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Fallout: NV seemed to have much more general radio announcements about what happened, making it less clear cut.

 

However, the issue with FO3 wasn't Three Dawg coming to his own erratic conclusions-- that's just being a talk show host-- it's that there really wasn't a whole lot of other feedback besides people randomly trying to give you stuff or assassinate you in the streets.

 

I'm assuming most people in towns will reacts +/- depending on if you've done something for them, but more interesting might be if there was a slightly more ambiguous option that pushed the player's thoughts.

 

Par example, what if the protagonist comes about a human sacrifice where someone's soul is being used to life a blood curse? The human sacrifice is wrong, but the undead will stop rising if they go through with it. An angry mob from the same town has come to confront whoever is doing this "for the Greater Good" because they don't want this townsperson dead. Let's assume there are basically three options:

 

1. Say it's for the Greater Good and talk down/defeat the villagers

2. Kill the bastards who did this but fail to save the sacrifice.

3. Talk down or kill the Greater do-Gooders and prevent the sacrifice.

 

For one, those villagers and the person's friends/family will now vehemently hate you and likely at least one will try to murder you-- but others will be saved by this and a grudging respect may be held for you if you did a good job talking them down.

 

Number two creates an interesting situation wherein the people like you for killing their tangible adversaries, the kidnappers trying to perform the sacrifice, but they also reap the rewards of the action taken for the Greater Good-- so everyone can say what a shame it was they killed her but they got what was coming to them, AND there are no longer zombies defiling their temple and preventing trade. It's hard for anyone to be mad at you for this (except for the friends and family of the Greater Goodies, who may belong to a group you'd meet later and have low rep with because of this) and the town would get the "best of both worlds."

 

Three would probably result in a different change of opinion with the faction involved (assuming it is one) if you killed them or just talked them down, but either way you're a meddler. You have the eternal gratitude of the person who you saved (bonus points if they're a companion), and certainly their friends and family, but maybe even on the way back zombies overtake the angry mob and some innocents are killed. This foreshadows how the rest of their foreseeable future will be-- a bleak battle for existence, having saved only one person and made enemies of the one group known to them who could have stopped this terrible curse.

 

((For our purposes we're assuming the PC can only end the curse via the human sacrifice, which to me makes it a much more "real" decision that just jumping through some hoops to get a magical everything's-A-OK version a la DA:O and the demonchild)).

 

Now, when someone from a town whose undead curse was just lifted sits down next to you at the bar and says

 

"I never thought I'd see the day my people were at peace and prospered again! Shame about that human sacrifice business, though..."

 

So do they lie, do they cover it up, do they say it was unrelated, do they get vilified?

 

That's the exciting part! It's such a polarizing, hard to slosh through thing that you might hear dozens of different accounts of what was done and why by NPCs throughout your travels. One interesting thing DA 2 did (because referencing BioWare RPGs is sort of a trendy to-do in this sub-forum) was frame the narrative with the Paladin who had to figure out all these things about Hawke, trying to discover what kind of person they were and why they'd done what they'd one-- through a less-than-reliable dwarf narrator.

 

Imagine if a character like that tailed the player, with maybe an inconspicuous cameo but likely no dialogue, for half or three-fourths of the game. Now imagine you've been imprisoned or immobilized and this vaguely familiar figure comes up to you and says,

 

"I know what you did, what I want to know is-- why?" Perhaps they're someone with knowledge of the Watchers who wants to study a real one. I just think it'd make for a nice mind bender, because they'd have their own opinions from seeing the aftermath and talking to various people about you. This is the sort of thing that'd make a system better than Three Dawg, a mesh of ideas and accounts and difficult to explain and all but impossible to justify out of context decisions and situations that run together through the public conscious in ripples.

 

THAT would make for a great "rumor" system in a game.

 

/rant

Edited by Azrayel
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CORSAIR, n. A politician of the seas. ~The Devil's Dictionary

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Dear Azrayel,

 

That's a great idea on the quest line. Tying up this with the news/rumor mill system would be very intriguing. However, this may need to be sparingly used, perhaps on the main quest line? It needs to be one where the quest is of high visibility so that it has the necessary impact on the player.

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I may be wrong but I seem to recall that somewhere in the talk about the game setting it may have specifically been said that the printing press was one of the technologies that had yet to be developed - if so it may well be that the reason for this was to limit the range and depth of news travel in the world in order to support the concepts of different factions/areas having a real disconnect from others (be their own little worlds).

