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jivex5k

Killing all NPCs

Do you want to be able to kill ANY npc?  

272 members have voted

  1. 1. What NPCs would you like to be able to kill?

    • Town Vendors
      231
    • Townfolk
      242
    • Main plot essential NPCs
      195
    • Side quest essential NPCs
      229
    • Your own party members
      233
    • Friendly NPCs in the wild or on the road
      253
  2. 2. When do you want the game to notify you you're going to kill someone essential?

    • Never! It's a risk I take by going all crazy and killing.
      104
    • Only if they are essential to the main plot.
      74
    • Don't warn me, but just knock them out! (Main only)
      13
    • If they are essential to the main or side quests.
      29
    • Don't warn me, but just knock them out! (Main and side quests)
      6
    • Warn me before every friendly NPC I attack that it's a criminal action.
      22
    • Don't let us attack friendly NPCs at all!
      5
    • This poll is dumb.
      18


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I don't understand the puerile fixation with being able to kill everything in sight. Loosing a fireball in the town square and toasting 3 dozen people accomplishes precisely nothing unless, of course, you're laying siege to the town in question. Then it should be allowed, but not under normal circumstances.

 

If I'm attacked by ruffians and accidentally flash-fry 3 dozen people who were caught in the blast zone, I'd expect to have to submit myself to the authorities or flee the town. Unless I have a high charisma and/or high reputation, I expect that in the former case (submit) I'd be jailed and in both cases I'd lose any sidequests or clues to the main quest from that town. This would probably break the game and end it, so what's the point?

 

Stick with the knock-outs and be done with it.

What if the town disrespects you.

Are you gonna just take that bs????

NO!

Summon Daemon in the middle of town!

 

Seriously though, let people roleplay murderers who commit genocide to towns if they want. You'd better have some skill and/or backup though.

And if you think it's puerile well you don't have to do it. But please don't deny us miscreants who would love it.

 

Who hasn't murdered entire towns in Fable? Good times...

Edited by jivex5k

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I'm a bit torn on this one.. I certainly don't like killing NPCs personally.. maybe it's my Lawful nature. Sure.. I might get angry and have a brawl with them.. but murder is completely out of the question. I wouldn't want the game to be limited in this way though.. just because I don't want to because of my Lawful Neutral playstyle and approach to RPG gaming, doesn't mean I don't acknowledge that there are people who like to play chaotic characters out there that want to do that..

 

The only characters that shouldn't be able to be killed outright would be the main quest ones.. though those chaotic people could still hurt them.. and be penalised accordingly.. no quest giver is going to want you to help them if you just tried to kill them... but if you work your way back in to their good books somehow.. or if you prove that you are just too valueable to their goals being met, then they might begrudgingly give you the quest.. though I wouldn't be expecting any monetary rewards for doing it etc.
Edited by light487

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Now for the worst of the worst. Dragon Age 2. The game is completely filled with offensive individuals who wrong you or others that then nonchalantly strut off in a cutscene while you're impotent of the ability to charge them down and use their insides as floor paint. But none struck me as worse than Meredith. You hear pretty much the entire game about how terrible her and her Templars are. How they oppress mages, how she's not strictly mentally sound. You may even be a mage yourself and sympathetic to her opposition. Well, at one point in the game, you get invited to meet her. You go to her office, where she is alone, and this scenario for some reason does not turn into a cagematch to the death. And it annoyed me to utterly no end. Can't attack her, can't kill her. No annoying cutscene protection that can be loosely justified as the PC being dumbstruck by the sheer bloody gall of this individual to continue breathing. Just two people who hate each others guts standing around and not following the natural course of events because it would be too far off script.

 

 

 

Do you have any idea how that would've messed up the whole story? Do you even begin to understand what the consequences for killing Meredith there and then would yield, not only for the main character but the developer team that has to create a whole new path for the story that goes in a completely different direction than what they originally intended. There is no way in hell you can justify that much extra work with such an insignificant grievance. Besides, from the character point of view attacking Meredith there would make no sense at all; Hawke wants to stay alive and wouldn't risk everything he's worked so hard for on a random impulse of utter stupidity.

