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Death Machine Miyagi

RPG cliches you hope to see avoided and/or mocked

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No "purely evil orc" race and that sort of stupid nonsensical cliche.

 

Hmmm.

 

So having dependable villains is a cliché?

 

I worry, as per my initial post, that the swan-dive away from "cliché" risks ending up with too-cool-for-skool pretentiousness.

 

It matters not if they are barbaric savages, humanoid tribes or whatever, but a race of dependable mooks is a standard and, in many ways, helpful gaming trope. Subvert it, sure, give it a twist, liven it up. But... nonsensical?

 

Nonsensical in the "orcs are evil to their bones" boring Tolkien way. PE doesn't have alignment, after all. Make them a race with different motivations and culture and maybe even a faction (go go World of Warcraft!), and that's one way to do it better. But the Dragon Age darkspawn fell into that booooooring trap, to be sure.

 

Agree. Races that are pure evil (or pure good) are boring for about the same reason characters who are pure good/evil are boring, though at least in the case of evil characters you aren't left debating the merits of genocide.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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Simply avoiding clichés is good enough for me. As long as they don't make it into some sort of parody at the same time, it's alright. I also don't believe they're going for the sometimes over-the-top pop-culture reference feast that is Fallout 2. That being said, the only cliché that truly irks me is the "I am the chosen one!" - it works when it's part of the game that you have "been chosen" but in reality you're just a more or less normal person, but if you actually are unique and super-duper-special, I usually just sigh with contempt. No divine powers granted to you at birth or some such, thanks. I'm not someone who needs to feel like I'm the centre of the Universe or the saviour of the world.

 

Edit: Also, I can't stand it when the world, its factions, or its characters are portrayed as utterly black or white. Everyone and everything has their own moral compass and reason, thinking they're good or whatever, but subjectively that is rarely the case.

Edited by Kindo
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Simply avoiding clichés is good enough for me. As long as they don't make it into some sort of parody at the same time, it's alright. I also don't believe they're going for the sometimes over-the-top pop-culture reference feast that is Fallout 2. That being said, the only cliché that truly irks me is the "I am the chosen one!" - it works when it's part of the game that you have "been chosen" but in reality you're just a more or less normal person. No divine powers granted to you at birth or some such, thanks.

 

I think that cliche could well be twisted by being able to use persuasion/influence to convince many people you're a "chosen" person, when you're really not. You know, maybe start a little cult of devotees, get in trouble with the actual gods/religions.

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No "purely evil orc" race and that sort of stupid nonsensical cliche.

 

Hmmm.

 

So having dependable villains is a cliché?

 

 

Yes! it's a terribly weak plot device "they are evil, just 'cause, we need like, enemies 'n ****." also do away with the faceless trope. We can't identify them as a person, so we don;t feel guilty about killing hordes of them.

most used trope ever. Whenever you see the bad guys in hordes in a uniform that hides their face, be it goblins that look the same, storm-troopers, fire-nation firebenders, or the combine, you're seeing a "you can rip on this dude because you don't have to care about him."

 

I actually liked the tongue in cheek "so many orphans" statistic in Alpha Protocol, where you would still be confronted by all the mindless murdering you've done on your faceless foes.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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I think that cliche could well be twisted by being able to use persuasion/influence to convince many people you're a "chosen" person, when you're really not. You know, maybe start a little cult of devotees, get in trouble with the actual gods/religions.

Oh, that's brilliant. Has it been done in any game before? It made me instantly think of the character of Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica, but I can't recall any games I've played that's done a similar thing.

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Personally, I think Morrowind handled the "chosen one" best. Essentially, every group had their own interpretation of what the Neveraine was suppose to do and accomplish. Some thought the Neveraine would champion the great houses. Some thought the Neveraine would kick out all foreigners, etc. At the end of the day, people just wanted to use you. The "chosen one" was as much a political term as anything else.

 

Another thing Morrowind with the "chosen one" trope is that there were many Neveraines that failed.

Edited by Nixl
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I hate retarded equipment scalling. The good thing about DnD based games was that they were limited in how ridiculous they can make equipment they barely got to +5 in BG2, while in many other games you start with broken sword +5 and end with supreme slayer +9000. Scaling of towns also go with it. Somehow the major city you encountered at the beginning only offer you moderately strong weapons while some village at the end has lots of super special artifacts.

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I'd like to second BasaltineBadger's comments above; this has been so overdone. If powerful items are made available, the process of acquiring them should somehow be made very exclusive.

 

The other one, of course, is a generic +X weapon, armor, or shield. Every magical item should have some form of distinctiveness, even if it is only minor. This could be a small skill or save bonus, or perhaps a minor attack-only bonus against particular enemies. I'd also like to find useful items that include negative qualities so that the player must make tradeoff decisions.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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This probably isn't exactly what the OP was asking about, but I could do without the villain performing the "evil laugh". Y'know, the "You've fallen into my trap, I'm going to destroy the world, HahaMwahaha" thing....which is then sometimes accompanied by the "I could kill you directly but instead I'm going to leave the room while my over-elaborate method of execution gives you a chance to escape."

 

I mean, it can be funny/appropriate sometimes, but .... I could do without it.

