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I pretty much never play through "evil" in any game. Just not appealing.

 

But it might be more interesting if the "evil" option were more than just, well, an option. The choices presented, if any, are always somewhere along the lines of "You get five options of varying good to neutral, and one where you kick a puppy." Which just isn't that neat even if I were interested. It would be a lot more interesting to see more varying ways to be something that's not necessarily a paragon of virtue, and might even be considered evil. Selfishness, vengeance, cruelty, etc. are all things that could, at some point, be options for the player.

Yeah, in my experience, when people say they want to play evil, they really are just looking for ways to complain about not having enough "choice".

 

Inexperienced then I guess. Or more likely selective reading. 

Wow, what the heck did I say to provoke that response? Did I dare bring up the idea that gamers can be fickle?

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I pretty much never play through "evil" in any game. Just not appealing.

 

But it might be more interesting if the "evil" option were more than just, well, an option. The choices presented, if any, are always somewhere along the lines of "You get five options of varying good to neutral, and one where you kick a puppy." Which just isn't that neat even if I were interested. It would be a lot more interesting to see more varying ways to be something that's not necessarily a paragon of virtue, and might even be considered evil. Selfishness, vengeance, cruelty, etc. are all things that could, at some point, be options for the player.

Yeah, in my experience, when people say they want to play evil, they really are just looking for ways to complain about not having enough "choice".

 

Inexperienced then I guess. Or more likely selective reading. 

Wow, what the heck did I say to provoke that response? Did I dare bring up the idea that gamers can be fickle?

 

Yeah, in my experience, when people say they want to play evil, they really are just looking for ways to complain about not having enough "choice".

 

Truth be told it was probably harsh.

 

I just took it as another comment saying that no one wants evil choices/path. Or that they don't know what they want. When it's quite obvious there are people(even if we are all mentally deranged) that do enjoy that choice/path.

 

If it wasn't the intent, apologies. If it was, you know my thoughts.


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An evil character might not give a **** about Imoen, but is required to save her? What reason would someone concerned only with themselves spend a considerable amount of time and effort to rescue a childish reprobate who would likely interfere with any grand schemes they might have? How the hell does that make any sense at all?

Well, technically, your evil choice was "I don't care about Imoen - I want to get Irenicus and unlock this power he talked about / get revenge" (then not let Imoen join up) - but yeah, you were still railroaded into the same end result.

 

Why the hell would a Paladin or any other virtuous character aid either the Shadow Thieves or Vampires? They're very EVIL. One group is a criminal organization that assassinates regularly and the other are composed of blood-sucking fiends. A Paladin would smite them, not assist them.

 

This is a big point (and the subject of mods like 'Alternatives' to give an alternate choice - also for those who don't care about Imoen or Irenicus ... same result though).  I think the point of the devs was that 'smiting evil' wasn't always an option - you needed their help, like it or not.  Should've resulted in a Fallen Paladin though.

 

PE should take a lesson and not shoe-horn characters into a certain path/motivation because of plot. Don't include any mandatory quests that would conflict with a PC's values.

I agree - though main-campaign quests will be mandatory, there should be alternate ways to go about it.  (and not just like NWN2 where you get a brief path-choice and then the rest of the campaign glosses over it and you get to be Knight-Captain anyway.)


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I'm somehow, can't say for sure why, pretty darn convinced PoE will be closer to Icewind Dale than Baldurs Gate in terms of branching storylines and freedom. Choices, and limited freedom to choose the order of things, but still largely a railroad.

 

Works for me, I really only want a variety of choices to choose the same result from. 

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It's easier to write a grey villain, than an interesting evil one.

 

Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we go again. Grey = hero. It is the simplest form of choice. No need to have different paths, just an hero path. The exclusion of an evil PC, is the exclusion of choice.

 

Completely and utterly wrong. On all accounts.

 

Good and evil are not clear cut and choice encompasses many, many things. I can roleplay a dozen different character that make different choice - and all of them could be "good". Or would they be?

Is the character pragmatic? Slow? Tired? Sarcastic? Does he value A over B? A lot of choices don't even have to concern morality at all. And when they do, they can be interpreted differently.

 


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

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I think that choices within a game should not be labeled, meaning that a character simply makes choices, not good or evil choices. Therefore, the player can determine by him/herself the ethics and morals of the decisions he/she makes.

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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.

 

The DA2 series presented a choice between equally two bad options: I'm not sure that approach was any better. It'll be interesting to see how well the T:ToN method works.

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It's easier to write a grey villain, than an interesting evil one.

 

Not really.

 

Yes it is. It's far easier for a reader/player to connect to a grey antagonist, than it is an evil antagonist. Quite often, a reader and player will cry lack of depth, due to not being able to understand or connect to an evil antagonist. (Of course at the same time the reader/player they can be right depending on the character)

 

The exclusion of an evil PC, is the exclusion of choice.

Completely and utterly wrong. On all accounts.

 

 

Nope. It's the excluding of meaningful, selfish, power hungry/greed, narcissistic, psychotic and betrayal choices.