 

If you want a structured and comprehensive storyline, you're going to have to place restrictions to what the player can do in the shoes of the main character. You're a character in a fantasy world, not an omnipotent god who can kill anyone he likes and get away with it, and that should be represented in how the game handles things. Since crime/punishment as a random activity is so goddamn difficult to script and requires such a ridiculous amount of work hours, I'd rather the effort would be better focused on somewhere else.

 

Don't let us kill friendly NPCs except in scripted situations. A well structured story is more important than the ability to kill anyone; a DM that lets you kill a story essential NPC on a random whim is just a bad DM, especially if he's trying to tell a story.

  • Like 1

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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^Therein lies the problem. The developers were so focused on the "story" aspect of the game that they forgot to add some interactivity. It definitely didn't help that the storyline itself was so offensive and so lacking in sympathetic characters that it didn't really have all that many positive qualities left to lean on.

 

Where the recent BioWare games fail is that they put too much stock in cinematic experiences and full voice overs. A team that doesn't commit to having every single line of dialog voice acted can do a whole lot more. Good writers are cheaper and produce alot more lines than good voice actors.

 

I see no issue with just putting letters/treasure maps on every single main quest critical NPC so that if the player feels the need to kill them for whatever reason, there will always be a clue as to the next destination on the body.

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The Yes Man worked reasonably well in New Vegas as a fallback option that could be taken regardless of your game state. Sure, it was a little stretch that he could infinitely assume a new body, but nowhere nearly as egregious as plot armour. Wouldn't be surprised if they managed to squeeze in something similar for Eternity.

 

 

Aside, the one of my fondest memories of gaming was successfully reproducing the trick I had read about, for Ultima 8, to get rid of the "policeman" Beren the sorcerer, by abusing the pathing and getting him to drown in his own pool. Once accomplished, I was mostly free to slaughter almost anyone in town. Of course, in future attempts, I just turned on the hackmover and placed him over the water manually. Or placed a tile of water under him....


L I E S T R O N G
L I V E W R O N G

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Then there's the Thieves Guild in Skyrim. Eventually the main quest will introduce you to them. Even if not, I don't think that would be really better. The first thing they have you do is frame someone. No real understanding as to why. If you do go and join them, you find out there's no real redeeming character to the group. They rough up shopkeepers, put out contracts with the dark brotherhood, they're thugs for the most part. So say you get offended at the thought of them asking you to frame a possibly innocent shopkeeper. Or you get offended at the idea of harassing and threatening other shopkeepers. Maybe you just hate the crime in general and want to protect everyone from it with the sort of stabby voodoo that you do so well. Too bad. Every last member of the Thieve's guild, or at least the ones in the tavern area who have names, are unkillable. Crime goes unpunished because of designer fiat. And it made me sad.

 

Yes and I wanted to join with another character in that SAME town who wanted to clean out the Thieves Guild but no, no such option exists. What if I wanted to play a Paladin like character that could take up the cause to clean out the town? Denied because someone rather play as Sith. *rolls eyes* At least you can kill the Dark Brotherhood and speaking of which...

 

Okay, so say that you're in Skyrim still. Maybe you're doing Dark Brotherhood quests. Perhaps you take on a persona of a cold blooded killer with honor and dignity. You get sent on a quest. The person wants you to kill an ex-boyfriend that embarrassed her in front of her friends. He made her friends think she was a terrible person. Also, she'd like you to kill her friend for daring to think she was a terrible person. Wait, what? This is some serious nonsense here. I think the lady's friend might have a point. And for even daring suggest such a ridiculous idea, the quest giver should be killed outright. She's not really a threat to anyone. She's a barmaid that's as dumb as a sack of

doorknobs. But her mere existence offended me at this point. Therefore, she died. Yay.

