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The Sharmat

[Merged] Gods save us another romance thread

For people who are NOT apathetic or opposed to romances in games:  

455 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you willing to sacrifice romances as a feature if it drew significant resources from other story features?

  2. 2. Are you willing to sacrifice romances as a feature if it drew significant resources from gameplay design?

  3. 3. Would you still want romance options in the game even if your hypothetical favorite NPC did not end up being available?



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It's kind of discouraging that threads about romances are generating more interest than threads about companions archetypes/depth of backstory or the technology rampant in the world or any of a dozen items that should be more important than whether or not the PC can sex it up with a pixelated vixen.

 

Other topics generate less animosity. I really doubt people could argue for dozens of pages about depth of backstory for example, but thanks to Bioware's latest achievements every mention of RPG romances generate instant ****storm.

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I am sick of these stupid romance threads. Every ****ing day a new one pops up after the mods lock an old one.


:closed:

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You can ignore them if you like.

True, but it wouldn't hurt for people on either side to just stop creating new [biased] threads, make civilized conversations with actual arguments, let the devs do what they think best and only bring up the topic if necessary.

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You can ignore them if you like.

I prefer to ignore smart asses actually.


:closed:

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But how? It's entirely a matter of taste, and you can't objectively prove that romances are good/bad/necessary/unnecessary. We could as well argue about inclusion of dwarves. And it would go like this:

A: Dwarves are absolutely essential, I loved them in BG and they should be there.

B: Dwarves weren't even in Fallout. If you play RPGs for dwarves you should be ****ing midgets instead.

C: Dwarves were horrible in Bioware games, we shouldn't include them

D: Dwarves are required for deep and emotional story, LOTR wouldn't be the same without Gimli.

B: I play this games for gameplay and story, I don't want resources being wasted on bearded fetish fodder

But it's true that people are a little too emotional about a bunch of optional dialogue lines.

Edited by BasaltineBadger
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Which just leads me to the conclusion that the BSN are not game related forums but a form of collective therapy.

hehe. Bioware validates their opinion and panders to them so they all think their crap should fly in every game and game forum.

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@Metiman: you are basically arguing not against romances but against point based influence system and romances doesn't have to be based on that. And they are a part of a story that some people finds fun so I don't know what's wrong with that. I understand that you are for removal of all interaction within the party because all of your arguments could be applied to them as well.

 

You are just playing for a Sims-like experience, in which case wouldn't it be better to just play The Sims if that's what you are after?

 

Classical strawman argument. How hard it is to understand that people who like romances are the people who liked romances in past Obsidian games and Baldur's Gate 2 and would like to see more of them and not lonely creeps. Also, the whole "people who want romances play the game only for romances and don't care about other aspects" is retarded and not backed-up by anything but the creepiest people form Bioware forum.

 

How am I arguing against a point based influence system? Oh right. I forgot that you don't like to explain yourself if it takes longer than a 160 character txt message.

 

Romances of the kind I am referring to (BG2) are absolutely not part of the story at all. They are tacked on minigames. It is their minigame aspect that I object to. General party banter, when written by a talented writer like Avellone is definitely worthwhile, but BG2 style romances as mini-games where your character tries to sleep with the NPC simply do not add anything to the story or the game.

 

I am not arguing that the Biowarian pro-romance faction only likes one particular thing or another, but rather that this need to be loved by a game character is already being met by other genres. That need for a second virtual/simulated life in a computer game has already been met by The Sims, MMOGs where you can engage in real flirting, and most of the mega-budget modern single player RPGs as well. It simply is not needed here and is a waste of resources that could be better spent improving the combat or story.

 

Did the romances in BG2 ruin the game for me? No. Not at all. Some were even mildly amusing and in a hypothetical game with an infinite budget perhaps I wouldn't mind them as long as they were optional. But this game does have a limited budget and I don't want to see resources spent foolishly on any minigame, romances included.

 

I don't think it particularly matters why the EABioware-2 faction here feels that romance minigames are so essential and an inherent part of RPG-ness, but my current theory is that the pro-romance forum faction does mostly consist of female (or homosexual) Dragon Age fans. From what I have read, romance novels are to females what porn is to males. So I guess understanding gender differences is important when thinking about this subject. The kind of game that males like and the kind of game that females like is classically not the same. Of course women are going to want romances in their game. That's why EABioware-2 games are so popular with girl gamers. It's not so different from males wanting cleavage and nudity. In neither case is it at all important to the basic RPG mechanics which make the games what they are. If a game is to have integrity it must stay true to its roots and its essential nature. Romance minigames are simply not essential to the nature of RPGs.

 

Of course it could be argued that throwing in a few token romances, precisely because it does appeal so strongly to females, is not a bad idea in terms of fundraising. But that's only true if their donations add up to at least enough to counter the additional development costs of writing the romances.

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JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

.
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Romances are an integral part of those classic RPGs that Obsidian want to revive.

