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It's not a new idea, and I'm pretty sure it has been discussed here somewhere (a search saw me return empty-handed). I've seen many discussions about how could be defined a "mature game", and people usually agree about the fact that it's not about boobies. That boobies may even actually be a sign of immaturity. There's also the question of the topics used in the game, and the morality when it comes to choose and to live by its consequences. "Being bad/evil" in many RPGs for instance, is often playing an (uninteresting and not "mature") "psychopath".

 

I remember this question being brought by Peter Molyneux. Something about "being good is the hard path / you can be good and save the persecuted, it is an available option. But it will cost you an eyeball". I like the idea that being bad is not being a psychopath. It's being greedy, lazy, or a coward.

 

It works the best when it appeals to the player behind the PC. If you must permanently lose 1 point of strength to save someone (who won't even give you a kiss), will you do it? I like that because it's challenging you as a (role)player, not just your character (I think it's used in Divinity 2 to some - scanty - extend). Would it be punishing? Rewarding? Hey, it would be optional, you could choose to be a ****. Being a hero is not that easy, it would cost you. Actually, there is no real value to "being good" if it does not cost you something.

 

Is there?

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I like the idea that good is something that will cost you something. It won't really just be a no-brainer choice. I'd like to see choices where you really have to think "Is the cost really worth doing the right thing?" without the cost being so high that no one will ever take the nice option, nor so low that its negligible.

 

Playing good and playing bad are usually uninteresting in RPGs as they're usually just about picking a line of actions, then sticking to them, without the game changing much. I want to see situations where there is content you will not see unless you make a certain decision in a certain way.

 

BioShock was pretty decent at making the choice interesting, because you had no idea what the costs for either choice were. You simply had to guess, and when it became apparent what the cost was, it was too late to re-load and pick the other choice.

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I like the idea that good is something that will cost you something. It won't really just be a no-brainer choice. I'd like to see choices where you really have to think "Is the cost really worth doing the right thing?" without the cost being so high that no one will ever take the nice option, nor so low that its negligible.

 

Playing good and playing bad are usually uninteresting in RPGs as they're usually just about picking a line of actions, then sticking to them, without the game changing much. I want to see situations where there is content you will not see unless you make a certain decision in a certain way.

I don't particularly agree with this line of thinking. Making evil or good be innately more/less profitable just makes the whole thing a puerile "come to the dark side, we have cookies" thing.

 

I would rather that both sides of an option lead to different resolutions and rewards, and that no penalizing or rewarding the player for choosing one path over the other come into play.

BioShock was pretty decent at making the choice interesting, because you had no idea what the costs for either choice were. You simply had to guess, and when it became apparent what the cost was, it was too late to re-load and pick the other choice.

You were killing little girls. I'm pretty sure that was a conscious design choice to make you think twice about it.

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I'm not really a fan of games punishing players for being good (or evil, for that matter). I just think the game should offer difficult choices, and associated consequences that come along with each choice, to act as a way to make decisions more difficult to make than simply choosing one decision because it yields the best reward.

 

For example, it could come down to a choice between two options, both of which are "good" options. A village is being attacked by raiders, while at the same time one of your companions needs your help because someone from their family was kidnapped. Now, you could choose to help the village with the hopes that the companion's family member will still be okay until you finish with the raiders, or you could show loyalty to your companion above the good of an entire village and hope that you can rescue the family member and still have time to save some of the villagers. Both are "good" choices, but both have consequences if you choose one over the other.

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While I believe that there should be consequences for the PC's action, be it good or bad, I am a bit ambivalent towards the "good is about (self) sacrifice", it is so much more.

It can be a part of the solutions sure but it should by far not make up the bulk of the options. It also has a bit of "pay 200 gold to see the happy-bunny-filled-sunshine-option".

 

On a slightly unrelated note.

If it was about rewards related to good/evil rather have the game give a small rewards for going the evil route, not as much that the game should promote evil, but rather that there should be a logical incentive for the PC to do something evil. If there is no reason to do "evil" deeds other than "I be evil har har" it basically turns any evil options into "evil"= psychopath.

 

As mentioned by Ghostofanakin there is other options that are just as good for a rpg, and options that leave more of an impact on the world than "-1 point to strength". If we move into more "lesser of tho evils" solutions it could be "save the refugees or save the village" solution, both of which could leave a lasting effect on the world.

I would so much rather see that kind of effects of a quest resolution.

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It is difficult for me to be subtle in this language. And it is even more difficult when it relates to morale in CRPGs and the frequent (but convenient) binary good versus evil.

