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duskwind

Evil PC Options

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I'd prefer there weren't any. No objection to the idea in principle, but given finite resources, I'd much rather go with the assumption that the PC is a heroic type as the starting point, and offer more choices from that perspective. So real dilemmas for someone trying to do the right thing, rather than a whole lot of "do you want to: help for free, demand payment, or kill them and take their stuff?" Which doesn't mean there can't be the option for the PC to be tempted into evil, but it should be a more subtle, the-end -justifies-the-means approach and integrated into the story, not just a play style.

 

In an ideal world, there could be a whole lot of options for all sorts of PC personalities (perhaps filtered by alignment for practicality), but a limited range done well is better than a superficially wide range where there's no real choice if you want to keep your character consistent.

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The pointlessly destructive PC is not an option I think is valuable. And I think even classic games tended to shy away from including a murder option to every piece of dialogue or let total sociopaths have a fair chance at completion.

 

That said, in the spirit of maturity and complexity, giving the PC challenges that can be overcome with underhandedness is something I see as valuable.

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

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I want as much player choice as possible. That means being the bad guy. Just as long as it's not cartoon super-villainy like in a lot of Bioware moral dilemmas.

Yes, do it like in KOTOR2.

 

Which was developed by Obsidian, so I think we're set.

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Good and evil (or even shades of grey like Witcher) storyline and character choices also offer alot of replayability. I thought MoTB did this very well, you have this incredible power, do you use it to help people or consume them? I think it's critical to good storytelling.

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The pointlessly destructive PC is not an option I think is valuable. And I think even classic games tended to shy away from including a murder option to every piece of dialogue or let total sociopaths have a fair chance at completion.

 

That said, in the spirit of maturity and complexity, giving the PC challenges that can be overcome with underhandedness is something I see as valuable.

 

To me, a sociopath would be someone that sees people as tools; someone who's not afraid to use them in whichever way is most profitable to himself.

That type of playthrough, I am interested in. There's many selfish people out there like this to some extent.

 

Having said that though, a sociopath wouldn't see the point in needlessly killing someone off and wouldn't be randomly killing people unless it was somehow profitable to him, so even this has it's limits.

 

I think what people are generally saying is "I really don't think blowing up Megaton for 500 caps is a realistic option..." Stupid Evil is a definite no, and simply offering a cash profit doesn't justify outrageously evil options; a sociopath is selfish, not shortsighted. Slaughtering an entire town for some spare cash? Definitely seems like the entire town would have more to offer if you work with them, no?

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"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

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I'm all for including an utilitarian approach rather than the "stupid evil" most "good vs. bad" choices nowadays seem to boil down in games. I hero taking an "the ends justify the means" path is something a mature RPG should factor in.

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Here's the problem I see. The more options we get, both in number and variance, the less those options will probably really matter to the overall plot. Why? Because there are finite resources available, and every meaningful choice increases the amount of development needed proportionate to the amount of meaning and weight that choice hopes to carry. Because of this, over years of playing RPGs, I've come to not really care about multiple ways of playing through storylines. I pretty much always end up playing through as the "canon" player, because that's usually the storyline that fits the best and is the most fleshed out.

 

What I would like to see out of Obsidian is either they do put the time into fleshing out every single choice in the game and make them all meaningful and not just one more thing that get tallied for the finale, OR they only give us one storyline but make it the best storyline ever and instead of giving us choice in the story give us choices in our relationships with our companions. I'd be happy with either. What I don't want to see is a boxy plotline like Bioware's recent ones have been like (don't get me wrong, I love Bioware and I love their modern games, I just don't want this to be a modern Bioware game).

Edited by RogueBurger

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If there are good and evil options I don't want the evil ones to be stupid. Its sadly rare to get the option to play as a smart villain.

 

Saying that I almost always play through as a hero.


None of this is really happening. There is a man. With a typewriter. This is all part of his crazy imagination. 

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I want as much player choice as possible. That means being the bad guy.

 

I want as much player choice as possible too; but since I don't want to play the bad guy, any development effort spent on bad guy options is taking away real choices for me.

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I'd prefer there weren't any. No objection to the idea in principle, but given finite resources, I'd much rather go with the assumption that the PC is a heroic type as the starting point, and offer more choices from that perspective. So real dilemmas for someone trying to do the right thing, rather than a whole lot of "do you want to: help for free, demand payment, or kill them and take their stuff?" Which doesn't mean there can't be the option for the PC to be tempted into evil, but it should be a more subtle, the-end -justifies-the-means approach and integrated into the story, not just a play style.

 

In an ideal world, there could be a whole lot of options for all sorts of PC personalities (perhaps filtered by alignment for practicality), but a limited range done well is better than a superficially wide range where there's no real choice if you want to keep your character consistent.

