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Romance in Project Eternity: How Important, How Much


Romance in Project Eternity  

365 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your feeling on romance in cRPGs?

    • I never enjoy romance in my games - it often makes me enjoy them less.
      29
    • I don't enjoy romance in my games, but it doesn't affect my enjoyment overall.
      12
    • Most of the time I don't enjoy romance in my games, with a few exceptions.
      43
    • Sometimes I enjoy romance in my games, sometimes I don't.
      66
    • Most of the time I enjoy romance in my games, with a few exceptions.
      56
    • I always enjoy romance in my games, but I don't need them for me to enjoy the game overall.
      120
    • I love romance in my games - without romance I usually don't enjoy games.
      22
    • I am indifferent to romance in my games; don't care either way.
      17
  2. 2. How well do you feel romance has been used in cRPGs in the past?

    • It has always been bad. Sometimes really awful.
      34
    • It is usually not very good, with very rare exceptions.
      78
    • It has been more bad than good, but sometimes it was alright.
      50
    • Sometimes it had been bad, sometimes it has been good.
      69
    • It has been more good than bad, but sometimes it was cringe-worthy.
      57
    • It is usually pretty good, with some notable exceptons.
      55
    • It has always been good. Sometimes exceptionally great.
      14
    • I have no opinion on how it's been done before.
      8
  3. 3. Do you want Project Eternity to include any romance in the game?

    • Absolutely not. I really do not want any romance in the game - I personally dislike the addition, period.
      26
    • I would strongly prefer not. I don't think it can add anything, and I worry that the game overall will suffer if it is done poorly.
      23
    • I'd rather it isn't part of the game, but if Obsidian decides to add it I'll adjust.
      27
    • Up to Obsidian entirely... I'll accept their decision either way equally.
      70
    • I'd rather it is part of the game, but if Obsidian decides to not include it I'll adapt.
      80
    • I would strongly prefer it. I think it can add a lot, and I feel the overall game may be less compelling if it is not included.
      80
    • Absolutely. I really want romance in the game - I personally want it, period.
      49
    • I hold no preference.
      10


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So it's clearly something some gamers want, and they want done well.

 

I have to disagree with the last part. 'Done well', to me at least, is something that hasn't been done in any BioWare game I'm aware of. If you enjoy a love story based around the player being invariably good looking (because 'the player often agreeing with the love interest' has become either a rare trait or easily circumvented), and you make a thread after thread about the subject of 'which character you didn't get to bed in the last game', then I don't think the communtiy, as a whole, even cares wether romances are done well or not.

 

The direction BioWare is taking their writing proves this.

 

That said, every community has their focus. And wherever romances are implemented in a game even remotely related to Baldur's Gate, the community that's created around the game is often rather poor. That's why I'm wary of romances. And also resources.

Edited by Delterius
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If Eternity is not a date-sim RPG for biodrones, I'm okay with it. At least Obsidian said about skippable romances.

 

The bioware community isn't bizzare because biowarian romances aren't unskippable (at worst they are thrown at your face in a uncomfortable and cheesy manner that is only surpassed by the 'romance' itself) - but rather that the bioware community seems more concerned about this sort of thing than the game itself. A mere mention of bioware doing something (it can totally be closing itself) springs 10 threads about possible stereotypes for love interests.

 

....

 

Okay, this I can't deny.

 

But BSN also has fine people still bashing their heads against a wall advocating for silent PC, despite all of BioWare telling them "ain't going to happen", so...

yeah. :banghead:

 

There's also one of the most popular and long going threads (I don't know what incarnation it's on) which is "What are you listening to right now?" Fun thread to post in. :biggrin:

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There's also one of the most popular and long going threads (I don't know what incarnation it's on) which is "What are you listening to right now?" Fun thread to post in. :biggrin:

 

Jim Diamond - I Should Have Known Better

 

...What? I'm listening to a Best of The 80's collection! (Oh, wrong thread for this?)