 

As for my take on the concept of the game making the player and his team an object of media speculation throughout the realms through any means (print or otherwise) my gut reaction is not just no but hell no but that could be just becuase I so completely loathe the whole media circus that exists today in RL and don't want to see even a smidgen of that creep into a game that I play to escape to a different time and place... ;(

 

Heh... those are just ideas being bandied around. Not even a smidgen? Hard to avoid gossip... even in a medieval setting...

 

My own thoughts would be to start of things very subtly. However, near the end of the game, if the PC and his companions have performed quite a number of heroic/villainous deeds, then perhaps there would be more detailed coverage. I believe this would make more sense.

 

And the media coverage could cover other news:

1. On mysterious happenings - which could lead to other quests...

2. On rival adventuring groups - so you could follow their exploits and rise to power...

Dear Obsidian, listen to this guy

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Your actions should have an effect. But they shouldn't be necessarily told about in newspapers or by minstrels. That would highlight big things but overlook smaller actions. In Fallout 3 it felt like the radio was basically being a big propaganda machine about you, but that was ok within the game concept of being a subversive underground radio trying to build up hope in the wasteland.

 

Ie, in Lord of the Rings Online in one village the people are commenting about whether I'm trustworthy or not, and one child speaks up and says I found her lost toy and then the adults shush her. A small insignificant act but it gets acknowledged later. That's what I want in a single player game too.

 

If I wipe out the bandits, the nearby town stores will start to get better equipment (but without that instantaneous world wide reputation gain), other bandit groups might start to show up, other towns want me to help them out too, etc. Towncriers might mention that the duke was rescued without saying that it was me, and the duke appears later in the game. So instead of having news about my actions being broadcast, what I see is that the world itself is changing based on what I do. Even some major game changers as well (such as the entire town vanishing if I decide to launch the nuke).

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JE Sawyer has stated that the level of technology will include early gunpowder weapons but not the printing press so I am guessing there will be no newspapers.

 

From update #5

 

The most recent technologies seeing use in the world are ocean-going carrack-style ships and black powder firearms (notably absent: the printing press).
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I too always loved to see echos of my actions in RPGs. It just makes sense. But it must be subtle. Well, i won't repeat all that was said before my post.

Backer of : Dead State, Grim Dawn, Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2.

Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus !

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Town criers, tavern rumours and other such mediums would be a great idea, however I don't believe it needs to pertain only to the protagonists actions. To build a more believable setting we could have news arriving from the far corners of the lands, as well as local points of interest being raised.

 

For example: Eggs a dozen for a ha'penny, fresh milk and live chickens all at farmer Doone's market stall.

Lord Rutherford has ruined another young lady, her father has vowed to horsewhip the scoundrel.

Viscount Donagh the esteemed merchant and adventurer has sent out the call for sellswords and mercenaries of proven worth and sober diposition to join his latest venture, rivers of gold and exotic native women await those daring enough to answer his challenge.

The wheat crop of Bywater town has failed, cries of witchcraft have been raised and some have even called for the intervention of the holy church.

Smith Murdo's lad has run from his apprenticeship, anybody returning him can earn a silver penny for their troubles. He is described as a rat faced ungrateful little bastard with a womans hair and an aversion to honest work.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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JE Sawyer has stated that the level of technology will include early gunpowder weapons but not the printing press so I am guessing there will be no newspapers.

 

From update #5

 

The most recent technologies seeing use in the world are ocean-going carrack-style ships and black powder firearms (notably absent: the printing press).

Crap.

Seriously. Crap.

I loved newspapers, Tim. I loved reading books and dossiers as well.

 

Crap.

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Reactivity is -really- important to me when I play RPGs. But it needs to be tuned very well. If it's done in a shallow manner, then it breaks immersion instead of heightening it. In my point of view, reactivity needs as much attention as any other major gameplay element.

Like music? Check out my original Project Eternity songs: Project Eternity Excitement Song

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The greatest difficulty with reactivity is the HUGE amount of work involved. The more options available to the PC, the harder it is to implement since you have to take into account all the different reactions amongst the NPCs to the PC's different actions.

 

Like what has been posted earlier, it would be ideal if you killed bandits nearby a town, their economy would improve, which may mean an improvement in the town environment and economy (i.e. vendor goods). Conversely, if you do nothing, the village may slowly wither and die.

 

A town crier/radio station/newspaper attempts to implement reactivity on a more simplified scale. Not too sure whether there are other better mechanisms to do this.

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Well, I'm sure Obsidian will handle the news system differently, if it was implemented.

