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One of the reasons I was so happy to see this project funded was because this IS Obsidian.  They have written some of the most powerful RPG content I've ever experienced.

 

Even tragically flawed games like KOTOR II are filled with... just intensely good writing.  They also seem to understand how to actually allow for believable evil characters, and grey choices that feel pained rather than cliche.

 

Others in this thread have mentioned mask of the betrayer; it's the best evil role playing experience ever conceived for a cRPG.  You can play a pretty powerful into darkness arc if you go mildly evil in the original campaign and then embrace your inner "devour all the things" in mask.  And yet... it actually makes sense!

 

I'm really looking forward to learning the moral codes of the PE universe, and getting set lose to discover our own way forward.

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evil is broken in crpgs, but is not the fault of developers... not entirely. other than cartoonish evil, and perhaps some stereotypical gangbangers/mobsters, most evildoers is gonna seem good a majority o' the time. one needs to build trust to betray. heck, even slime-balls like putin didn't rise to power 'cause they went around kicking little kids into oncoming traffic. only in movies does you have such simple and obvious evil. 

 

sooooo, how you write game evil so is more complex?  you could make the evil player have sinister plans... but those plans would be the developers and you would be forced to chose the "evil plan" dialogue option each time to get to the conclusion o' a limited or overreaching successful evil plan. could developers makes the evildoer who believes he is doing good? sure, but we end up having virtual all dialogue options identical to the good choices. is all kinda ways to do evil, but  with largely insular and discreet individual dialogue options that is giving the player at least the illusion o' free choice, makes it difficult to say the least. 

 

would take an enormous amount of work, but what if developers write 3 distinct evil options... crime lord, cult leader, anarchist. is just examples, but choose crime lord at start of game and throughout play you will frequent see an additional crime lord option. depending on which crime lord options you choose, you can unlock an ultimate crime lord side quest that will result in you successfully becoming the leader o' an evil syndicate with some minor benefits and responsibilities attached to your new title. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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well what if you had a necromancer who raised those that died to natural causes, and used them to defend and serve the living, doing all that was dangerous and unwanted to ensure a better life for the community?  well his actions would be good, but since he does necromancy he is automatically evil.  so the paladin that rides in and slays him and crushes his army leaving the community to fend for itself and woefully ill equipped to survive is automatically considered good.  most cRPGs will have the paladin be misguided, and the necromancer misunderstood, just to muddle things up.  but those that kill people that they sincerely think are evil just because tend to be considered evil, so the necromancer has to have some skeletons in his closet otherwise we would see the paladin as evil.  without all the extra stuff it is hard for us to see the perspective of those in the story due to how disconnected we are.

 

take new vegas, if the slavers only crime was slavery, even if the slaves were never mistreated our modern method of determining who was evil would demand that they were evil, because slavery is evil.  so making them good aside from that means that would make people angry since it would seem that new vegas was pro slavery propaganda, so they need to have the slaves mistreated.  which means that the opposing side needs have some evils attached to it in order to muddle things up and make it a real choice instead of a simple good versus evil choice.

 

you see necromancy is something that isn't real, so we can make a detached decision about it in a game, but slavery is real, so it has baggage that prevents it from being used as the sole means of making something evil, other things need to be added to reinforce its evilness otherwise you might get a 'hot coffee' incident costing money and getting the game pulled from shelves due to being immoral.

 

thus you can't an immoral thing in the game on its own without casting it in an evil light, and if you have too much evil it gets pulled due to being too graphic (manhunt).  that leaves cartoonish evil as the only evil society will accept in its games, and thus evil in the games is just silly, while good can be thoughtful and meaningful (like the sacrifice one for the many question).

 

i hope people reading this understand what i am saying i am being vague and rambling, mainly so i don't start a flame war or get banned or something like that, if asked about stuff i might get more specific, but i purposefully stayed pretty vague about most stuff.

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In terms of slavery the Roman method was actually somewhat more liberal than the American form; slaves had property by law, they could earn money for themselves on side jobs and could purchase their own freedom legally by reimbursing the cost of purchase. 

 

Anyway I'd like to see a benevolent evil; a character who through insanity or through differing cultures tries to do good for someone only to have it rebound in the complete opposite direction from a normal viewpoint.

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evil is broken in crpgs, but is not the fault of developers... not entirely. other than cartoonish evil, and perhaps some stereotypical gangbangers/mobsters, most evildoers is gonna seem good a majority o' the time. one needs to build trust to betray. heck, even slime-balls like putin didn't rise to power 'cause they went around kicking little kids into oncoming traffic. only in movies does you have such simple and obvious evil. 

 

sooooo, how you write game evil so is more complex?  you could make the evil player have sinister plans... but those plans would be the developers and you would be forced to chose the "evil plan" dialogue option each time to get to the conclusion o' a limited or overreaching successful evil plan. could developers makes the evildoer who believes he is doing good? sure, but we end up having virtual all dialogue options identical to the good choices. is all kinda ways to do evil, but  with largely insular and discreet individual dialogue options that is giving the player at least the illusion o' free choice, makes it difficult to say the least. 

