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This topic came to mind based on another similar topic, but one thing I'd like to see in Project Eternity is no real "right or wrong" or "good or evil" option when deciding on dialogue choices, or when deciding on what to do in a quest. I'd like to see the player have to choose between two "grey" options, decisions that are neither good or evil, but merely two different options to solve something that have different consequences for each.

 

Too often, decisions come down to "I'm playing a good character, so I have to choose this option" or "I'm a really mean bad ass and so I have to bully this person into giving me all their money after I do their quest". I'd like to see quests where you have to think more about the long term consequences of making a decision, rather than simply picking whichever choice coincides with whatever alignment your character happens to be.

 

This doesn't have to encompass all quests; depending on where Obsidian is going with the main quest (maybe they want certain "alignment" choices to push the story along), it could be restricted to the sidequests you pick up along the way, or even simply be during dialogue with NPCs you meet.

 

Thoughts?

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"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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Good and evil is sort of a matter of perspective, isn't it?

 

Like real life, it gets down to choices about being selfish or altruistic, empathic or sociopath, strong or despondent, brave or coward, proactive or apathetic etc.

 

What you consider right according to your values is "good", what you consider wrong is "evil".

 

Just my $0.25

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Yeah I think this might be a little hard to implement.

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Good and evil is sort of a matter of perspective, isn't it?

 

Like real life, it gets down to choices about being selfish or altruistic, empathic or sociopath, strong or despondent, brave or coward, proactive or apathetic etc.

 

What you consider right according to your values is "good", what you consider wrong is "evil".

 

Just my $0.25

 

I must not have explained it well enough.

 

Basically, take two games: the Witcher and KOTOR. In the Witcher, you don't make choices that follow the usual good or evil definition, but rather you make one of two equally grey choices. In Mass Effect, you choose good (Light Side) or bad (Dark Side). Each choice is clearly defined, thus making them easy to pick between depending on what kind of character you're playing.

 

In the above two examples, KOTOR makes it pretty easy for you to decide which choice to take if you're playing a Light Side character. The Witcher, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily give you a blatantly obvious "good" choice.

 

So I'm proposing that PE follow more closely to the Witcher's method of giving a player two equally moral (or immoral) choices, rather than KOTOR's hand holding that says "pick the top dialogue option if you're playing a good guy, pick the bottom option if you're playing a bad guy".

Edited by GhostofAnakin
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"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I beg to differ. Praising Twitcher in any fashion is clearly the evil choice.

 

 

Anyways, I don't mind having 'grey' chocies but let's be honest the concept of good and evil exist and exist for good reason. To avoid that kind of choice is not progressive or 'deep' but shallow and ignorant. Why not incorporate good vs evil vs 'grey' or how different shades of good vs different shades of good vs different shades of evil vs different shades of evil vs different shades of meh. That works out better.

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No I don't agree with this. Just grey choices is horrible. What is up with all this grey business that's so popular these days?

 

Should there be some choices that aren't clearly good or evil? Of course, but you don't ditch hero and villain choices. Can't stress this enough.

 

Volourn got it right. There is nothing deep or edgy about 'grey'.

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Isn't it just a matter of the "scale"?

 

If it is obvious "dark" or "light" (see above comment about selfish etc.) it's just a choice between more extreme endpoints than choosing something that is of less consequence to You (although the consequences of others affected by your choice may vary).

 

If I'm a genocidal xenophobe, choosing to eradicating all gnomes might be the obvious "light" choice because it makes the world a better place. If the choice is to eradicate all gnomes OR eradicate all elves, it becomes muddled and a "grey" choice.

 

Of course, if I'm partial to pointy eared tree huggers and obnoxious vertically challenged demi humans, I might find it a hard choice.

 

Sort of hard to find a set of choices between alternatives that provides a "challenge" for all players. Chances are it's going to be hit and miss every now and then despite best intentions.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Hmm, I tend to agree with Volourn too. And since Obsidian seems to go for distinct classes (and not Skyrim's "you become what you do"-PC), it just makes sense with more categorical "good" and "evil". Being an old D&D fan, I can even feel excited about the somewhat contrived alignment system of that game, with concepts such as "lawful", "neutral" and "chaotic" as well. But what would Lord of the Rings or Star Wars be without clear sides of good and evil? Humdrum philosophical wish-wash doesn't fit well with epic fantasy adventures. However cleverly written, it tends to water down the heroic sense of the story.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think people tend to read the word "grey" and assume "you mean I have to be an anti-hero?" and that's not really the case. It doesn't mean that all choices have to be either equally immoral or amoral to start with, but rather that all choices have to be morally viable.

