagloue of the game. In Game Informer, the article on Alpha Protocol described how the player can make dialogue choices during certain sequences of the game. I think I remember reading that instead of clicking on sentences that you would like to say, you would change Michael's facial expressions during the conversations, instigating him to say something related to the mood you choose to express. I haven't heard anything about it since, so is that still going to be the method used while talking to someone? If so, that would be cool, but would there be an option to display the text you will choose to say before you say it?

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Ok. First off, Alpha Protocol looks like an amazing game. Although I wanted to confirm something about the diagloue of the game. In Game Informer, the article on Alpha Protocol described how the player can make dialogue choices during certain sequences of the game. I think I remember reading that instead of clicking on sentences that you would like to say, you would change Michael's facial expressions during the conversations, instigating him to say something related to the mood you choose to express. I haven't heard anything about it since, so is that still going to be the method used while talking to someone? If so, that would be cool, but would there be an option to display the text you will choose to say before you say it?

I have been watching the making of this game. It looks very interesting. It would be nice if we knew who the voices are, besides the dialog. Wonder if they chose them yet? :thumbsup:

I love the night, so peaceful and calm.

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Ok. First off, Alpha Protocol looks like an amazing game. Although I wanted to confirm something about the diagloue of the game. In Game Informer, the article on Alpha Protocol described how the player can make dialogue choices during certain sequences of the game. I think I remember reading that instead of clicking on sentences that you would like to say, you would change Michael's facial expressions during the conversations, instigating him to say something related to the mood you choose to express. I haven't heard anything about it since, so is that still going to be the method used while talking to someone? If so, that would be cool, but would there be an option to display the text you will choose to say before you say it?

Uh, I think you're misremembering on the facial expression thing. You do however pick an "expression" or "stance" or "way of speaking" or "political ideology" and the various conversation options (other than "**** you, i'm a dragon") are tied to one of three political ideologies, but they also include a short word or phrase that reveals the gist of it.

 

So you would pick, say, the "jerk" political ideology, and your character would act like a jerk. Then you could change to the "cool dude" political ideology, and your character would act like a cool dude. And then you could change to the "aspergers" political ideology, and your character would act like a self-diagnosed aspergers sufferer.

 

But, on the other hand, you might be deciding what to say piece by piece, so you pick the option which says "lie," which might by a "jerk" option, then the one that says "come clean" which is a "cool dude," option.

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In Game Informer, the article on Alpha Protocol described how the player can make dialogue choices during certain sequences of the game. I think I remember reading that instead of clicking on sentences that you would like to say, you would change Michael's facial expressions during the conversations, instigating him to say something related to the mood you choose to express. I haven't heard anything about it since, so is that still going to be the method used while talking to someone? If so, that would be cool, but would there be an option to display the text you will choose to say before you say it?

 

I don't believe there will be a text option, IIRC the entire point of the new "stance" system was to replace text replies with the new Stance system.

 

There was a dev quote (I think it was Mitzoda) somewhere explaining why they did this. I forget where that is though.

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One of the big advantages of choosing an attitude (as opposed to specific dialogue) is that you'll be sure of the tone that your character will use. Most conversations are more about how things are said, and less about what is said.

 

For example, there were at least a dozen times in Mass Effect where I chose a dialogue option and my character read it in a totally different tone than I was expecting (until I realized that top = paragon / bottom = renegade). This happened less in Fallout 3, but there, the interactions were generally mundane.

 

My main concern with AP's stance system is that it will just turn into a puzzle of "guess the stance to use here". I'd like to be able to play the whole way through as a, say, Suave character without it making the game unpleasantly difficult.

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My main concern with AP's stance system is that it will just turn into a puzzle of "guess the stance to use here". I'd like to be able to play the whole way through as a, say, Suave character without it making the game unpleasantly difficult.

Apparently, the choices won't make the game easier/harder, just ..different. You blackmail an informant, and he/she gives you valuable info, but will try to kill you later, stuff like that.

