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duskwind

Evil PC Options

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She has played Torment, and it's fantastic, but it's limited in other ways - your ability to customise the PC is extremely restricted compared to most RPGs.

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I really do not want a meter like in newer Bioware titles but I also want to chose my actions and consequences.

 

Arcanum had a meter.

 

The choices between good and evil shouldn't be black and white, though.

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If they got rid of branching decisions, then I think I and others would withdraw our money and leave. Branching decisions is the staple of good old RPG's and the biggest reason many of us are putting money into this game, removing that and its not even an RPG' its just some on rails game where your actions are meaningless. So its basically would just be dragon age 2.

 

The whole point is that games DO NOT employ branching decisions regularly. They give the illusion of choice by giving maybe one or two real decisions near the end of the game and giving the illusion of choice the rest of the game. Most games will give you a choice, let you run a couple quests based on the choice, and then put you back down in the main flow exactly where'd you'd be if you'd chosen to do something else, plus or minus a morality point, or a companion, or something that is not related to the main flow.

 

I'd love a branching plot like a illustrated above. But they don't exist for the reasons I've already provided. As such, given the two options left -- the illusion of choice and then a couple of endings based on the late-game decision, or a really well developed plot that doesn't rely on pretending to give choice -- I'd chose the latter.

Edited by RogueBurger

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Yes please.

 

I'd like a decent game where I can play good, neutral or evil, not something watered down like Oblivion... where you're slightly insulting but most of the time just very passive.

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Your example illustrates the exact problem I have with the system. It keeps merging back with itself. So those three big 5 hour events are ultimately meaningless because at the end of 5 hours you'll end up at the same place no matter what. If the choices are going to be real game-altering choices they need to permanently branch off.

 

If you only care about the destination, not how you get there, sure. Though the consequences of earlier branches can come in to play later in the game. And it's possible for branches to be much more meaningful to the story than say the Hordes of the Underdark's "chose which order to do the mid-game quests, you won't have time for all of them" even if they do converge later.

 

Another idea: branches don't need to be explicitly chosen at the branch point. Eg if you help someone early in the game, they might rescue you much later on so you get a chase the bad guy sequence instead of an escape from prison sequence (there could be multiple possible rescuers!), or a companion might or might not betray you at a certain point based on a whole lot of previous choices and interactions.

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Your example illustrates the exact problem I have with the system. It keeps merging back with itself. So those three big 5 hour events are ultimately meaningless because at the end of 5 hours you'll end up at the same place no matter what. If the choices are going to be real game-altering choices they need to permanently branch off.

 

If you only care about the destination, not how you get there, sure. Though the consequences of earlier branches can come in to play later in the game. And it's possible for branches to be much more meaningful to the story than say the Hordes of the Underdark's "chose which order to do the mid-game quests, you won't have time for all of them" even if they do converge later.

 

Another idea: branches don't need to be explicitly chosen at the branch point. Eg if you help someone early in the game, they might rescue you much later on so you get a chase the bad guy sequence instead of an escape from prison sequence (there could be multiple possible rescuers!), or a companion might or might not betray you at a certain point based on a whole lot of previous choices and interactions.

 

It's still the illusion of choice. In 99% of games, you'll still end up at the same ultimate boss fight, or ultimate showdown, or final whatever, whether you companion betrays you or not. I want my choices to mean something in the game. If my companion betrays me, fights me, and dies, but has no major effect on the rest of the flow (other than, "oh, he's not here"), it feels completely pointless. If I do something in the game that would endanger the friendship of my companions, I want it to have earth-shattering ramifications. I want my choice to kill him off to have meaning in the game world. If it's just another 5 hour quest segment, and I'll go on to save the world whether he's alive or dead, the choice looses that much weight.


Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

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You could very easily have a companion death or betrayal earlier in the game radically change how the last hour plays out. Whether it results in you only being able to save half the world instead of the whole world due to their absence or interference, or more personal dialogues/cutscenes. Or if it's the single major point of divergence, half the entire second half of the game go off in a completely different direction. Or somewhere in between (you could have a companion that turns against you show up repeatedly to mess with your plans). And if branches are determined by the cumulative effect of multiple choices rather than just "choose now", you get to make a lot of meaningful decisions.