 

I can roleplay a dozen different character that make different choice - and all of them could be "good". Or would they be?

Is the character pragmatic? Slow? Tired? Sarcastic? Does he value A over B? A lot of choices don't even have to concern morality at all. And when they do, they can be interpreted differently.

 

But the character is still good and the hero of the story. A Sarcastic/slow/pragmatic pc all play out essentially the same way. Save the world, be loved, adored and live happily ever after. I would prefer if there was an option to play a pc that was hated, reviled and paid for those choices.


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It's easier to write a grey villain, than an interesting evil one.

 

Not really.

 

Yes it is. It's far easier for a reader/player to connect to a grey antagonist, than it is an evil antagonist. Quite often, a reader and player will cry lack of depth, due to not being able to understand or connect to an evil antagonist. (Of course at the same time the reader/player they can be right depending on the character)

 

No, it is not. You're confusing "easy to write" with "relatable" or "realistic".

 

Yes, people will identify easier with a realsitic character...maybe. I never considered the need to "identify" as a big deal, since there are characters I like that have absolutely NOTHING in common with me.

And b.t.w. good character aren't encessarily perfect and have their flaws, and evil characters can have their own virutes.

But it seems to me you are talking about the extreemest of extreems.

 

So no, grey characters are not easy to write.

 

 

But the character is still good and the hero of the story. A Sarcastic/slow/pragmatic pc all play out essentially the same way. Save the world, be loved, adored and live happily ever after. I would prefer if there was an option to play a pc that was hated, reviled and paid for those choices.

 

You can save the world because you want it for yourself, and still be hated.

 

 

***

 

The problem with "evil" playtroughs is that real evil is subtle and revolves around HIDDEN motives and LONG-TERM plans...which are hard to make.

Edited by TrashMan

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

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Let's take an exemple of Paragon and Pragmatism from Mass Effect 2, that some people consider to be a choice between good and evil.

The guy you can throw out of a window, why the hell would I do that ? I can push him, or just let it go. Why is that a "pragmatism (evil)" choice ?. I mean even the "good guy" can answer to that : "If I don't kill him, he will reveal ou position, and if he manage to leave alive, he will kill more innocents". And here I don't talk about choices. So do you throw him or not. You're a soldier, you need to do what you consider to be the best option from your point of view. Kill this man because, or do not kill him because.

Just to pull this part out specifically...  This is people being wrong, not the games problem.  There is no such thing as an "evil" Commander Shepard.  Renegade Shepard is simply a guy who knows his goals and his mission and is willing to do some occasionally crazy things to achieve that mission.  He is not going to nuke an entire city because it might delay the reaper attack a few hours.  He is not going to outright shoot a random Salarian in the head because it was just easier to do that than ask him to hand his security card over.  Super duder Renegade Shepard isn't evil, he is just kind of a jerk.  Big difference.

 

That said my favorite D&D character I played and fleshed out more than any other was quite frankly one of the most evil dudes you will ever meet.  The funny thing is on the "street" level most average people in his stomping grounds would have called him a hero etc etc.  They don't care that he once thwarted an assassination attempt on his life by using a town drunk as a stand in (resulting in the drunk dying), they don't care that he found the bandit hide out by brutally torturing 3 guys, it doesn't bother them that he got rid of the barbarian tribe near the border by poisoning the small lake they drew water from and their food supply killing tons of of their children old people random wildlife.... They only care he killed the assassins, took out the bandit group, and drove off the barbarians.  Not to mention lots and lots of other dodgy things he got up to.

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Hi,

 

What I have noticed too often is that different kind of actions and choices you make are too obvious...you can immediately see that by doing this you will be the "good" guy and by doing that you are "evil"...and if I choose to play good character it's too easy to be a paragon. What I would like to see is more transparency. I would like to get surprised that something that I did in the past was actually considered as an evil action by someone and I really wouldn't know exactly what it was that caused it or least it should have happened earlier in the game so there is no temptation to load the game and make something differently.

 

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I think when you start labelling choices as "evil" or "good" you already failed. There's idealistic or pragmatic. There's selfless or egocentric. Someone may be a racist **** but could also be a loving husband and a trusted friend. Someone may decide that killing in the name of the greater good is perfectly morally aceptable. A century ago you could own a slave and no one would have bat an eyelid, nowadays the simply idea is repulsive to a great majority of the western world.

 

Aside from the "Save the puppy - Kick the puppy" situation (which Obsidian is going to avoid like the plague I'm sure) I think a lot of the time the problem may also lay in the way the different sides are "shown" to the player. For example in New Vegas it was really hard to take Caesar's Legion side as your first experience with them is finding a pillaged village whose habitants have ben exterminated (some of them through crucifixion :| ) because they were "cowards" and lead by a morally bankrupt mayor. Yeah the NCR might have their fair share of **** and corruption but I think I'll side with the mentally sane ****, sorry Caesar.

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PoE is gonna go with a reputation system, so this means no alignment choices (kudos to that).

 

Firstly I hope that 'evil' choices are not as cheesy and stupid as they were in previous IE games.