 

would take an enormous amount of work, but what if developers write 3 distinct evil options... crime lord, cult leader, anarchist. is just examples, but choose crime lord at start of game and throughout play you will frequent see an additional crime lord option. depending on which crime lord options you choose, you can unlock an ultimate crime lord side quest that will result in you successfully becoming the leader o' an evil syndicate with some minor benefits and responsibilities attached to your new title. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

Play mask of the betrayer.

 

Beautifully written evil story arc, without a lot of "i'm going to kick a puppy and demand to get paid for this act of kindness" nonsense.  You can fall quite far in Mask, and the ultimate evil ending... is quite a terrifying epilogue that would make you quite the villain for an entire cRPG based around stopping you.

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  • 3 months later...

For me, playing EVIL means making decisions to make the result pay off primarily, and in many cases only - for you. The more evil your character is supposed to be, the less you fear to accomplish in order to get it done.

 

I HATE quests where you just HAVE TO be the good guy and invest your time and resources into helping some bunch of useless ****s, having no other option.

This is one of the main reasons old RPGs rule.

Edited by IRMA
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I wonder why people become so obsessed with morality in Video Games? I suppose that it's part of the immersion and all but it seems that every time an RPG is released there will be a thread talking about an evil playthrough and the merits of roleplaying evil characters. So its curious as to why this aspect rises above the rest.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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the problem with "evil" play style is that it is often punishing for the player. in most IE games it was impossible to actually be evil (IWD 1 + 2) or there was no point to it (BG 1 + 2) as being good had all the benefits and evil had only disadvantages. the only exception was torment 

in other games like ME or DAO, you were the hero. you could be superman or deadpool in your aproach, but at the end of the day you were saving the world.

to be honest except for new vegas, i dont think i ve seen a game that allowed you to be the scheeming shady guy who can weasel his way to the throne of an empire.

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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I wonder why people become so obsessed with morality in Video Games? I suppose that it's part of the immersion and all but it seems that every time an RPG is released there will be a thread talking about an evil playthrough and the merits of roleplaying evil characters. So its curious as to why this aspect rises above the rest.

I'm kinda interested in it for one reason: choice and consequence. If the game gives you no options to be selfish, callous, cold-hearted, ruthless, bloodthirsty, vengeful, or whatever, then any altruistic, empathetic, warm-hearted, caring, forgiving, etc. options won't be options anymore. They'll just be a railroad you follow, which defeats the purpose of a RPG IMO.

 

(I don't like comic-book binary black/white good/evil though.)

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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to be honest except for new vegas, i dont think i ve seen a game that allowed you to be the scheeming shady guy who can weasel his way to the throne of an empire.

 

 

Well, there are some japanese RPGs like Growlancer 4 where you can do exactly that.

 

is that the plot or an option though? because in a proper RPG, you should have the option to fight against the evil empire or join up and maybe even go for the throne

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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is that the plot or an option though? because in a proper RPG, you should have the option to fight against the evil empire or join up and maybe even go for the throne

 

 

It's a whole branch story arc, one of the 3. Your protagonist's persona changes depending on your choices (kinda like DA2 and AP) and if you have enough "jerk points" by a certain point, you'll have an option to betray your companions and join "bad guys". Afterwords you are going to lead an army and battle your former companions. You can spare them or literally slagther them all. Long story short, there are more options after that and if you take completely "evil" approach, you are going to be dictator "president for life type"  of the unified empire. But you do not absolutely have to if you do not want to. There are total 40 possible endings, accounting for all possibilities. Growlanser 4 is one of the best at choice-and-consequence type games. Pity western developers do not pay much attention to japanese stuff.

Edited by Plutone00
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Playing evil tends to feel bat**** crazy because RPG's often railroad you into playing a good character who will save the world (BG 2, NWN2, DA:O, etc.). We know this won't be the case for PoE, where the main quest will be a more personal one.

 

It's also a matter of writing quality obviously.

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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I think the good evil debacle should be based on the religion (moral law) you choose.

 

D&D was pretty dumb about evil, good or neutral..... its approach was/is contradictory. 'Evil' religions probably won't call themselves evil, or view themselves as such - as I see it.

 

If you violate your own moral code - from character creation - it should change the evil/good gauge.

 

If your party contains an evil dude (relative to your law) it should cause conflict/conversion when x happens, x amount of times.

 

On a more personal note, I'm glad in RL I don't live by the confusion/curse of 'the law', but through grace. :)

Edited by Kveldulf
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is that the plot or an option though? because in a proper RPG, you should have the option to fight against the evil empire or join up and maybe even go for the throne

 

 

It's a whole branch story arc, one of the 3. Your protagonist's persona changes depending on your choices (kinda like DA2 and AP) and if you have enough "jerk points" by a certain point, you'll have an option to betray your companions and join "bad guys". Afterwords you are going to lead an army and battle your former companions. You can spare them or literally slagther them all. Long story short, there are more options after that and if you take completely "evil" approach, you are going to be dictator "president for life type"  of the unified empire. But you do not absolutely have to if you do not want to. There are total 40 possible endings, accounting for all possibilities. Growlanser 4 is one of the best at choice-and-consequence type games. Pity western developers do not pay much attention to japanese stuff.