At least, that's the impression I got.

Edited by Oner
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That's the impression I have as well. Hopefully it'll actually be properly implemented.

 

Dynamic interactions/relationships as opposed to simple 'I like you/I kill you' dualities.

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One of the big advantages of choosing an attitude (as opposed to specific dialogue) is that you'll be sure of the tone that your character will use. Most conversations are more about how things are said, and less about what is said.

 

For example, there were at least a dozen times in Mass Effect where I chose a dialogue option and my character read it in a totally different tone than I was expecting (until I realized that top = paragon / bottom = renegade). This happened less in Fallout 3, but there, the interactions were generally mundane.

 

I really wish I could find that damn article that explained why they did this change. But basically what you said above was the very reason they implemented the "stance" system. (Ignoring the Paragon/Reneage thing in ME, as there is no such thing in AP) When reading a dialogue reply you sometimes do not know what that means in effect to the conversation. NWN2 had the [Diplomacy/Bluff etc..] so with that it was very clear. With this new system, you are basically getting what you wanted in the first place. You KNOW what "stance" you can reply with. (You do not know however the outcome).

 

My main concern with AP's stance system is that it will just turn into a puzzle of "guess the stance to use here". I'd like to be able to play the whole way through as a, say, Suave character without it making the game unpleasantly difficult.

 

I may be missing your point, but there is no difference between the "guess the stance" and the "guess the dialogue" that was in earlier games? You should be able to play "suave" throughout the entire game to your hearts content. It may however, not work on all people. From watching the video's.. you just need to guess what stances each NPC is responsive to. Or don't, and have a completely different experience.

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From what I can tell, using a different stance won't necessarily make the game harder, it will simply change how you progress through the game. There's no "right" way that optimizes everything.

"The universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience..." - Ulyaoth

 

"It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built." - Kreia

 

"I thought this forum was for Speculation & Discussion, not Speculation & Calling People Trolls." - lord of flies

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From what I can tell, using a different stance won't necessarily make the game harder, it will simply change how you progress through the game. There's no "right" way that optimizes everything.

 

Yea... I think people don't understand this concept. There is no "right way". Play how you want to play.

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I really wish I could find that damn article that explained why they did this change.

http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/930/930117p2.html

The top of the second page, and

http://pc.ign.com/articles/925/925916p2.html

The bottom of the second page.

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From what I can tell, using a different stance won't necessarily make the game harder, it will simply change how you progress through the game. There's no "right" way that optimizes everything.

 

Yea... I think people don't understand this concept. There is no "right way". Play how you want to play.

I like the thinking behind this. But we all know that gamers are a sneaky lot, and there will be online guides and threads on this message board within days of release detailing the min/max consequences of all the various in-game choices. To lots of gamers, those sources will determine a "right" way to play the game.

 

It's not an easy task for Obsidian to make players' decisions matter in tangible ways, while keeping the results reasonably balanced so that the temptation to meta-game is low. On the one hand, you risk "gotcha" outcomes that dramatically advantage/disadvantage the players in ways that they had no reason to expect. On the other hand, you risk the players not investing themselves in the decisionmaking because they know the game will ensure that each option will "even out" eventually. I hope they can pull it off.

Edited by Enoch
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I don't think every option eventually "working out" is so much the problem as the other thing. If doing different dialogue stances changes the game appreciably, then people will want to do it just for the sake of experiencing new content.

 

One thing I do foresee as a problem would be for completionists trying to experience all the variability in the game. Without knowing that you need to take a certain stance at one point and another stance at a different point people could entirely miss certain outcomes. In theory somebody will eventually gamefaq it all, but I've always viewed games where you need to have a walkthrough in one hand to get the most out of them with suspicion.

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From what I can tell, using a different stance won't necessarily make the game harder, it will simply change how you progress through the game. There's no "right" way that optimizes everything.