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You could very easily have a companion death or betrayal earlier in the game radically change how the last hour plays out. Whether it results in you only being able to save half the world instead of the whole world due to their absence or interference, or more personal dialogues/cutscenes. Or if it's the single major point of divergence, half the entire second half of the game go off in a completely different direction. Or somewhere in between (you could have a companion that turns against you show up repeatedly to mess with your plans). And if branches are determined by the cumulative effect of multiple choices rather than just "choose now", you get to make a lot of meaningful decisions.

 

I don't think you're understanding the point I'm making. You're still illustrating one "real" choice. No matter how many little things going into it, it's still a choice of two divergent outcomes. You're still only describing one real choice at the end of the game that leads to different endings. That's a silly concept if you ask me. Tacking on various endings to a game doesn't make the plot better.

 

My point, to sum it up as succinctly as possible, is that so many people are begging for choices just for the sake of choices. They're fine with the mere illusion of having a real effect on the world. I'm not. I don't want choices for the sake of choices. I don't want the illusion of choice. If I'm going to fight the demon army in the end and save the world no matter what, then write me a story that leads up to that. Write me an amazing story that leads up to that. Don't force multiple storylines into what should be a single storyline culminating in that single event.


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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Just remember you'll always be placed upon the constraints set by the censorship boards who determine ratings for entertainment material.

 

Is this even going to the ratings board? The only people who will be getting a boxed set will be the backers, and everything else will be digital distrubution through steam and possible gog. I don't think they need ratings, but not sure. If they don't need ratings then they don't need to hold back.

 

Edit: Rating boards are a joke, I have seen games that are way mature get a E rating, and games that are not even disney get an M rating. They way they rate stuff is get some random people off the street, they watch the worst parts of a game (not the whole picture), then decide what rating to give it. Like I said, a joke. Since its going to steam, I say do not get it rated, just have it unrated and put in whatever obisdian wants, pretend the rating board does not even exist.

Edited by Badmojo

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On the topic of branching storylines: I really just want them to do it the cheap way. Have a stupid messenger send me a letter about how the villagers of such-and-such-ton's new government I installed are responding to the new situation I created in the capitol, let me send one of three messages back, and let all of this result in another simple text message and a different suit of armor being worn by the helper npcs in the final battle. I don't need the entirely different set peices of the second act of TW2 - I just want to have the game validate my imagining of the consequences of my actions.

 

 

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.

 

You mean the game with the, "Give me your credits and jump into the pit" dialog?

 

I think Alpha Protocol is really the Obsidian game you're looking for here. That, or leave Obsidian and look at The Witcher 2.

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You could very easily have a companion death or betrayal earlier in the game radically change how the last hour plays out. Whether it results in you only being able to save half the world instead of the whole world due to their absence or interference, or more personal dialogues/cutscenes. Or if it's the single major point of divergence, half the entire second half of the game go off in a completely different direction. Or somewhere in between (you could have a companion that turns against you show up repeatedly to mess with your plans). And if branches are determined by the cumulative effect of multiple choices rather than just "choose now", you get to make a lot of meaningful decisions.

 

I don't think you're understanding the point I'm making. You're still illustrating one "real" choice. No matter how many little things going into it, it's still a choice of two divergent outcomes. You're still only describing one real choice at the end of the game that leads to different endings. That's a silly concept if you ask me. Tacking on various endings to a game doesn't make the plot better.

 

My point, to sum it up as succinctly as possible, is that so many people are begging for choices just for the sake of choices. They're fine with the mere illusion of having a real effect on the world. I'm not. I don't want choices for the sake of choices. I don't want the illusion of choice. If I'm going to fight the demon army in the end and save the world no matter what, then write me a story that leads up to that. Write me an amazing story that leads up to that. Don't force multiple storylines into what should be a single storyline culminating in that single event.

 

yes, all roads lead to rome, but you can influence things by your choices alter in the game. If you help some bandits in the game, you can call in your favor to increase your man power against the big bad, didn't help stop that disease because it would cost the mayer money early on? Congrads, you now have a plauge killing most of the town population, help the crazy father build his flying machine instead of selling the plans and killing him? You now have air support. The little choices affect the big choices later in the game. yes, its an illusion, I will take illusion over having on a few fixed points of actual change. You also do not have to change the world, you can change bits of it at a time.

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I will take illusion over having on a few fixed points of actual change.

Like I said, I've not arguing for a few fixed points of change. I want one amazing storyline that doesn't pretend to give me choice. If fate is leading me towards something, make it an amazing story. Don't let me mess it up.