 

Wouldn't that stop the entire Dark Brotherhood questline?

 

I agree we should have freedom of choice, there just should be actual consequences if we empty out a town full of people is all. I took great pleasure in killing Commander Maro for being such a crappy person. I just wish that Cicero wasn't unkillable except for that one moment you get but only if you do the Dark Brotherhood questline.

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Do you have any idea how that would've messed up the whole story? Do you even begin to understand what the consequences for killing Meredith there and then would yield, not only for the main character but the developer team that has to create a whole new path for the story that goes in a completely different direction than what they originally intended. There is no way in hell you can justify that much extra work with such an insignificant grievance. Besides, from the character point of view attacking Meredith there would make no sense at all; Hawke wants to stay alive and wouldn't risk everything he's worked so hard for on a random impulse of utter stupidity.

There's nothing insignificant about that grievance. That potential grievance stands as a central theme of Dragon Age 2.

 

The entire plot rides on fiat. The character's point of view is my point of view. And I saw nothing to risk in fulfilling the only objective remaining at that time.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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I agree, allow everyone to be killable. The only people who the game should warn about are the people who are vital to progression in the story. And even then, please give us options to later continue the story another way with another NPC. Perhaps killing Mr. Evil McBaddude because he curled his 'stache at you is justified in your eyes, it was offensive enough to your personal morals. But later have his nemesis Dudley cross your path and give you congratulations for the job well done and by the way here's this important thing you should look after.

 

I am also a big fan of killing children as well. You know the games I speak of, and their invincible children... No one should be safe. Remember Obsidian, you work for us, not some publisher bound by sales figures and political correctness. You've already made $4m in sales on a game that doesn't exist yet. ~.^

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I always enjoyed going back to New Reno in Fallout2 and just wiping out the whole town with a big laser and some power armor.

 

That said I think NPCs essential to the main plot should have a note or journal or something similar that will point you in the right direction of the next step in the plot. Alternitively (while it might be a complete pain in the ass to program) I imagine they could just shift all that essential quest dialogue on to another NPC or give you a necromancer that could call spirits back to answer your questions for a hefty fee.


K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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Everybody should be attackable, but not everybody should be defenceless enough to be easily killable. And if you insist to stupidly slay someone important you should find yourself stuck where you are in the game.

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Sure, kill everything in sight. As long as the game world responds in kind. :bat:

 

As for the options of when to be warned? Might as well make that part of the game play settings.

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Now for the worst of the worst. Dragon Age 2. The game is completely filled with offensive individuals who wrong you or others that then nonchalantly strut off in a cutscene while you're impotent of the ability to charge them down and use their insides as floor paint. But none struck me as worse than Meredith. You hear pretty much the entire game about how terrible her and her Templars are. How they oppress mages, how she's not strictly mentally sound. You may even be a mage yourself and sympathetic to her opposition. Well, at one point in the game, you get invited to meet her. You go to her office, where she is alone, and this scenario for some reason does not turn into a cagematch to the death. And it annoyed me to utterly no end. Can't attack her, can't kill her. No annoying cutscene protection that can be loosely justified as the PC being dumbstruck by the sheer bloody gall of this individual to continue breathing. Just two people who hate each others guts standing around and not following the natural course of events because it would be too far off script.

 

 

 

Do you have any idea how that would've messed up the whole story? Do you even begin to understand what the consequences for killing Meredith there and then would yield, not only for the main character but the developer team that has to create a whole new path for the story that goes in a completely different direction than what they originally intended. There is no way in hell you can justify that much extra work with such an insignificant grievance. Besides, from the character point of view attacking Meredith there would make no sense at all; Hawke wants to stay alive and wouldn't risk everything he's worked so hard for on a random impulse of utter stupidity.