 

GhostofAnakin and John Lemon, maybe you are right, I am not sure I understood what you meant. But I am tempted to elaborate the "line of thinking" I condemn myself, Internet forums being what they are. It is probably caused by the way I played pen and paper RPGs when younger and the mercyless game master who has fashioned my education in this matter.

 

I can try to put it differently. In "my game", being good could be rewarding. The player would be rewarded with dialogs, some "good ending", or whatever. But, being good would make the game a bit more difficult. You can see this as... hardcore mode if it makes any sense(?). Because being a coward in real life is the "safe route". Because being a bad person is taking a risk, some efforts, to obtain something trivially pleasant or helpful (the money, the woman, the magical item). But being "good" is being.. courageous? Some woman bothered by bad people, you choose to go and you get beaten up: ojectively, you've lost more than you won. Here comes the talent of the designer: your choice has not to be perceived as a bad choice. You'll obtain a reward, maybe at the end of the game, just a line of dialogue, but your action, your "sacrifice" has been *acknowledged*, it had a meaning and when you look back at the game you will tell yourself it was "fun", "meaningful", or something. "Something" positive despite the possible obstacles it created thereafter.

Edited by Margaretha
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The games I enjoy most are the ones that don't push or pull you in one direction, they offer multiple paths and shades of gray allowing the player to unfold the story as they see fit without rewarding one path over another. It is, after all, a "role" playing game and the the player has created a character role to play. So it isn't whether one choice is "better", the results are just different and help the player tailor the story to the idea of their character. Essentailly, the players helps tell the story.

 

The open endedness, however, comes at a increased technical cost to the designers, writers, and programmers to facilitate whatever the player can come up with. This usually leads to concessions on flexibility and narrowing down the "expected" paths.

 

I understand this compromise and I won't be disappointed if I'm not allowed to branch the storyline out with a myriad of available choices. I would be disappointed if there were rewards or penalities for choosing one path over another. In cases like that, it may just be better not to allow the alternate paths and have the character follow the storyline as intended.

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I'm not really a fan of games punishing players for being good (or evil, for that matter). I just think the game should offer difficult choices, and associated consequences that come along with each choice, to act as a way to make decisions more difficult to make than simply choosing one decision because it yields the best reward.

 

For example, it could come down to a choice between two options, both of which are "good" options. A village is being attacked by raiders, while at the same time one of your companions needs your help because someone from their family was kidnapped. Now, you could choose to help the village with the hopes that the companion's family member will still be okay until you finish with the raiders, or you could show loyalty to your companion above the good of an entire village and hope that you can rescue the family member and still have time to save some of the villagers. Both are "good" choices, but both have consequences if you choose one over the other.

 

I'm on this wagon. I don't want all of my choices to be one-dimensional good/evil, but I want the option of either with consequences for both. My biggest criticism of Mass Effect is exactly this: "Oh, you're a 'good' character? Please excuse us while we clear any obstacles and moral dilemas out of your path."

I'm saying that there needs to be more ambiguity between choices the PC has to make, so that there aren't always simple good/evil ones, like GhostofAnakin described.

No one can stand in the light without casting a shadow.

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I suspect there will be a "price" to many different paths in Project Eternity, but keep in mind that Obsidian is not designing the world in terms of alignment (good/evil) at all, rather different motives--based on culture, race, the ends of a quest, whatever. This means some paths will be closed off simply by mutually exclusive choice. I fully expect the factions to work this way.

 

So given that, much of the discussion on good/evil is moot... :p

 

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Player choice and impact are very important to us, so “a lot”. We want players to feel like they can solve quests their way and take the story in a direction that they want to take it, from little things to big things

 

(W)e don’t really think about things in terms of good or evil choices, but in terms of choices that a relatively sane/rational person would make with an understandable motive. sometimes it makes sense to allow players to be cruel, but it has to work in the context of what’s going on. the game and its story aren’t about being good or evil but deciding what values (and people, and groups) are most important to you — and what you’re willing to sacrifice to defend them. – Josh Sawyer

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

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Ermf alright, but I think we are all saying the same "I don't want the usual good=+10 evil=-10 neutral=0 scale because I'm so grown up". It was not my point. That is why I may ask a question as... more or less.. "what if 'being good', in the familiar and simplistic ways we are used to in CRPGs, was something exceptional and difficult ?".

 

Implying that being "evil/'neutral'/coward/bad-person" (still in this simplistic but usual definition) is the "easy way", just like in real life?