 

No, they are not. In any way. Take the "romance" out of PS:T and what do you have? The same game minus something completely innocuous, minor and unimportant.

 

PS:T had romance? I would call some small dialog choices with Annah and FFG romance.

...that and...oh, say half of the main theme / motivation of the whole game (Deionarra). No biggie.

I wouldn't even consider Deionarra as a romance. She's dead. She was used by an evil incarnation of TNO. There was no love story there. Just the unrequited love of a ghost.

 

When people are talking about romance, they're talking about pursuing relationships with their party and having sex with them.

Edited by Grimlorn

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I thought it was obvious. Every argument could be applied to influence system: it's a minigame, it has nothing to do with main story and you can befriend people in real life so there's no reason of including it in the game, also as I've said romances are identical to every other in-party interaction besides theme. You could easily modify romance with Aerie into a subplot about helping a mentally disturbed party member, not much different than helping Kheldorn or Anomen with their issues. You are also using another strawman argument assuming that people who want romances want Bioware-like romances and that they want some relationship simulator/ dating sim with is not necessarily true. Also having romances is not changing a game into a romance game, Game of Thrones and countless other books had romances and they are not porn for women. I don't understand why are you always arguing assuming that your opponents want wish-fulfilling DA2-like romances with animated sex scenes and not romances similar to those in MoTB, KoTOR 2 and Alpha Protocol which would be more logical since you are on Obsidian Forum not BSN.

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Well there may be some confusion over exactly what the term 'romances' (in the context of cRPGS) refers to. To me it seems to refer to the minigame type which BG2 had. A romantic aspect of the story itself is something else entirely. If that is what you are advocating I am not against that. I am only against the EABioware romance-as-minigame and only because it diverts resources, which are hopelessly scarce as it is, away from the core RPG mechanics.

 

As far as an influence system being the same as romance-as-mingame I don't think that's the case. BG2 style romances do not accomplish or implement anything that affects the rest of the game. An influence system is merely a more precise way of measuring your reputation with others. It's really part of a larger reputation system. One might argue that a reputation system itself is not a core RPG value and I would agree, but it does at least add something to C&C by showing what effect your character has on the world around him. While a reputation system does add to development time it is also a part of the overall game design. Not something just tacked on for the lulz like romance minigames.

Edited by metiman

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

.
.

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Romances are also part of the overall influence/reputation system in every Obsidian game they appear in. In AP or MoTB you gain influence points with EVERY character, some are romancable but that doesn't change anything. There is simply no difference between influence and romance there. You get more influence over Mina and she can sleep with main character, you gain influence over other characters and they are nicer to you, explain to ma how are the two different. And how one require implementation of some minigame while the other is a part of a larger system. Baldur's Gate doesn't even have point-based romance system, the romance just stops if you say the wrong line, which is not different than any other conversation in the game.

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The game is already pushing it for time, romances are only played by a minority of players and are basically a waste of time that could be better spent on quests, items, dialogue, spells, NPCs. Maybe include them in a patch or expansion down the line but I think romances should be last on the list of priorities.

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The game is already pushing it for time, romances are only played by a minority of players and are basically a waste of time that could be better spent on quests, items, dialogue, spells, NPCs. Maybe include them in a patch or expansion down the line but I think romances should be last on the list of priorities.

 

http://forums.obsidi...d-romance-poll/ Romance inclusion options wins by far, "only a minority of players will play them". Nice logic. Don't want to play devil's advocate, but you do realize everyone has his own list of priorities that he thinks is perfect for the game.

Edited by Exseed
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The game is already pushing it for time, romances are only played by a minority of players and are basically a waste of time that could be better spent on quests, items, dialogue, spells, NPCs. Maybe include them in a patch or expansion down the line but I think romances should be last on the list of priorities.

 

Those are some interesting facts. What is your source?

 

I'd like to try and sway your opinion if I may. The underlying mechanic that romances commonly use - the party interaction dynamic - is a very important element of party based RPGs. Allowing the player to interact with the party from their character's perspective fleshes out the game, develops characters and should help the player to connect with the characters, thus becoming more involved in the game. Making it interactive means that this large aspect of the game is not dislocated from the experience (such as you may find Final Fantasy cut scenes for example) but integrate it into the gameplay.

 

Ultimately, party interactions would be another strand woven into the tale told throughout the game - not separate from the main quest line but both of those (and side quests and anything else) coming together to tell one coherent story [if done well]. While the main quest will depict the crisis, the party interactions would contribute other things you would expect to find in any other narrative such as friendship, jealousy, love, grief, comfort. The characters would be a constant through out the epic that is your game and so having dynamic relationships between your party will provide its own drive.

 

Adding romances to the party dynamic is a relatively trivial matter and in fact makes no difference - it may as well be friendship or bitter rivalry. The nature of RPG means that the preference would be for all of these and more so that your actions whilst role playing, make a difference to the story you help to tell.