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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In Arcanum your choices did make a difference to the ending.Much as I loved BG I & II you still ended up at the big ending battle. In TES games what you do doesn't really matter just go out and do what ever you want, be what ever you want. I have had a lot of fun with TES games and I try to role play but I do not consider them role playing games. Probably the only perfect cRPG for me was Betrayal at Krondor and that only because it was my first cRPG game and it was a new and fun form of entertainment.

 

Game players are growing older and we are getting jaded. What ever Obsidian come up with some people will love it, some hate it and others find it fun but still complain. Players like to complain even when we love a game. You cannot please all of the people all of the time. This forum is showing that clearly.

 

The best game that Obsidian can make is the one they want to make. The game they can put their hearts, minds and souls into. We can suggest but we cannot, must not rule.

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 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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Personally, I prefer to play evil when that is an option -- with that being said, however, I generally don't, because very few games make evil choices viable. Given this, I reluctantly agree that it makes more sense to require a fundementally "heroic" / good protaganist who has to make difficult decisions rather than providing half hearted evil support.

 

To provide true evil support, in my opinion, requires four elements:

1) The total amount of dialog in the "evil" path needs to be roughly equal to the amount of dialog offered in the "good" path. This never happens -- if you choose the evil options, you inevitably end up closing off potential quests without getting anything in return.

2) The rewards for the evil path should tend towards money / equipment instead of experience -- a pure evil character should, at any given time, have signficantly better equipment but be at a lower level than his good counterpart.

3) The evil path shouldn't include any examples of the "Ahah, you've given me what I want, now I will kill you!!"-trope. Generally speaking, this doesn't make sense (in PC just did something that the quest giver was unable to do -- attacking him would be rather foolish, don't you think?) and it is done to death to boot. Now, if the PC shows up to receive the reward half-dead things are different, but that's what you get for being an idiot. :)

4) The player should be allowed the choice to try to ally with villians. This is almost certain to fail (due to branching problems), but the player should be allowed to make the attempt.

 

It ISN'T, in my opinion, necessary to perform excessive branching to support evil, at least with careful plot design. Either have the evil party do (most of) the same things as the good party, but with a different set of quest-givers, or setup the quests so that they can be run either "backward" or "forward". For example:

 

1) If the "good" quest is to retieve the artifact of doom from the villian's stronghold, then the "evil" quest is to retrieve the artifact of doom from the heroes stronghold.

2) If the "good" quest is to retrieve the artifact of doom from the villian's stronghold, then the "evil" quest is to prevent a party / group of good characters from retrieving the artifact from the same stronghold.

 

Either way, the artifact of doom ends up in the player's hands and the main plot can continue with only minor varations. Obviously, at the end there will be major branch, but that's typical anyway. :)

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"Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun..."

 

For a "mature setting" that they have said they are going for, I'd rather prefer there to be some ambiguity between the Good and Evil paths. The character (and player by extension) should be motivated by emotional self-interest, which would not necessarily be some vague moral goals. Perhaps a character could be out to enact chaos and pain as their MO - but just as likely she has a more personal goal and just cares little for those puny villagers that got in her way.

 

I would prefer not to have D&D alignment in the game - let actions speak for themselves, and let NPCs react according to those actions, not because of a +3 Lawful Neutral score.

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I don't want choices for the sake of choices. I don't want the illusion of choice. If I'm going to fight the demon army in the end and save the world no matter what, then write me a story that leads up to that. Write me an amazing story that leads up to that. Don't force multiple storylines into what should be a single storyline culminating in that single event.

 

Then why not read a book? If I'm playing an RPG, I want choices; obviously it's not possible to have unlimited freedom, but it doesn't have to be completely linear, either, and I'm willing to pay the cost of reduced play length to get more meaningful choices. It's not a matter of most choices in RPGs being illusionary instead of real, but of them having only superficial consequences; it's a spectrum, not a binary distinction, and it's possible to move further along the spectrum without going to the other extreme of every single choice completely altering all future events.

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I don't want choices for the sake of choices. I don't want the illusion of choice. If I'm going to fight the demon army in the end and save the world no matter what, then write me a story that leads up to that. Write me an amazing story that leads up to that. Don't force multiple storylines into what should be a single storyline culminating in that single event.

 

Then why not read a book? If I'm playing an RPG, I want choices; obviously it's not possible to have unlimited freedom, but it doesn't have to be completely linear, either, and I'm willing to pay the cost of reduced play length to get more meaningful choices. It's not a matter of most choices in RPGs being illusionary instead of real, but of them having only superficial consequences; it's a spectrum, not a binary distinction, and it's possible to move further along the spectrum without going to the other extreme of every single choice completely altering all future events.