Edited by Margaretha
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I've lived in the world for 30+ years. It has been really easy to choose the so called 'good' way. Not complex or hard at all. It certainly hasn't cost me an arm, a leg, or an eyeball. L0LZ

 

Yet, I've seen otherwise 'good' people choose the 'evil' path and they've gotten nothing but misery, heartache, and a destroyed life out of it.

 

Yet, 'evil' is supposed to be path to 'easy' rewards? I don't think so. Not in the real world, anyways, for the most part.

Edited by Volourn
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Just get back the repuation* Value like baldur's gate. Depend on the score of your group reputation and *achievement you may have new quest. I don't think being good or bad should affect the phisical stat of your party. (* strengh reduction intelect reduced) A companion should be interest to join you if you complete his or her quest and if your reputation match his her or alignment.

Edited by Eldmore

I will bravely raise my sword against anything to protect whoever I choose to serve.

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One of the notes in Bioshock (and, no, as far as I'm concerned it isn't an RPG) is that many reviewers looked at the choice of harvesting or saving the little sisters meaning very little, in the end. The most common complaint amongst reviewers was that, in the end, you still came to about the same reward, one of them simply delayed compared to the more front loaded alternative option. The result of the options being about equal was that people felt like the options didn't matter.

 

I'm not sure how to feel about that, or if I should just note that choice in Bioshock was barebones in the first place, but I do think it's something to consider, that: "Consequences and Rewards should never be the same or equal, regardless of the types of choices available to you" and, really, I'd pad that with, "The choices shouldn't be black or white in the first place."

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You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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I'm going to jump in as against this idea. I constantly hear from people who play as quote/unquote 'evil' how much they hate it when games incentivize the 'good' option and punish you if you play an evil character. I'm of the firm belief that all play styles should have paths to success. If you want to be an evil tyrant, be an evil tyrant that wins by coldly manipulating people or slaughtering those in your path. By the same token, good should have as many options to victory, and neither should be punished for their choices unless it's on an equal footing. Making players 'pay' for being good is just a way of encouraging people to play as evil/self-interested characters.

Edited by TheOptimist
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Or not, "TheOptimist". You are mentioning the importance of reward. Rewarding a player is important, in pen and paper rpg just as in a computer one. I think there are different ways to reward a player. There is a purpose to be "realistic" when it comes to benevolence.

 

Helping someone with the idea you are going to be rewarded is not a "good action". It can even be pretty "evil" in some "Cugel the Clever" kind of way.

 

If I had to formalize a gameplay proposition about all this, it would be to reward treachery with some tangible reward: gold, items, something mechanically useful. And to reward selfless action with just... roleplaying reward. "the kids are safe, thank you, good bye". The important thing being: your good deed has been acknowledged. The game master gave you his blessing, (s)he's noticed. You've roleplayed your paladin well, Samuel. Am I... understandable? Saint-Good-Samaritain gives his purse to the beggars: good for him. He's got 100 gold pieces less, and... that's it! Now, maybe, he'll not obtain a magical dagger thanks to this action, but something like a "Oh! you're the Good-samaritan! well.. you're dumb/marvelous/suspicious/" it's been acknowledged, that is satisfying, that is a kind of "reward".

 

*sigh*

Edited by Margaretha
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Being good and being evil should both have pros and cons.

 

I'd imagine "evil" choices would lead more to immediate material rewards while "good" choices might lead to more spiritual or community rewards. i.e. Doing something good for some impoverished village won't net you any gold or badass weapons, but it might gain you favor with some deity, faction or community from which you may derive some benefit in the future, be it gameplay or narrative. Taking an evil route in the same scenario might net you otherwise unattainable loot of exceptional quality, favor with some less altruistic deities, etc.

 

In general, being good should not be about getting material rewards, it should be about adhering to your character's moral/ethical beliefs. If it were up to me, making the world a better place would be the righteous hero's reward, and seeing happy, prosperous people living freely in peace as a result of his/her efforts would be reward enough. That probably wouldn't be enough a reward for most players, though.

Edited by AGX-17
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Being good and being evil should both have pros and cons.

 

I'd imagine "evil" choices would lead more to immediate material rewards while "good" choices might lead to more spiritual or community rewards. i.e. Doing something good for some impoverished village won't net you any gold or badass weapons, but it might gain you favor with some deity, faction or community from which you may derive some benefit in the future, be it gameplay or narrative. Taking an evil route in the same scenario might net you otherwise unattainable loot of exceptional quality, favor with some less altruistic deities, etc.

 

In general, being good should not be about getting material rewards, it should be about adhering to your character's moral/ethical beliefs.