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The underlying mechanic that romances commonly use - the party interaction dynamic - is a very important element of party based RPGs.

 

And of course, sticking things in the holes of your party members is even more important, right?

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The underlying mechanic that romances commonly use - the party interaction dynamic - is a very important element of party based RPGs.

 

And of course, sticking things in the holes of your party members is even more important, right?

 

While I disagree with SanguineAngel's proposition that "Adding romances...is a relatively trivial matter...", they also didn't mention sex at all in their post so your conclusion is a bit skewed I think.

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C'mon - that BioWare has completely ridiculed romantic interactions in their late games doesn't mean we have to throw it away altogether. A well written, emotionally engaging and natural romance plot can add massive depth to game's story. I'm all for including romances, I trust Obsidian enough in this matter.

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The underlying mechanic that romances commonly use - the party interaction dynamic - is a very important element of party based RPGs.

 

And of course, sticking things in the holes of your party members is even more important, right?

...sigh...just tell us already where the big, bad romance touched you :-/

 

...seriously. :getlost:

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I think they need to weave companions in to the life of the main character in interesting and varied ways.

 

I don’t like the Mass Effect implementation where you can pretty much chat up everyone on your crew. There could maybe be a couple of potential romance options that fit with the story, but I see them as no more valid than say getting a best friend relationship or making you feel protective over a young or vulnerable npc. Romance doesn’t have to mean dating sim after all.

 

I suppose if you see yourself in the place of a character in a great fantasy adventure its quite rare (not unheard of certainly) for there not to be a Romanic interest for our heroes. Just look at Bilbo and Gandalf … could cut the tension with a knife!!

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...sigh...just tell us already where the big, bad romance touched you

 

Oooh, have I bothered you enough that you're gearing up for the personal attacks? Interesting.

 

Games. These are games. Mmmkay?

 

But for those of you who really want to huggy-kissy your companions, tell me why. What do you get out of it? How does it help your classic cRPG gaming experience? You feel more complete if the pixelated sprite which represents you is imagined to be holding hands with the pixelated sprite which represents somebody you love because...yeah, see...that's another good one. You "love" your companion(s)? Really? Hehe. Ok.

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...sigh...just tell us already where the big, bad romance touched you

 

Oooh, have I bothered you enough that you're gearing up for the personal attacks? Interesting.

 

Games. These are games. Mmmkay?

 

But for those of you who really want to huggy-kissy your companions, tell me why. What do you get out of it? How does it help your classic cRPG gaming experience? You feel more complete if the pixelated sprite which represents you is imagined to be holding hands with the pixelated sprite which represents somebody you love because...yeah, see...that's another good one. You "love" your companion(s)? Really? Hehe. Ok.

 

I've already explained that in my post above, for myself at least. Although I will re-iterate that it is not us doing the romancing, we are interacting with a story in which the characters are doing the romancing. The interaction is more an act of collaborative creation (of the story) rather than living vicariously. Similar to writing a love story perhaps :)

Edited by SanguineAngel

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I think the answer is largely, as has been said priorly, that it adds another section of interaction with your party members (and the interaction between party members, is at least for me, a large reason as to why I prefer party RPGs to rogue-like-ish things).

 

There are, I think, a fair number of folk who would happily pass on the romance aspect if, instead, you got the ability to form deep friendships with your characters (or, to use that popular word I rather abhor myself "bromances" *shudder*).

 

If you got to the level that they achieved in Torment with party interaction, I suspect actual concrete romances would probably not be missed all that much by many.

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C'mon - that BioWare has completely ridiculed romantic interactions in their late games doesn't mean we have to throw it away altogether. A well written, emotionally engaging and natural romance plot can add massive depth to game's story. I'm all for including romances, I trust Obsidian enough in this matter.

Bioware poisoned the well with its sub-hentai-VN offerings and now you get knee jerk reactions. Big surprise.

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Say no to popamole!

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What do you get out of it? How does it help your classic cRPG gaming experience?

 

For my part - and again I'm not going to be torn up if romances aren't in the game - I like party interactions. Party interactions can create interesting relationships between the NPCs and PC or other NPCs (interparty banter or squables or quests). Its a way so your Orc Fighter isn't just a meat shield and your wizard isn't a fireball battery. They're characters with some personality traits. In specific situations I see no problem with those relationships being romantic in nature.

 

Again this would have to fit the scope and focus of the game and I'd rather have many other things in the game...but if its part of the character design for NPCs and it fits the game...why not have it as one more avenue with which to define your character as well as the NPCs?

 

You feel more complete if the pixelated sprite which represents you is imagined to be holding hands with the pixelated sprite which represents somebody you love because...yeah, see...that's another good one. You "love" your companion(s)? Really? Hehe. Ok.

 

I think your use of "you" here is confusing, since we'd be talking about the character in game and not the player, but it seems to be you think that its the player who has the "relationship" with the companion in game.

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