 

EDIT: :)

Edited by JediMB

Something stirs within...

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So it's clearly something some gamers want, and they want done well.

 

I have to disagree with the last part. 'Done well', to me at least, is something that hasn't been done in any BioWare game I'm aware of. If you enjoy a love story based around the player being invariably good looking (because 'the player often agreeing with the love interest' has become either a rare trait or easily circumvented), and you make a thread after thread about the subject of 'which character you didn't get to bed in the last game', then I don't think the communtiy, as a whole, even cares wether romances are done well or not.

 

The direction BioWare is taking their writing proves this.

 

That said, every community has their focus. And wherever romances are implemented in a game even remotely related to Baldur's Gate, the community that's created around the game is often rather poor. That's why I'm wary of romances. And also resources.

 

Okay, I will argue otherwise. I tend to romance Garrus in the ME series because IMO it's the best-written romance I've seen in gaming. It entirely subverts a romance based on the character being "good looking." There is, to me, a lot of nuance to each character. I played Paragon, so Shepard always read to me as the only influence keeping Garrus from going full vigilante. And in turn, he would do things that she wasn't willing to do (shooting the Virmire Survivor at the Citadel coup, for instance). Only Garrus ever feels like he's justifiably becoming more and more competent and dangerous. Throughout the games he learns to be a leader, and by ME3, he feels like the 2IC of the Normandy and the second best hope for the galaxy, should Shepard fail. And between them is awkwardness that feels realistic to me, a strong sense of familiarity, and a really awesome vibe of sex positivity. It's the closest Bioware has come, imo, to a really well-executed romance. Even outside a romance arc, their friendship is one of the strongest in gaming.

 

You don't have to agree, as my experience is just as subjective as yours, but I'm just saying all this to point out that while a lot of Bioware's efforts fall flat, not all of them do, and some of them work. I think they'll get better as they try new and better ideas. In turn, I hope other companies try to write optional romance arcs and make them about more than some awkward-as-hell sex scene before the final battle. (jfc Dragon Age, what was that crap)

Edited by LucyZephyr
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I wouldn't mind seeing the protagonist turned down multiple times, be a slap in the face for those who argue that they should never experience any kind of rejection in any form. From my experience of dating back in the day that was a far more likely outcome than the object of my advances suddenly being overcome with passion and jumping me, don't know if times have changed, is it wrong to turn someone down now, no matter your feelings or sexual orientation?

 

Best we can hope for. Well, maybe, if you try to hit on a party member he or she will just leave the group and/or try to assault you or kill you - depending on how repeated said attempts are.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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The friendship with Garrus, I'll agree, is one of the best written I've seen in a game ever. One of the most meaningful and moving scenes in the entire series was Shepard and Garrus in ME3, in the Citadel shooting and drinking beers.

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So it's clearly something some gamers want, and they want done well.

 

I have to disagree with the last part. 'Done well', to me at least, is something that hasn't been done in any BioWare game I'm aware of. If you enjoy a love story based around the player being invariably good looking (because 'the player often agreeing with the love interest' has become either a rare trait or easily circumvented), and you make a thread after thread about the subject of 'which character you didn't get to bed in the last game', then I don't think the communtiy, as a whole, even cares wether romances are done well or not.

 

The direction BioWare is taking their writing proves this.

 

That said, every community has their focus. And wherever romances are implemented in a game even remotely related to Baldur's Gate, the community that's created around the game is often rather poor. That's why I'm wary of romances. And also resources.

ME series.

 

I can't comment on it because my experience is purely DA related. I will say that I believe ME's dialogue system is bland, which weights heavily against whatever I think about the story.

Edited by Delterius
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The friendship with Garrus, I'll agree, is one of the best written I've seen in a game ever. One of the most meaningful and moving scenes in the entire series was Shepard and Garrus in ME3, in the Citadel shooting and drinking beers.

 

That's why the romance works so well, IMO: It's built on a friendship that's already there and intended to be one of the more important relationships in the game.