 

If you want a structured and comprehensive storyline, you're going to have to place restrictions to what the player can do in the shoes of the main character. You're a character in a fantasy world, not an omnipotent god who can kill anyone he likes and get away with it, and that should be represented in how the game handles things. Since crime/punishment as a random activity is so goddamn difficult to script and requires such a ridiculous amount of work hours, I'd rather the effort would be better focused on somewhere else.

 

Don't let us kill friendly NPCs except in scripted situations. A well structured story is more important than the ability to kill anyone; a DM that lets you kill a story essential NPC on a random whim is just a bad DM, especially if he's trying to tell a story.

 

 

No, no, no, no and NO. The DM that cannot ADAPT from that situation is the bad DM. A major part of the appeal of PnP gaming is the dynamic story that you can affect (unless you use it as a tabletop wargame).

One of the fastest way to get people to lose interest in a plot as a DM is to let the players feel that they have no choice in the story. That no matter what they do they will go from A to B to C to D.

You may effectively force them to go to D anyway, but if you give them the impression that they have to go that route in that order, they either lose interest or start to deliberately mess up your story. The good DM makes them WANT to go to D, he does not force them and makes them take the route they want. Also ultimately if the players does not want to go to D, the DM will just have to make them go to E, the place they apparently want to go to.

 

There is naturally limitations on a crpg that does not apply to PnP, for one I can invent a basic story in 30 minutes (and adapt it along the way) that would take a dev team months to get into their game.

 

Sorry for that rant, but really in a story driven campaign only a (really) bad DM will railroad the players. Especially to the point that DA2 does it.

 

 

Killing Meredith is an extreme case as it would force a complete shift in the story and a very expensive one at that given how much additional voice acting it would call for and I can fully accept them not wanting to invest that ammount of money in what would give a fairly limited payoff. That however is the limitation of the media of gaming and something you have to work around. Simply brute forcing your way through and ignoring it is a horrible solution.

 

Take some of the ultima games for an extreme case of the other direction. You could kill Lord British in that game! It very much made the game unwinnable, but it could be very satisfying to do. Most of those games still had very good plots, in some cases I will say the plot in the ultima games beat anything Bioware has thrown at us at least since Kotor.

 

If we want the game to hold our hand like DA2 does, why play a game at all? Books are ultimate a better storytelling media then assuming you can use your imagination a bit to make up voices etc, which in this game you will have to do anyway.

 

I personally played through DA2 once and I uninstalled it right after that and never plan to install it again mainly due to it being an extreme case of bad plot railroading.

 

 

So yes, I agree that Bioware from an economic perspective Bioware should not make Meredith killable right away, it would be too expensive to be justifiable. However they should not throw obnoxious characters with plot armour in our face in the first place and just have them walk away, that is just horrible design. The thing at blame in DA2 is the horrible design of the plot.

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Given that PE will be driven by Factions, I think it would be odd if, at least all NPCs that are even tangentially quest related, weren't up for grabs. Now, if you start killing people in you're allied faction; well that could be a problem...that's where hired assassins come in handy.

 

Honestly, if I were to play a ruthless character, I would really prefer to arrange for the murder of certain NPCs vs killing them myself and risking discovery.

 

So yes, killing NPCs should be allowed, but beyond consequences for such acts, it would be also welcome to have in game mechanisms that allowed one to be a sneaky, ruthless, amoral, miscreant; and have fun doing so.

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I would like to see anyone be able to be killed (if you want to take on a god good for you.. grats if you win). However this comes back to a discussion in another thread there should be consequences and news of your deeds will travel the world and colour your reception for good or bad depending on if they deserved it or was legal. Unless you did it with no evidence of your actions. This should be with a semblance of realism not just instant the world knows of your actions.

 

As for the plot it should be robust enough to survive one or two deaths then you will dead end and be left wandering. The plot can turn if different directions or options removed if certain parties are not available.