 

that's a rare thing for a jrpg. all i played so far had a railroad plot

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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I wonder why people become so obsessed with morality in Video Games? I suppose that it's part of the immersion and all but it seems that every time an RPG is released there will be a thread talking about an evil playthrough and the merits of roleplaying evil characters. So its curious as to why this aspect rises above the rest.

 

BRACE FOR POP-PSYCH

 

BRACE

 

BRACE

 

I am of the opinion that RPGs let us explore beyond our personal limitations. The obvious example is in physical skills.

 

If there is a fascination with exploring morality, it's because many people find morality as limiting as physicality.

 

On a good day I'd like to say that this is unhealthy. Morality isn't a cage. Morality is a compass. It is solid ground under your feet. A man who dreams himself evil ought to wonder why.

 

However, having said that, morality is still interesting to me. I'm replaying The Witcher and it's refreshingly weird to have such an amoral world to move around in.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Problem with evil playthrough is it's not enough to have an "evil" dialogue option everywhere. There need to be critical points where you can turn everything around, maybe even surprise your companions with evil actions (and having to fight some of them) to increase your chars power in the game. Because that's what evil people usually do, they usually don't hit little girls when they don't need to, but they might break their promises, scheme intrigues... basically, you'd have to create a new game inside the game to provide a satisfying "evil" experience.

 

I see two ways, either the possibility to play off NPCs against each other by collecting information throughout the game and using it at the right time or by the occasional madman outburst like killing the major and just taking the item... anyways, I'd need that special feeling that my char has done something unexpected, including having to deal with some kind of prosecution.

 

If devs can do that, I love it.  

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Raving psychopath kind of evil that became a "default" option in cRPGs is boring. So even in non-D&D system "evil" is considered as anything beyond goody-two-shoes options. But in PE I would like to see a different kind of "evil", more of a calculating, scheming, selfish one.
Ideally, something like this:

http://youtu.be/z9gINFueof8

In other words, more of a Baelish and Tywin and less Joffrey.

Edited by Cultist
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The way I see it, Obsidian has a pretty good track record for evil options. For example, I generally play the good guys and couldn't bring myself to do an evil playthrough of KotOR 1. Too much bullying and kicking dogs. In KotOR 2, however, I did an evil playthrough and enjoyed it. I would trust them on this.

SODOFF Steam group.

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It'd be great if there was a fully fleshed out, totally selfish, sociopathic path available, just for a change of pace/subsequent playthroughs.  It'd really be a first in gaming, even considering MotB.  However something tells me this limited funding, retro oriented game is not going to break the mold for well written thoroughly evil questlines.

 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing right out of the gate; assuming the game does well, and they get their soft funding from DLC-preorders/bonus addons, maybe they will be able to write a strong evil path with real roleplay options for a future expansion.  I think unfortunately we will have to settle for "Save the Town/Burn it to the ground for more coin" kind of choices here.

 

Keep in mind though, it wouldn't just be doubling their work, it could exponentially increase their workload, if they have to fully flesh out every 'evil' choice with expanding quest options such as you mention, OP. (Such as taking over a group of bandits and leading them from that point on , etc.)  In a world of limited funding and pre-development Kickstarters, this probably won't be a realistic option.

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In other words, more of a Baelish and Tywin and less Joffrey.

There are 2 issues with creating "scheming" options in video games, how the information is presented and how players have been conditions. Most players take in game choices at their face value because there is usually no follow through. Saving a farm will probably not be the first step in a master plan to gain the support of the populace on your bid to become king, because the game doesn't allow you to. So it is hard for the developers to convey that quest resolutions will lead you on a path towards an ultimate goal and its hard for gamers to conceive such a thing because they're not used to it. Because the most scheming you see allowed on a game is the "betrayal" questlines where you turn to the other side of the conflict and it goes back to the main plot.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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In other words, more of a Baelish and Tywin and less Joffrey.

There are 2 issues with creating "scheming" options in video games, how the information is presented and how players have been conditions. Most players take in game choices at their face value because there is usually no follow through. Saving a farm will probably not be the first step in a master plan to gain the support of the populace on your bid to become king, because the game doesn't allow you to. So it is hard for the developers to convey that quest resolutions will lead you on a path towards an ultimate goal and its hard for gamers to conceive such a thing because they're not used to it. Because the most scheming you see allowed on a game is the "betrayal" questlines where you turn to the other side of the conflict and it goes back to the main plot.

 

 

Yes, it would be very hard to implement such opportunities.

But more ways of doing the main game quest line, spread from "I fight for greater good and want nothing for it" to "I do it cause I want that mother****er dead so badly/It's great opportunity to throw down current governor and put me in place/Why the **** bother saving the kingdom its buncha retards anyway gimme some goddamn money".

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