Depending on how factions are made you could also get a bonus. Like say if a town is a faction helping people there even without a reward would improve your standing while robbing and killing them strangely enough would make them like you less ;)

Logically people like others that do good deeds, heroes are more liked that murderous villains. That alone would be a reward though not (directly) a material one.

But yes I agree, less gold and less badass weapons for doing good, it will also help explaining why people would pick the evil options, material rewards or shortcuts to them. Only completely insane psychopaths would wake up and say " I'm evil and today I will demonstrate it by butchering a town"

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BioShock was pretty decent at making the choice interesting, because you had no idea what the costs for either choice were. You simply had to guess, and when it became apparent what the cost was, it was too late to re-load and pick the other choice.

Meh, I just killed one little girl to see the difference and immediately got the "bad" ending.

 

What does one dead little girl more or less do?

I hope she's happy killing off thousands, if not millions of people. Wasn't my fault ;)

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Or not, "TheOptimist". You are mentioning the importance of reward. Rewarding a player is important, in pen and paper rpg just as in a computer one. I think there are different ways to reward a player. There is a purpose to be "realistic" when it comes to benevolence.

 

Helping someone with the idea you are going to be rewarded is not a "good action". It can even be pretty "evil" in some "Cugel the Clever" kind of way.

 

If I had to formalize a gameplay proposition about all this, it would be to reward treachery with some tangible reward: gold, items, something mechanically useful. And to reward selfless action with just... roleplaying reward. "the kids are safe, thank you, good bye". The important thing being: your good deed has been acknowledged. The game master gave you his blessing, (s)he's noticed. You've roleplayed your paladin well, Samuel. Am I... understandable? Saint-Good-Samaritain gives his purse to the beggars: good for him. He's got 100 gold pieces less, and... that's it! Now, maybe, he'll not obtain a magical dagger thanks to this action, but something like a "Oh! you're the Good-samaritan! well.. you're dumb/marvelous/suspicious/" it's been acknowledged, that is satisfying, that is a kind of "reward".

 

*sigh*

 

One, what's with the quotes around my forum tag? Seems kinda weird. :huh:

 

Two, I've never really been clear on why being evil is supposed to get you more material rewards than being good. For instance, lets say as a good character I see a puppy with a collar wandering lost. An evil character has no reason to care, (and if they're particularly psychotic, might kill it for giggles) but maybe a good character will want to find the puppies' owner. After a search, you find the owner, who 'surprise!' rewards you 20 gold for finding the puppy. It's not a quest, it's simply a tangible benefit of having been benevolent. You might call this a fairy tale, but I have seen this happen more than once in real life. Kindness is, or can be, a gift that keeps giving, and doesn't necessarily lead to less material rewards than evil, you simply acquire those rewards in a different manner. As another example, maybe you do a kindness for a shopkeep and he gives you a discount, whereas a thief that steals from that shop might cause it to go out of business and be unable to obtain the better items offered at the store later in the game. Demanding that treachery be rewarded materially while being kind get you a pat on the head and nothing else seems both simplistic and rather silly.

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I would prefer both paths be rewarded in different ways. While there should certainly be some sort of short-term gain from choosing a dark-side option, choosing to be good could easily net you some form of additional reward in the long-term, more important to the game than just a line of dialogue.

 

That's not to say that there shouldn't be options where a "good" character can choose to save a party member by sacrificing of themselves, but those choices should be few and reserved for important moments in the game.

pyp6.jpg

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Two, I've never really been clear on why being evil is supposed to get you more material rewards than being good.

You preach for an equivalence in reward between a "good" option and an "evil" one. It is what is usually done in CRPGs and it is valid. It has been said there should not always be clear "good/evil" situations and we all agree with this, but we can also guess there often will be. The game will not get rid of the kitty in the tree quest, which is fine: designing all the quests to avoid morale choice would be weird.

 

Now, why making the "good" path more difficult? there is no objective reason behind this. My personal opinion would be: to challenge the player a bit. Players usually take the "good" path (I vaguely recall a study giving the number 85%). It's often because we enjoy playing good persons. It's also bacause the "bad" path is more challenging (alienating the town, etc.) I would like the opposite for a change.

 

You give valid reasons why "good" and "evil" could be equally rewarding. You can find valid reasons why they could be unequally. It's a choice in design: I'd like the game to just... slightly pull the player out of his comfort zone. So that the chosen path is a deliberate choice.

 

(also I was trying to say that "a pat on the head" can be a satisfying reward indeed)

Edited by Margaretha
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