 

Agreed. Also, there was a study on how most gamers will make 'good choices' even in games where there are no consequences. So I'd rather there be shades of grey or 'different ways of accomplishing' the "good goals" rather than having more "evil" choices that feels forced (or silly... or dumb)

 

I liked that KOTOR2 had less of the silly evil choices from KOTOR1, and I think the Mass Effect series did pretty good overall by managing to keep a dual axis of "good/evil" and "lawful/lawless"

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I'm all for including an utilitarian approach rather than the "stupid evil" most "good vs. bad" choices nowadays seem to boil down in games. I hero taking an "the ends justify the means" path is something a mature RPG should factor in.

 

It's really kind of pathetic how bad evil has gotten in some games.

 

Sometimes it feels like:

 

A young woman approaches you crying. She says her father was beaten and left for dead by a group of bandits and desperately needs medical attention. How do you respond?

 

A: Offer your help at any costs

B: Offer to help, but saying you'll expect some form of compensation

C: Take a **** in her father's mouth

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"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Choice is important, but at the same time, I'd like to see a deemphasis of the good/evil dichotomy simply because too often good is simplified to "martyr-without-a-cause altruism" and evil becomes "let me stroke my Snidely Whiplash mustache while sucker-punching every granny I run across".

 

As others have said, New Vegas was great because factions symbolized certain ideals more than they symbolized good and evil. Within a set of ideals there is pretty much always the potential to have varying interpretations of the philosophy. Example: even with a "good" faction like the Followers, you still have some members who take their philosophies to logical extremes and are the bomb-throwing anarchists that people think they are. NCR is another great example. On one hand, people who generally care about their men and fight because they really do believe the NCR is the best option for everyone in the Mojave, and on the other hand, you have glory hounds who will annex you because "(blank) you, that's why."

 

Or, think about the ending of Wild Card. Why does your character want anarchy? Is it because they're principled anarchists who earnestly believe that everyone would be better off under such a system, or is it because they simply want an easier environment in which to exploit people? What form of anarchy do they want? The great thing about these kinds of choices is that you can ascribe to a particular ideology and then roleplay in your characters' motivations for doing so on your own. Allows for more immersion, IMO.

 

These are the kinds of choices that I like to see, not so much "Help kitten out of tree", "walk away from kitten", or "create delicious roasted cat by burning down tree with fire magic" ad nauseum.

Edited by PsychoYoshi
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I want the option to play evil or grey or whatever, along with good. You want no evil options and only play good characters? go to any game store and stick your hand in and grab something random, its almost gaurantee that you will find a game where you play the "hero" with no option for evil. I am sick to death of playing the hero, I am also sick to death of supposed "evil" choices that are a joke. Your not evil, just sort of bad at worst. If there is no evil or bad option, why even put choices in the game since it will be menaingless? Let us be evil, bastards, psychopaths, evil geniuses..or anything else. Choices are improtant, I want to have some good evil choices that are varied and uninque. I hate games where your token "evil" choice is something silly. I also hate games where you end up doing the exact same thing regardless of your good or evil. (example of lowsy evil choices, Good choices, save the orphanage, evil choices, save the orphanage and get paid for it. yea, great choices. Where is the option to sell the orphanage to slavers? Where is the optiont to send the kids to military school to add to soldiers? Where is the option to make the orphange be used in lab experiments, where is the option to burn the orphanage down..etc variety is the spice of life). Its not a true RPG if we cannot roleplay beyond a good type character.

Edited by Badmojo
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Being evil in the "kill all the good guys" kind of way is pretty boring. But a PC can still be pretty evil while not killing everything. Extort money/information/services from other people, do a good thing occasionally since it makes sense than killing everything etc. PS:T and KOTOR did this fairly well, but in most games, being evil isn't worth it.

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I want as much player choice as possible too; but since I don't want to play the bad guy, any development effort spent on bad guy options is taking away real choices for me.

And vice versa.

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Here's the problem I see. The more options we get, both in number and variance, the less those options will probably really matter to the overall plot. Why? Because there are finite resources available, and every meaningful choice increases the amount of development needed proportionate to the amount of meaning and weight that choice hopes to carry.

 

I'd be happy if the game was shorter but more flexible. Instead of a 60 hour game where you do all the quests every time, how about a 30 hour game where half the content could be totally different depending on the choices you make?

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The pointlessly destructive PC is not an option I think is valuable. And I think even classic games tended to shy away from including a murder option to every piece of dialogue or let total sociopaths have a fair chance at completion.

 

That said, in the spirit of maturity and complexity, giving the PC challenges that can be overcome with underhandedness is something I see as valuable.

 

To me, a sociopath would be someone that sees people as tools; someone who's not afraid to use them in whichever way is most profitable to himself.

That type of playthrough, I am interested in. There's many selfish people out there like this to some extent.

 

Having said that though, a sociopath wouldn't see the point in needlessly killing someone off and wouldn't be randomly killing people unless it was somehow profitable to him, so even this has it's limits.