 

Then I hope the system has logic in it, like, I betrayed that guy and he ended up dead, but it shouldn't have any effect on my rep as noone was there to see it happen.

 

Give rep (good or bad) when it is reasonable to do so.


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I think when you start labelling choices as "evil" or "good" you already failed. There's idealistic or pragmatic. There's selfless or egocentric. Someone may be a racist **** but could also be a loving husband and a trusted friend. Someone may decide that killing in the name of the greater good is perfectly morally aceptable. A century ago you could own a slave and no one would have bat an eyelid, nowadays the simply idea is repulsive to a great majority of the western world.

 

Aside from the "Save the puppy - Kick the puppy" situation (which Obsidian is going to avoid like the plague I'm sure) I think a lot of the time the problem may also lay in the way the different sides are "shown" to the player. For example in New Vegas it was really hard to take Caesar's Legion side as your first experience with them is finding a pillaged village whose habitants have ben exterminated (some of them through crucifixion :| ) because they were "cowards" and lead by a morally bankrupt mayor. Yeah the NCR might have their fair share of **** and corruption but I think I'll side with the mentally sane ****, sorry Caesar.

I think not necessarily. In this regard you do actually have to base your judgement of someone from the perspective of emotions. If you are willing to cause suffering to many people for your personal "biased" causes, you are evil.

 

The slave example - slaves in the roman empire times for example did not live necessarily very bad lives compared to ordinary citizens. And it was socially acceptable because it was not practically possible to create good conditions for most people. So it was a matter of circumstance.

 

I think BG1 made evil characters FAIRLY attractive. Fairly, because they were only barely half way to making them right.

 

The key is, dont express their evilness in their tone or expressiveness or usage of language. Rather express it in their views, egocentrism and actions. Evil people actually think up pretty good justifications for their deeds and make themselves SEEM similar to good people, but you can still tell. It can be a subtle or semi-subtle difference, but the biggest difference comes from the views they hold and their actions, not the way they express themselves a la the mad wizard and fighter/thief from BG1. I think I know about this because I am kind of evil in real life. And yes they can easily be a loving husband. Because they can choose who will be subject to their more evil deeds. It can be only very few people as well.

 

Hitler tried to committ genocide and killed 6 million people to defend his own race and his own people. So is he good or evil? He is evil because he was willing to cause so much suffering for so many to be able to achieve those goals.

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Yes, I think those are good points - rarely will a person who commits evil deeds regard them as such themselves, they will often develop twisted justifications for them, and if they're psychopathic, they may even do so without regard to the coherence of these justifications, lacking in empathy and the capacity for grasping contradictory behaviour as they are. Warcraft actually did a good job of conveying the rationale behind demons wanting to end the world, as did Skyrim with the Thalmor and their intended outcome for Nirn. The former, though, still portrayed them as comically evil, perhaps in line with its aesthetic. Even the story of Lucifer involves him taking actions against God which he considers justified.

 

I so like the occasional evil play through, but not the murder everyone I see evil, more like the neutral evil, politician, CEO of a major corporation type of evil.

I take it you don't mean to imply the latter are evil by default... 

 

I would like the ability to play an "evil" character, too. Evil tends to involve either serving a being that is defined as malevolent in the setting, or by being selfish to the point of actively harming others, e.g. stealing from them, murdering, raping, etc. Generally speaking, sociopathic acts, regardless of what the stated intentions behind them are. I think these are considered nasty actions, regardless of whether one calls them evil, immoral, unjustifiable and so on. I'm not a moral subjectivist or nihilist, as someone who has a liking for Kantian-style ethical theories, but as this is fantasy, I'd still like the ability to play a character willing to engage in such acts, as well as ones more subtly veiled.

 

What I tend to like is cases like the Thalmor in Skyrim. I would have liked to side with them. In their warped interpretation of their theology, they are not doing evil but eliminating it. And the same with lesser extremes within their race, who nonetheless share their supremacist views. Or the political intrigue and cynicism in Game of Thrones. Perhaps I would like to side with the Targaryens, the Lannisters, the Tyrells, or perhaps none of the above. I realise it's an RPG with limitations imposed by the need to tell its story, but I hope the story is written so that there is leeway for several possible outcomes. it's a considerable ask, however it's something very, very few RPGs have captured successfully, to my mind, and is something that, had BG2 achieved it, would have made it even more legendary.

 

I tend to dislike labels like "evil" in these games, as well as "good", as they tend to try and compress too many moral theories into them, going with the typical altruism = good, selfishness = evil twist, which I consider flawed, to say the least. Unless, of course, these are somehow embedded into the setting. I do think these labels work for extraplanars and spells related to them, however, particularly demons and celestial beings. But beyond that, I dislike alignment systems in games. I'd just like the ability to see meaningful choices, by which I mean ones that have an impact on the storyline, its progression and the choices that unfold. Whether they are evil should be for the player to decide, and not pre-labelled by the game devs. That is the key to a successful narrative, IMO.

Edited by Moragauth

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here's a philosophy for evil.

there are 2 types of people in the world: evil and stupid! i wonder what kind of character it could become


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.

 

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