 

Maybe that should be the way to do it? Build strong friendships and offer the option of romance, but more as an addition to an already good thing? That's been the problem with Bioware for me personally, that some romanceable characters often feel like that's the only reason they're there, and if you don't pursue the romance, you don't get any more interactions. (Thane is the worst example to me personally.)

 

ETA:

 

I can't comment on it because that only thing I care about those series, my experience is purely DA related. I will say that I believe ME's dialogue system is bland, which weights heavily against whatever I think about the story.

 

I've played both series and ME does it better for some of the romance options. DA was... not great, TBH. And while the ME dialogue system original seems bland, the genuinely think the ME series gives the players much stronger, obvious, and lasting choices than DA.

Edited by LucyZephyr
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Neither of the games offer any choices, as the ending of ME3 handily proved. Slight cosmetic differences in narration do not count as lasting choices.

Say no to popamole!

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Neither of the games offer any choices, as the ending of ME3 handily proved. Slight cosmetic differences in narration do not count as lasting choices.

 

Untrue. You can choose the color in which you want to **** up the galaxy.

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I'd like romances if the companions have fleshed out, independant characters. I really don't want a Skyrim marriage thing, I found that completely pointless. I also agree that romances should be 100% optional content but still give you insight into the NPC's personality, backstory etc. I'd be disappointed if they aren't included as I really enjoy the character interaction side of RPGs.

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The Divine Marshmallow shall succour the souls of the Righteous with his sweetness while the Faithless writhe in the molten syrup of his wrath.

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Neither of the games offer any choices, as the ending of ME3 handily proved. Slight cosmetic differences in narration do not count as lasting choices.

 

Untrue. You can choose the color in which you want to **** up the galaxy.

Which is a slight cosmetic difference in narration. And its not like the trilogy has some wonderful choices and consequences that are marred in the last minute by a lackluster finale - it was always always a narrow rail road from day one.

Say no to popamole!

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Neither of the games offer any choices, as the ending of ME3 handily proved. Slight cosmetic differences in narration do not count as lasting choices.

 

Untrue. You can choose the color in which you want to **** up the galaxy.

Which is a slight cosmetic difference in narration. And its not like the trilogy has some wonderful choices and consequences that are marred in the last minute by a lackluster finale - it was always always a narrow rail road from day one.

 

You're preaching to the choir. I was merely being derisive.

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Neither of the games offer any choices, as the ending of ME3 handily proved. Slight cosmetic differences in narration do not count as lasting choices.

 

Untrue. You can choose the color in which you want to **** up the galaxy.

Which is a slight cosmetic difference in narration. And its not like the trilogy has some wonderful choices and consequences that are marred in the last minute by a lackluster finale - it was always always a narrow rail road from day one.

 

You're preaching to the choir. I was merely being derisive.

 

Okay, take the Mass Effect conversation over to a different forum, thanks. ;)

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Which is a slight cosmetic difference in narration. And its not like the trilogy has some wonderful choices and consequences that are marred in the last minute by a lackluster finale - it was always always a narrow rail road from day one.

 

Well, Tuchanka was a decent part, rolling up some choices from ME1 onward, but yeah, wasn't exactly a reactive experience.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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There was for example NOTHING in all three games that would impact the ending in any meaningful way. And to get back on topic the bromance with Garrus was probably the best thing they've written in the games.

Say no to popamole!

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and hopefully we can all stay on target and leave the personal attacks at home.

 

---

 

While I am just one more forum member with no power to enforce any rules, I can make a strong plea at the outset...

 

Don't troll. Do not insult others for stating their opinion on romance in games, regardless of what that opinion is, nor for their opinion on games that held romances. Those opinions are clearly their business, and they have a right to it. What we don't have a right to is harassing them about said opinions.

 

And if someone DOES try to insult you for your opinion – please ignore the insults. If you want to try and engage them, feel free, but the best way to keep the thread open and productive is to just not take the bait.