 

Yea... I think people don't understand this concept. There is no "right way". Play how you want to play.

 

In the recent walkthrough preview, the narrator mentioned that a particular character "was a fan of being treated aggressively". That's where my concern stems from. If someone is a fan of being treated aggressively, how much is the player punished for using the suave or professional stance?

 

I may be missing your point, but there is no difference between the "guess the stance" and the "guess the dialogue" that was in earlier games? You should be able to play "suave" throughout the entire game to your hearts content. It may however, not work on all people. From watching the video's.. you just need to guess what stances each NPC is responsive to. Or don't, and have a completely different experience.

 

It's slightly different. "Guess which stance will get you free guns" is not the same as "Guess which dialogue option is read in a sarcastic tone". If I have to guess the tone of the dialogue, then that impedes my role-playing experience and makes it harder to realize the character I've imagined I want to play, let alone trying to guess which option the NPC wants me to use. Both are annoying, but "guess the stance to use" is a puzzle, hopefully with available clues, while "guess what tone this is read in" is poor design for an RPG.

 

I'm very excited for what Alpha Protocol can bring to the table with dialogue, even if it's not implemented perfectly.

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From what I can tell, using a different stance won't necessarily make the game harder, it will simply change how you progress through the game. There's no "right" way that optimizes everything.

 

Yea... I think people don't understand this concept. There is no "right way". Play how you want to play.

 

In the recent walkthrough preview, the narrator mentioned that a particular character "was a fan of being treated aggressively". That's where my concern stems from. If someone is a fan of being treated aggressively, how much is the player punished for using the suave or professional stance?

 

I may be missing your point, but there is no difference between the "guess the stance" and the "guess the dialogue" that was in earlier games? You should be able to play "suave" throughout the entire game to your hearts content. It may however, not work on all people. From watching the video's.. you just need to guess what stances each NPC is responsive to. Or don't, and have a completely different experience.

 

It's slightly different. "Guess which stance will get you free guns" is not the same as "Guess which dialogue option is read in a sarcastic tone". If I have to guess the tone of the dialogue, then that impedes my role-playing experience and makes it harder to realize the character I've imagined I want to play, let alone trying to guess which option the NPC wants me to use. Both are annoying, but "guess the stance to use" is a puzzle, hopefully with available clues, while "guess what tone this is read in" is poor design for an RPG.

 

I'm very excited for what Alpha Protocol can bring to the table with dialogue, even if it's not implemented perfectly.

 

Yes, but you see, treating her the way she likes is not necessarily more beneficial than not treating her the way she likes. Everything is connected. Perhaps there is the possibility of it ending up as "guess the stance needed to make these guys like you," but when said people like you, other people will dislike you as a result. Of course, if you go into the game thinking "I'm going to be friendly with this faction" rather than "I'm going to have this attitude towards the situation," you end up having to "guess" the stance needed to please that faction, but I don't believe that's how they intend the game to be played, and that's not how I'm going to play the game. There still is no min/maxing, because while you may benefit from, say, treating said character aggressively in certain ways, the people you lose standing with by doing so makes the overall gain balance out.

 

Edit: In short, whom you end up being friends with and whom you hate, based on what obsid has said so far, seems to be intended to be a result of the stance you take. If you really like a specific faction, then of course there will be some "guess the stance," but you have to choose to play a specific way for that to really be a problem.

Edited by Oblarg

"The universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience..." - Ulyaoth

 

"It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built." - Kreia

 

"I thought this forum was for Speculation & Discussion, not Speculation & Calling People Trolls." - lord of flies

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This discussion really gave me alot of helpful info, thanks to everyone who replied :lol: . I also wonder something else though. I read in an interview with a developer that the conversation sequence will be in real time, and the player can't take too long to pick an action or response. My question is what will happen if one does take too long and doesn't choose a response in time? Will the player just say/do nothing? And if so, would they just do nothing for the entire conversation if they continued to take to long in choosing an action?