 

Besides, any media reporting system will be biased depending on who owns it. If we look at Three Dog in the Fallout 3 system, I can see why you say his word appears to represent the world's view on you. But that is an assumption on your part that everybody believes Three Dog. That is not always necessarily the case.

Of course Obsidian won't do a potential news system like Bethesda. They did do it differently in NV

There is no other news network in the CW though. And again you meet the guy, you know him personaly, you help him restore his station by going into one of the most dangerous areas for your level most likely - potentially without expecting a reward - and he still misunderstands.

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How fast and accurate the news spreads should depend on a lot of factors.

Like, who is spreading the news and in what way?

 

I don't think there's cellphones and twitter in THEPES (the Project Eternity Setting).

Edited by TrashMan
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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I found the radio broadcasts in FONV to be slightly amusing. Nothing more. For me it added little to the game play.

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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I'd love to see it implemented too.

 

To a lesser extent, even Diablo 3 has this. Everytime you do something epic, the townsfolk start talking about what you've done for them. I'd love to see the world of Project Eternity react to my character... so if I'm a good guy, I get good press and nice comments. If I'm a scumbag... then bad press, snide comments, maybe the odd rotten tomato.

 

Exactly this, I did read however that due to a lack of a renaissance there will be no printing press, but certainly if townsfolk talk about your deeds as well as the local innkeeper and perhaps even the town crier this would be quite welcome in my eyes.

 

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Yes, it could something subtle. It doesn't necessarily need to be an *in your face* type of news. For instance:

 

1. A travelling ministrel singing about the fall of an evil necromancer.

2. Some braggard claiming credit for some quest that you've done. You could have the option to set things straight.

 

Little things like that...

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I would like to see something as long as it is limited to important news and not a thinly (if at all) veiled attempt to give the impression of player actions having an impact.

 

It annoyed me to no end that for every stupid mission I did in Mass Effect 2 I would then get mail confirmation of the impact. I am in a super secret space ship of a super secret organisation, in theory I am thought to be dead (though noone ever was surprised to see me breathing) and some punk kid, so unimportant he is sold a non-functional gun so he can go and sign up as cannon fodder for a gang, suddenly has enough pull and cash to get an audience with the top dog of the underworld and buy my email address so he can send a thank you note? And every npc I ever encountered in the previous game just happens to bump into me, even if it only is to say that "Hey! We exist, we are thankfull and haven't forgotten you and the facty ou imported your safe game also made this game (and the next one in the series) aware of this awesomeness of yours.

 

I enjoyed Three Dog. I prefered Henry Eden. Yes, all I wanted to do was finally find out where Three Dog is broadcasting from, burst in there and tell him to stop telling the Black Talon and everyone else about my whereabouts. The DJ in Fallout New Vegas seemed kinda boring in comparison, as you'd hear the same information time and again even though you had explored that part of the game weeks ago.

Unobtrusively informing you about my new ebook (which you should feel free to read and shower with praise).

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I would like to see something as long as it is limited to important news and not a thinly (if at all) veiled attempt to give the impression of player actions having an impact.

 

It annoyed me to no end that for every stupid mission I did in Mass Effect 2 I would then get mail confirmation of the impact. I am in a super secret space ship of a super secret organisation, in theory I am thought to be dead (though noone ever was surprised to see me breathing) and some punk kid, so unimportant he is sold a non-functional gun so he can go and sign up as cannon fodder for a gang, suddenly has enough pull and cash to get an audience with the top dog of the underworld and buy my email address so he can send a thank you note? And every npc I ever encountered in the previous game just happens to bump into me, even if it only is to say that "Hey! We exist, we are thankfull and haven't forgotten you and the facty ou imported your safe game also made this game (and the next one in the series) aware of this awesomeness of yours.

 

I enjoyed Three Dog. I prefered Henry Eden. Yes, all I wanted to do was finally find out where Three Dog is broadcasting from, burst in there and tell him to stop telling the Black Talon and everyone else about my whereabouts. The DJ in Fallout New Vegas seemed kinda boring in comparison, as you'd hear the same information time and again even though you had explored that part of the game weeks ago.

 

Mass Effect really overdid the news aspect. I agree with mostly what you've said. News should be exactly that, news about important events that is taking place in the country or village that you're at. Obviously, in the beginning - the news would be covering important heroes and figures in the PE setting, which should obviously EXCLUDE a young PC that's just starting out. Later, perhaps much, much later - if you've done something particularly noteworthy, you might get an honorable mention.

 

Harry Eden in FO3 eh... interesting character indeed.

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