 

just a gentle reminder...

 

If you feel like someone is harassing you or attacking you for simply stating your opinion on the topic, it is probably better to not engage them. If you feel it is particularly egregious, use the report feature. I know it's hard not to respond... but nothing good can come from it.

 

Nothing is gained from commenting on each other's personal lives and levels of maturity.

 

and now back to our regularly scheduled discussion...

But clearly there's a lot to be gained by opening circle-jerking threads where you have to agree with the op and using the "Codexers made me cry" excuse to try to ignore arguments that might make look silly your request for asinine features.

 

Meanwhile pretty much every romancer goes:"i swear the fact that i obsessivly post about romances is not an indication i'm obssessed about this feature!!1!see i even voted that option in the poll number159!1!!"

 

Actually, this is exactly the type of post that Merin is talking about ignoring/reporting. It is one thing to disagree and it is another to specialize in these ad hominem, vitriolic posts. The issue is not people engaging in a dialogue with conflicting opinions, it's using these generalized statements to degrade the poster or devalue his/her contribution. "Nobody should take your opinion seriously since you're just an obsessive Bioware loving, sex-depraved basement dweller!"

 

Something that occurred to me reading this thread: many people have stated they hope that if romance is included, it doesn't follow the Bioware model. To me, this actually goes without saying. Even if one likes the Bioware model (I personally am ambivalent towards it), this is an Obsidian game and I would not want them to squander their creativity by copying Bioware's model for romance progression regardless of the quality of said model. Innovation is key, and I think that in addition to maturity and relevance most people probably want to see something new and uncharted in regards to romance.

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It is odd that these go on, didn't Merin declare the majority were for it. Well, unless Living One is correct in what these threads are aimed to be. :lol:

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Yeah, but even then it'll be so general as to make calling them 'implementations' amusing or just the usual variations on the "Do it well!" from armchair developers.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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With 305 people having voted (at the time I did the calculations,) here's where we stand in the non-scientific, practically meaningless for any purpose save taking the temperature of those on the Obsidian forums who cared to voted in this poll...

 

1. Feelings on romance in cRPGs?

 

Enjoys romances most of the time (or more): 53.11%

Doesn't enjoy romances most of the time (or more): 23.61%

Mixed (sometimes enjoy, sometimes don't): 18.69%

Indifferent / Don't care: 4.59%

 

You can keep the Mixed separate, team them up with Indifferent, or divide them equally between Enjoy and Doesn't... I'd probably keep them out of the thing entirely as they are effectively Indifferent for figuring out whether people like or don't overall.

 

Regardless - 53% is a clear majority.

 

again, of those who take the poll... but that's what we got

 

2. Quality of romance in cRPGs?

 

Romances have been more bad than good (or worse): 45.25%

Romances have been more good than bad (or better): 32.46%

Mixed (sometimes bad, sometimes good): 19.67%

No opinion: 2.62%

 

Not as clear a result. Mixed, again, probably best to consider it negates itself. More think they were mostly bad than think they were mostly good. I don't think this is that surprising, but one thing to possibility take from this is that it's not a clear majority who think romances are mostly done badly.

 

3. Desire for romance in Project Eternity?

 

Prefer romances in PE (up to need them): 56.39%

Leave it up to Obsidian (including no preference, which is practically the exact same thing): 22.62%

Prefer romances aren't in PE (up to abhor them): 20.98%

 

This is surprising. More people want romance in the game than say they usually enjoy them - meaning you have some benevolent people crossing over for more inclusion. A very clear majority, especially when you compare 56.39% vs. 22.62% - that's almost a 34 point spread.

Saying you have no preference is essentially the same as leaving it up to Obsidian, I just included it in the poll for completions sake (for those who want to vote - don't care - clearly on all three polls.)

Those not wanting romance in PE (not any game, period, but PE specifically) are the very clear minority.

... of those who voted in this poll.