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Yes, but you see, treating her the way she likes is not necessarily more beneficial than not treating her the way she likes. Everything is connected. Perhaps there is the possibility of it ending up as "guess the stance needed to make these guys like you," but when said people like you, other people will dislike you as a result. Of course, if you go into the game thinking "I'm going to be friendly with this faction" rather than "I'm going to have this attitude towards the situation," you end up having to "guess" the stance needed to please that faction, but I don't believe that's how they intend the game to be played, and that's not how I'm going to play the game. There still is no min/maxing, because while you may benefit from, say, treating said character aggressively in certain ways, the people you lose standing with by doing so makes the overall gain balance out.

 

Edit: In short, whom you end up being friends with and whom you hate, based on what obsid has said so far, seems to be intended to be a result of the stance you take. If you really like a specific faction, then of course there will be some "guess the stance," but you have to choose to play a specific way for that to really be a problem.

This jives with my general understanding (although the presence or absence of min/maxing remains to be seen), but I would offer one refinement: I would expect and hope that the attitudes of the various factions towards MT will be determined primarily by the actions he takes, and secondarily by his manners in conversations. That is, you pick your alliances in the way you perform your missions (handler choice, treatment of NPCs, use of intelligence assets gained, etc.). The dialogue stances can unlock other benefits (or disadvantages), but ultimately I would expect that if you do everything that a faction wants, you're going to be their ally regardless of whether you're polite or rude to them.

Edited by Enoch
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This discussion really gave me alot of helpful info, thanks to everyone who replied :lol: . I also wonder something else though. I read in an interview with a developer that the conversation sequence will be in real time, and the player can't take too long to pick an action or response. My question is what will happen if one does take too long and doesn't choose a response in time? Will the player just say/do nothing? And if so, would they just do nothing for the entire conversation if they continued to take to long in choosing an action?

The game defaults to the conversation stance that you last used.

 

 

Edit: Actually, I have a question, too. Given the one-off nature of in-game conversations, and the impossibility of going back to a character and getting them to repeat a piece of information (as most RPGs allow), we're really going to need a thorough journal function for players to reference if/when they've forgotten something important. Is there anything you can tell us about this part of the user interface?

Edited by Enoch
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This discussion really gave me alot of helpful info, thanks to everyone who replied :lol: . I also wonder something else though. I read in an interview with a developer that the conversation sequence will be in real time, and the player can't take too long to pick an action or response. My question is what will happen if one does take too long and doesn't choose a response in time? Will the player just say/do nothing? And if so, would they just do nothing for the entire conversation if they continued to take to long in choosing an action?

 

The game will default to the last stance that you took. So if your last response was Suave (even if it was in the last level or in another hub), the next time you're faced with a dialogue choice you will default to Suave and use that if the timer clicks out without you changing it.

Matthew Rorie
 

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What about the situation when you ask some questions? Is there a timer for asking questions too? And if you don't pick one will the one that's currently highlited be automatically chosen?

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What about the situation when you ask some questions? Is there a timer for asking questions too? And if you don't pick one will the one that's currently highlited be automatically chosen?

 

I'm sure that asking someone questions runs on the same ideals as stating somethig or choosing an action. So i'm sure it has a timer as well, and if you run out of time, as a few people said before, you will ask the question that relates to the attitude you usually choose.

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The game defaults to the conversation stance that you last used.

 

Actually, I have a question, too. Given the one-off nature of in-game conversations, and the impossibility of going back to a character and getting them to repeat a piece of information (as most RPGs allow), we're really going to need a thorough journal function for players to reference if/when they've forgotten something important. Is there anything you can tell us about this part of the user interface?

 

I agree. Would there be, for example, a cell-phone you carry to remember/re-read everything? Or a notepad? Or even certain pick-ups, like the napkin containing a phone number at the top of the page? :sorcerer:

Edited by JAG2
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