 

To use the Witcher example, I know people who believe very firmly that taking the Scoia'tael paths in both games is unquestionably the "good" way to play the character, whereas I feel very firmly the opposite and struggle to get through my Scoia'tael games because I find the association with terrorism so unforgivable. Both types of player get a strong moral narrative from the game with them as the clear hero, but because the games allow you to pick the faction that you identify with as being more justified, and because the choice can be difficult and have unpleasant consequences, the moral narrative that emerges is much more satisfying and authentic than "do X for lightside points, do Y for darkside points".

 

Honestly it comes down to intelligent writing. Any heroic narrative has to deal with issues of good and evil, but the problem with dealing with them explicitly is that the writers have to understand both concepts. And they are not easy concepts to define; people haven't been able to reach consensus on it despite thousands of years of academic discussion. So inevitably when some game tries to represent these two moral extremes as being clearly defined and easy to recognize, it comes across as shallow and often preachy.

 

An intelligent writer should be able to construct authentic moral dilemmas, and authentic moral dilemmas are debatable. Which is what makes them satisfying in the roleplaying, because you need to decide what your character believes and take a stand on an issue. If it is as clear and as easy as Good choice versus Evil choice then the only decision you have to make is the shallow and simplistic "do I want to be good or bad?" which I doubt is truly satisfying to anyone over a certain age.

Edited by Sarog
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Looks like this isn't one of my more popular ideas. :p

 

I probably misspoke (and miss-titled) by suggesting ALL choices should be grey or that no good or evil choices should be included. But I'd just like to see some more variety where certain situations call for decisions that aren't necessarily instantly put into either a good or evil action category.

 

For instance, at some point you come across two factions that are both considered "good" but are given a quest that could force you to have to side with one of them to the detriment of the other. So the player's decision wouldn't necessarily be down to good or evil because you're choosing between two factions that are considered "good".

 

I think Obsidian's capable of pulling it off and making it fit with their overall narrative since they've already done this, as recently as New Vegas. For example, when choosing who to side with at the end, there's not necessarily only a "good" or "evil" option (I guess siding with Caesar is evil, but the others are kind of all "neutral" to some degree because each has its own drawbacks to the population as a whole).

 

I don't know. I think it'd add flavor if there were some decisions that weren't just black and white (good and evil).

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"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I want many CHOICES, I do not want to be limited to two of anything, I want many choices that go up and down the spectrum from the whitest of white, to the blackest of black and many shades of grey in between. I do NOT want bioware stupid, good, snarky, sortabad option. I want it to be like the old games where you had a lot of possible solutions and outcomes for each situation.

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Sarog, you have a very good point about the importance of the quality of the writing. It is what "good" and "evil" is filled with that makes up much of the structure and meatiness of the story, not to mention its dynamics as well. So yes, it is absolutely pivotal. And simple good-evil choices here and there would make for a boring RPG. I'd much rather have six viable alternatives in a dialogue tree, than just the same binary opposition over and over again. My point, however, is that I want the morality and ethics of the story smartly packaged into categories, just like Obsidian is picking classes over Skyrim's rather realistical approach.

 

I just read GhostofAnakin's last post, and now I feel we're on the same page. That is how I feel. Great! :D

Edited by Apex of the Obsidian Order

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think people tend to read the word "grey" and assume "you mean I have to be an anti-hero?" and that's not really the case. It doesn't mean that all choices have to be either equally immoral or amoral to start with, but rather that all choices have to be morally viable.

 

 

And what if I want to RP a immoral character? What if I want to RP a cannibal that goes from town to town eating it's inhabitants? Or a PC that goes around devouring souls because he desperate to have more power?

 

Choice to be good, evil and everything in between is what works best in RPGs.

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Is it me, or is the whole gray thing getting just as cliche as good and evil? Pretty much every new RPG that came out lately (dragon age, the witcher 2, Skyrim, etc), are trying to be original by giving you these choices that aren't good or evil.

 

Personally, why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't it be both? Sure, give me grey choices, but sometimes I want to be freaking evil overlord as well because I can. I don't need games questioning my morality "all the time."

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Good and evil is sort of a matter of perspective, isn't it?

 

Like real life, it gets down to choices about being selfish or altruistic, empathic or sociopath, strong or despondent, brave or coward, proactive or apathetic etc.

 

What you consider right according to your values is "good", what you consider wrong is "evil".

 

Just my $0.25

This is exactly right. With any decent character design, broad concepts of good and evil largely cease to be relevant. Is defending the profiteering merchant from the angry starving crowd the good or evil option? I'd say it depends on why you're doing it, and Obsidian isn't ever going to know that in advance.