 

It's a very interesting result. I actually expected romance to be more on the losing end... but that's what very loud, very repetitious voices can do... they can make the minority seem more numerous than they are.

 

Of course the poll is still open, you never know if there will be some wild surge of votes that changes things.

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First of all, this is my first comment here and let me just say before anything else: I'm excited beyond any measure about this. If there is even one tiny possibility that I can relive the magic of Bladur's Gate and Planescape Torment in a new video game, I'll cling to that hope like a starving monkey on a banana tree branch.

 

So, romance in RPGs. It HAS to be there. Allow me to explain.

 

The most important aspect of an RPG, what newer games often fail to achieve and the "oldies" possessed in abundance, is quite simple really. It is the ROLE playing part. The feeling that this character is actually you in an alternate universe. Yes, he/she might be 4 inches tall and 30 years older than you, but it is up to the developer to make you feel like you can "import" your personality into any character in the game.

 

So, how can anyone feel like they're roleplaying if there is no romance in the game? It is such an important aspect of our real lives that it just cannot be ignored, even when considering an alternate universe.

 

But this is not the matter in question here! The question is, how "much" romance are we talking about? Well... That depends on the general level of maturity the game aspires to achieve. The following is a scale of romance maturity:

 

No romance -- (Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate 1) = The absence of any love story doesn't subtract from the overal quality but, let's be honest, romance wasn't even on the table back then! Numerous advancements in RPG gaming have rendered this option obsolete.

 

Insignificant romance -- (Skyrim, Fallout 2) = A shallow marriage is not considered romance. Skyrim's marriage system is for laughs. You meet someone, you start "dating" and get married in three days. Nope. Nice try, but still nope. On the other hand we have Fallout 2. The game didn't have a serious romance mechanic, but who can forget Leslie Anne and Angela Bishop or the Golden Globes studios? Well, I know I can't, partly because I have Google as my ally! Seriously, though, little distractions like these made the Wasteland vibrant and interesting. If the game aims for a generally mature, dark setting, such options should always be present.

 

Bioware romance -- (Baldur's Gate 2, Mass Effect) = Pretty obvious. It's the kind of romance procedure that we're used to in every Bioware game since the turn of the century. Character meets girl/guy, character builds an enduring relationship throughout the game with girl/guy, maybe does a quest for them, even chose them over some other guy/girl, have sex with them and be happy. I know I made it sound too shallow when it absolutely isn't, especially in BG 2. Besides, it's always been fun.

 

Witcher romance -- (duh) = You gotta give the guys at CD Project some credit. What they did was unprecedented in Western RPGs, and it wasn't bad. I know many of you find the romance overly explicit and maybe offensive but it fits perfectly with the dark, cruel, medieval world of the Witcher.

 

 

 

In this game, I can see a unique opportunity for something different. Romance and sex, for one, should be two entirely different things. The player should be able to have casual sex with some people, like prostitutes, village girls, sexy rogues, succubi etc, etc. BUT should only be able to pursue a full romance with a handful of people. This must obviously include most companions and maybe a few NPCs (like a duchess, whom the player intensively courts throughout the game or a princess to abscond with, etc.).

 

One original aspect that could add flavour to the romance system is the following: a player should be able to romance someone, complete the circle of their relationship (break-up, death in battle) and then romance someone else. As far as I know, that doesn't happen in many video games.

 

As for how explicit the actual romancing should be, that's up to the developers. My proposition would be something like the card system in the first Witcher, or anything that can be COLLECTED. Never underestimate the importance of collectibles. Gotta catch 'em all is a serious syndrome and a synonym of replayability in many cases.

 

Congratulations and thank you if you read the whole thing. Once again, I'm very glad to be here!

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It's a very interesting result. I actually expected romance to be more on the losing end... but that's what very loud, very repetitious voices can do... they can make the minority seem more numerous than they are.

 

Bit of glass houses there, chief. God help us, they're taking forum polls seriously.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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