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Everyone should be killable similar to Morrowind, and no warnings. What, you don't think stabbing someone should have consequences? Don't murder so indiscriminately then, face the choices you've made and trust that Obsidian will still let you enjoy yourself for doing so, like having a main quest backpath similar morrowind, or multiple ways of accomplishing a quest. That being said, I would absolutely hate it if you do something wrong, yet you could always find a way to progress as normal. There needs to be times when you should have known better, or the alternative to the goal you've closed off has disastrous consequences

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Some very good points made here.

 

Story is pretty damn important, but so is letting the player craft his own story.

 

I think the best compromise between keeping a good story and keeping a lot of player choice is the ability to get the player to the end via other means.

 

Maybe it's time to get away from viewing single NPCs as quest givers. Make it flexible where if an NPC with a certain quest dies someone or something else could give you the quest.

Maybe the NPC has a note on his corpse you can loot and start whatever quest he wanted to give you.

Maybe you shouldn't even have to talk to them to start it.

IE - Someones daughter was kidnapped, but you kill the father in a fit of rage due to a slight disagreement. You find the kidnappers ransom note on his body, read it and head to the drop point to destroy the kidnappers.

Or you can accidentally stumble across the drop point and save her to which she tells you where her father is..but whoops you killed him so no reward for you, but at least you saved the girl.

 

Just throwing ideas out there.

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It should do the ol' "Quest is unbeatable" gag after you murder someone important to the plot. And it should allow you to continue playing, if that's your choice.

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I don't understand the puerile fixation with being able to kill everything in sight.

I don't either. I sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by homicidal psychopaths. ;)

 

I certainly don't mind everyone being killable. I do mind inadvertent deaths, where the computer AI decides to kill off important NPCs (via AoE, random monster aggro, etc) for no reason, or where the whole town turns against you when an innocent bystander gets accidentally hurt / killed. Not being informed that an essential NPC just died and you now can't finish the game would be terrible.

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Edit: Failed (constantly) to embed the object. Any young whipper snappers know how to embed youtube videos?

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Arcanum did a pretty good job of this with notes on the corpses of relevent NPCs and the like. While I tend not to engage in wholesale NPC slaughter outside of the occasional irritation-inspired murder bout, I can certainly appreciate that for many people, that particular freedom is emblematic of what they want to see in an RPG.

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Sure, if you so choose, you should be able to go out and slaughter whomever you want. More importantly, as some have suggested, if you do so choose this, there has to be consequences. If you are walking god of death, then eventually you will be attacked on sight in major cities, bounty hunters, crusades against you and so on should be implemented. Supplies become unavailable unless you steal or intimidate to get them, people won't willingly help or tell you things and so on.

 

As far as main plot problems go, you should suffer if you kill a major element and the game should become "uncompletable". You can't have it both ways. If you don't want false limitations such as plot armor then you don't get false plot helpers like convenient letters from your victim's extremely personal and detailed diary that has just the information you need.

 

As for the DA2 example, the game was just terrible. As a mage I would have never gone to Meredith or anywhere near the Circle. If I did, I certainly wouldn't have been a big enough idiot to attack the knight commander in a citadel full of templers. I mean, sure, they could have let you do that, but the game would be over, you would be dead, regardless if you killed her or not. Because, you know, of the army, of mage fighting templers.

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Just like with children, no-one should have plot armor. If somebody wants to break their game, so be it.

 

And as for notifications I think it should be handled exactly the same way as the other (optionally deactivatable) convenience options.


Proud Probatanthrope @D:OS

Tor.com: Boob Plate Armor Would Kill You (cf. "ball plate armor" - Just think about it.)

 

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As long as you can't accidentally attack a friendly NPC, I'm all for being able to maim and kill whoever you want to inflict suffering upon.


Something stirs within...

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Edit: Failed (constantly) to embed the object. Any young whipper snappers know how to embed youtube videos?

For future reference: you need to remove the 's' from https. I think that denotes secure server (for YT at least) and the auto-embed doesn't like that.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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