Fair enough. I'll be corrected on that. The homicidal maniac is what I meant.
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"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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I don't think there's anything wrong with a pointlessly destructive PC so long as there are actual consequences to the choices you've made. If you do go around slaughtering everyone, you should develop a reputation, you should be distrusted or hated by everyone, bounties should be placed on you, cities should be closed off to you, and people should cower or run in fear before you.

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As others have said, New Vegas was great because factions symbolized certain ideals more than they symbolized good and evil. Within a set of ideals there is pretty much always the potential to have varying interpretations of the philosophy. Example: even with a "good" faction like the Followers, you still have some members who take their philosophies to logical extremes and are the bomb-throwing anarchists that people think they are. NCR is another great example. On one hand, people who generally care about their men and fight because they really do believe the NCR is the best option for everyone in the Mojave, and on the other hand, you have glory hounds who will annex you because "(blank) you, that's why."

 

Exactly. The most evil character I ever had was a House supporter who simply schmoozed up with the more powerful group in every conflict, just to reap their rewards. This meant he handed over Cass to the Van Graffs, killed off the Great Khans and BoS at Colonel Moore's command, and eventually betrayed the Van Graffs for power armor training. However, this doesn't mean he ran into the King's building guns blazing and just shot them dead. No, the only reason he shot up the Khans and the BoS was because Moore seemed insistent on it to the point where it was to his benefit to do so. With the Kings though, why NOT work towards a peaceful solution if the option is available.

On the other end, I'd say the other most evil character I made was an idealist who didn't see why the Omertas, Boomers and BoS should be allowed to exist, given their conduct and/or goals. He provoked more fights than my sociopath, all in the belief that he was morally justified in doing so. You can debate his reasons (Omertas are kinda scum, BoS refuses to play nice with anyone, Boomers say "MAN I CAN'T WAIT TO BOMB YOUR FELLOW SAVAGES LOL") but by the end of the day, he started fights that were unneccesary.

 

Perhaps RPGs should just stop calling it the "evil" option and call it the "selfish" one instead, as for some reason people have developed this shortsighted belief that evil = stupid and senseless violence for the sake of violence.

Edited by Longknife

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Here's the problem I see. The more options we get, both in number and variance, the less those options will probably really matter to the overall plot. Why? Because there are finite resources available, and every meaningful choice increases the amount of development needed proportionate to the amount of meaning and weight that choice hopes to carry.

 

I'd be happy if the game was shorter but more flexible. Instead of a 60 hour game where you do all the quests every time, how about a 30 hour game where half the content could be totally different depending on the choices you make?

 

Because, unfortunately, splitting it in half only account for one major choice at the beginning. So while that might cover the two extremes of good and evil, what about plot-changing choices in the middle? If they are really plot-changing to their fullest extent, then each one of them would increase the development needed by another 50%. And if you already broke the game into two separate plotlines at the beginning, you'll need two different mid-game choices, with now four different plotlines going forward. There only way of getting around it is either giving the player the illusion of choice while not having the choices have as much effect (think of any game with good an evil paths that have the exact same chain of events, even if in each one you choose to be evil), or only having a couple choices and sticking to those. It my experience, the former is much more prevalent in RPGs and I'm somewhat bored by them. I'd love to see one or two plotlines developed much more fully. I think the games that best exemplify what I'd like to see are the Witcher games. I won't lie, those games are pretty much the only modern RPGs that compete with my love for the old Infinity Engine games.


Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

PHP | cRPGs | Daft Punk | Dominion | WKUK | Marvel Comics | INTP | Python | Symphonic Metal | Breakfast Tacos | Phenomenology | Cards Against Humanity | Awkward Hugs | Scott Pilgrim | Voluntaryism | Dave Chappelle | Calvin and Hobbes | Coffee | Doctor Who | TI-BASIC | eBooks | Jeans | Fantasy Short Stories | Soccer | Mac 'N Cheese | Stargate | Hegel | White Mountains | SNES | Booty Swing | Avocado |

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Reminds me...

 

Could we please have villains that are "good"... No not good in that way. First of all they should not be "SMASH WORLD" why? "no reason!". And then they should not do things like "I USE MY ABILITY X NOW" (in other words:) They should not tell the world what they are going to do its very hard to take a enemy like that serious.

 

Anyway the topic!

I have nothing against a "evil" PC. However i dont want it to turn into a ending where you have Choice 1 (good), Choice 2 (Neutral), Choice 3: (EVIL) abit more depth then taht please :(

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Thing is, a lot of people still misunderstand the original intention of D&D's "evil" alignment. It wasn't about destruction and whatever (that was more along the 'chaotic' lines). That brand of evil was essentially selfishness.

 

I really liked how PS:T treated good/evil/whatever as fluid and nuanced in dialogue choices (you always start out neutral), and I'm sure people remember that there was a truly psychotic evil version of TNO and then the "practical" evil TNO.

 

I'd love more grey, more choices, more consequences. "Mature" psychological content requires more grey, IMO; but to have a good amount of quality grey, you still need the range between good-evil. So we can't cut evil if we're after this kind of depth.


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