 

Again, I don't think you understand. I don't mind choices. I love choices. I hate pretend choices. The problem is that since a game can only have so many real choices before there are too many branches to make it worth while, games fill themselves out with fluff and illusionary choices. I hate that.

 

I'll use the most glaring example of this: Mass Effect 3. In games 1 and 2 you could do various things that killed off your companions. In three, if your companions were alive, you met back up with them, did some awesome quests together, laughed, cried, it was cool. If your companions were dead, you went on those exact same quests with some other token member of that companion's race. When I realized that was how the game was set up, those great moments I had had with my companions were ruined. Killing off my companions had no effect on something it should have very well have had an effect on. Instead all it did was take send you along the exact same path, minus some warm and fuzzies.

 

That's what I mean be illusionary choice, that that's what I hate. I'd have loved the dynamic of having member of your party die due to your lack of planning and awareness of their abilities and having that come back to bite you in the ass later on. It would have been a real choice that had real consequences. Instead it's just "oh look, I've got [token npc] following me around for this segment instead of [previous companions]". Choice is good. The illusion of choice is bad. Don't fill a game with choices that are just worked around.


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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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?

 

My Fallout 3 character destroyed Megaton because she wanted to get her father's attention. She had serious Daddy issues. :p

 

But I would love an evil PC who actually seems like a badass. Most, like renegade Shep, just come across as a bit of a **** lol. I would like a sort of 'Watch out world there is a new big bad in town.'

 

Underhanded villainy and subtle manipulation would be great.

Edited by Moonlight Butterfly

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I'll use the most glaring example of this: Mass Effect 3. In games 1 and 2 you could do various things that killed off your companions. In three, if your companions were alive, you met back up with them, did some awesome quests together, laughed, cried, it was cool. If your companions were dead, you went on those exact same quests with some other token member of that companion's race. When I realized that was how the game was set up, those great moments I had had with my companions were ruined.

 

That's exactly the sort of thing I'm suggesting fixing. Shorter total game time, but different quests if your companions are dead. Though I don't think direct sequels are generally very practical for games that offer real choice, since there's too much work in adapting the beginning of game 2 to match the end of game 1.

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I'll use the most glaring example of this: Mass Effect 3. In games 1 and 2 you could do various things that killed off your companions. In three, if your companions were alive, you met back up with them, did some awesome quests together, laughed, cried, it was cool. If your companions were dead, you went on those exact same quests with some other token member of that companion's race. When I realized that was how the game was set up, those great moments I had had with my companions were ruined.

 

That's exactly the sort of thing I'm suggesting fixing. Shorter total game time, but different quests if your companions are dead. Though I don't think direct sequels are generally very practical for games that offer real choice, since there's too much work in adapting the beginning of game 2 to match the end of game 1.

 

So you agree with me?


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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At this point I'm not sure if you agree with you. Alternate quests if companions are dead is the sort of temporary branching that merges back afterwards you were objecting to earlier...

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At this point I'm not sure if you agree with you. Alternate quests if companions are dead is the sort of temporary branching that merges back afterwards you were objecting to earlier...

What are you talking about. ME3 is an example of them merging back together after a supposed series-changing set of decisions, like nothing even happened. I don't like that. I've been arguing against the approach since post one.

 

Let's put in in a general example:

You can choose between A and B, which are set up to be game-defining choices. They each have their own set of apparent ramifications, Y and Z respectively. But wait, nope, it turns out Y and Z are the exact same thing, with only cosmetic differences.

 

A and B are no longer game-defining choices. They are fluff, put in the game because people have been clamoring for choices in the modern rpgs. Fluff is put in because sit down and create the content for that and every other occasion of fluff would be unrealistic from a content perspective.

 

I dislike this fluff. I understand why game designers can't map out every possible plotline in a game, but I don't want them to cover it up. If they cannot design the new branch, they should not put the choice down in the first place.

Edited by RogueBurger
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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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I'd much prefer you have a variety of options that are neither evil nor good at first glance, and instead get their meaning by the way the people in the world react to them. Not through a point system that says, "You are evil because have this many points!"


"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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I really hope they will make it fully possible to play an evil party as it is possible to play goody two shoes. It increases diversion in replaying the game.


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