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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If you want gray choices go play BioWare games....seriously they are filled with fake choices, identical choices that only appear to be different and the all time favorite choices that do not matter for anything.

 

No. The ONLY way to do a choice system properly is by including the extremes and middle choices.....Alpha Protocol and Fallout: New Vegas are perfect examples of choice systems executed perfectly. Now if you want gray there's plenty of options to choose from, none done by Obsidian because Obsidian only makes amazing games, not sub-par garbage.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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Good and evil is sort of a matter of perspective, isn't it?

 

Like real life, it gets down to choices about being selfish or altruistic, empathic or sociopath, strong or despondent, brave or coward, proactive or apathetic etc.

 

What you consider right according to your values is "good", what you consider wrong is "evil".

 

Just my $0.25

This is exactly right. With any decent character design, broad concepts of good and evil largely cease to be relevant. Is defending the profiteering merchant from the angry starving crowd the good or evil option? I'd say it depends on why you're doing it, and Obsidian isn't ever going to know that in advance.

 

Nobody plays games because they are like real life.....the whole point of playing games is to get away from that garbage. In real life if you save someone from anything you can then be sued and sent to jail and have to pay damages because you bruised the person's arm in the process of saving their life....then there's the legal ramifications of acting without the proper rescuer training and whatever. So if you see a child about to get run over by a car you best think twice before intervening. If you like real life just jump in traffic....it's real.

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well thank god these decisions arnt up to the fans, if you've listen to anything cain,sawyer or avallone have ever said then you know they like gray choices and think good and evil are boreing, darth trethon what FNV did you play? the ENTIRE game was one colossal grey choice, everything you did,every faction had its pros and cons that is the very definition of a grey choice

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well thank god these decisions arnt up to the fans, if you've listen to anything cain,sawyer or avallone have ever said then you know they like gray choices and think good and evil are boreing, darth trethon what FNV did you play? the ENTIRE game was one colossal grey choice, everything you did,every faction had its pros and cons that is the very definition of a grey choice

 

Of course it was.....Caesar's Legion was totally gray..... :rolleyes:

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I must not have explained it well enough.

 

Basically, take two games: the Witcher and KOTOR. In the Witcher, you don't make choices that follow the usual good or evil definition, but rather you make one of two equally grey choices. In Mass Effect, you choose good (Light Side) or bad (Dark Side). Each choice is clearly defined, thus making them easy to pick between depending on what kind of character you're playing.

 

Mass Effect didn't have good and evil, but Renegade and Paragon.

And that wans't clearly good nad evil. Soem renegade choices were clearly more "good" or better than paragon ones.

 

 

That said, I dont' want the choice system to be formulaic. If you do that it feels just as a fake as the good/evil one.

 

I want chocies to be whatever it makes sense for them to be. Sometimes clear good and evil, sometimes not, sometimes a mix of everything.

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

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well thank god these decisions arnt up to the fans, if you've listen to anything cain,sawyer or avallone have ever said then you know they like gray choices and think good and evil are boreing, darth trethon what FNV did you play? the ENTIRE game was one colossal grey choice, everything you did,every faction had its pros and cons that is the very definition of a grey choice

 

I made choices, as a murdering, sociopathic cannibal, that matched my PC desire. NV is the perfect example of good, evil and grey choices. Obviously you didn't play NV.

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certinly the legion is an extermist group that isn't very nice but are you going to tell me that house or the ncr is any better? when all options all reasonable regardless of pointless morality that is a grey choice if it was shallow good and evil the ncr would be perfect beacons of virtue and morality and the legion would be crazy evil bandits like the fiends.....but hey don't listen to me i obviously never played FNV

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ok then explain to me your definition of good,evil and grey and which factions in FNV fell into what groups, because the factions i saw were all equally flawed, but please share with me your opinion

 

Obviously you didn't play, because you would know there was a choice where you sided with none of them. aka Killed them all. And took control of the Securitrons, for your own purposes.

 

Caesar Legion, while it might of been though up as a grey faction, it's implementation in the game was far from it. Rapists, slaver and a devolution of society is what they represented in NV. There was nothing grey about them in the final product.

 

NCR was perhaps the only 'grey' faction choice.

 

House was clearly one of humanities last hopes, someone that could bring society and technology back. By killing him you made the Mojave and the rest of the world a darker place. House was the future. Some might claim he was a grey choice but I don't see it.

 

And then there was plenty of evil and good choices all throughout the game, if you can't see that I can't help you. But don't make a baseless claim that there was no good or evil in NV.

 

That's not even mentioning the karma system that was left in place from FO3.

Edited by Bos_hybrid
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