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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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This probably isn't exactly what the OP was asking about, but I could do without the villain performing the "evil laugh". Y'know, the "You've fallen into my trap, I'm going to destroy the world, HahaMwahaha" thing....which is then sometimes accompanied by the "I could kill you directly but instead I'm going to leave the room while my over-elaborate method of execution gives you a chance to escape."

 

I mean, it can be funny/appropriate sometimes, but .... I could do without it.

 

This brought to mind the laughable cutscenes with Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3, where he'd taunt me and laugh at me for failing --- even though during the actual combat portion, I kicked his ass without even breaking a sweat. It was immersion breaking because instead of me thinking what a bad ass he is, I was left thinking what horrible game design it was.

 

Note to developers: If it's absolutely a must that an enemy "lives to fight another day", make it at least a bit more plausible like a bunch of his minions come in and distract us while he gets away. Don't have a cutscene or dialogue where it appears as though he was the one kicking my ass the entire time, even though I'd just finished wiping the floor with him.

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

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

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Don't have a cutscene or dialogue where it appears as though he was the one kicking my ass the entire time, even though I'd just finished wiping the floor with him.
Malak, you'll notice I'm looking at you when I say that.
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Yeah and Planescape sold, like, millions of units right?

 

There's a thin line between mocking tried, tested and much-loved tropes and being condescending.

 

You people don't really get why they went to kickstarter to pitch this game do you? Quit appealing to mass market trends for your arguments, you're going to ruin this game with that ****. What does how many units PST sold have to do with anything?

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Yeah and Planescape sold, like, millions of units right?

 

There's a thin line between mocking tried, tested and much-loved tropes and being condescending.

 

You people don't really get why they went to kickstarter to pitch this game do you? Quit appealing to mass market trends for your arguments, you're going to ruin this game with that ****. What does how many units PST sold have to do with anything?

 

Even going to KS to get the initial funds I am sure they would still like to make a profit (the KS money has to be used exclusively for the development of the game). With 75,000 original donations and potentially more in sales they do have some responsibility to balance things out for the majority of potential users (and we will not agree on all of the features) ... there were a lot of games used in the pitch of this project, of which PST was just one ... personally I would love to see the scope and scale of Baldur's Gate, the combat and dungeons of Icewind Dale, and the excellent story of PST. They may need to retain a few cliches and to break a few to create a viable game. Also, if we would like to see a PE 2 someday we should want them to have overwhelming success on this project :geek:

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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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Agree. Races that are pure evil (or pure good) are boring for about the same reason characters who are pure good/evil are boring, though at least in the case of evil characters you aren't left debating the merits of genocide.

 

As Zapp Brannigan put it: With enemies you know where they stand but with Neutrals, who knows?

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I would rather have cliches, I am not of that people that think that just because something was done before it is infiriour to somethin that is new.

Games are played to have fun, and story or characters can be cliqe, and very fun, NwN 2 was full of them, and yet I had much fun in playing that for example NwN Its about execution .

As said making everything diffrent and uniqe, just for the sake of screaming look at , look at it I have race of three headed, four leged, six armed, rhinos with pig snouts I am so Orginal.

Certain things just work , LotR is famous for a reason,

 

Not everything that is new is better than something that is old, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try new things.

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This probably isn't exactly what the OP was asking about, but I could do without the villain performing the "evil laugh". Y'know, the "You've fallen into my trap, I'm going to destroy the world, HahaMwahaha" thing....which is then sometimes accompanied by the "I could kill you directly but instead I'm going to leave the room while my over-elaborate method of execution gives you a chance to escape."

 

I mean, it can be funny/appropriate sometimes, but .... I could do without it.

 

the other extreme is just as bad.

 

"Good evening Mr. Bond. Sit. Have a martini. Shaken, not stirred, correct? I am about to unleash a ********* that will kill ***********, but that is no reason to be uncivilized. Do you like my collection of etchings? You do not have voiceprint authorization for that action, Dave. My programming has changed. The success of the mission must come first. Would you like to play a nice game of chess? Am I not all the more terrifying because of my emotionless and monotone voice?"

 

the shodan, hal 9000, yxunomei stuff is as overused as the Sarevok Evil Laugh. is ok to use, but be original or purposeful in using either extreme.

 

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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Even going to KS to get the initial funds I am sure they would still like to make a profit (the KS money has to be used exclusively for the development of the game). With 75,000 original donations and potentially more in sales they do have some responsibility to balance things out for the majority of potential users (and we will not agree on all of the features) ... there were a lot of games used in the pitch of this project, of which PST was just one ... personally I would love to see the scope and scale of Baldur's Gate, the combat and dungeons of Icewind Dale, and the excellent story of PST. They may need to retain a few cliches and to break a few to create a viable game. Also, if we would like to see a PE 2 someday we should want them to have overwhelming success on this project :geek:

 

They will make a profit even if they do a game almost exactly like PST so that's out the window.

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Even going to KS to get the initial funds I am sure they would still like to make a profit (the KS money has to be used exclusively for the development of the game). With 75,000 original donations and potentially more in sales they do have some responsibility to balance things out for the majority of potential users (and we will not agree on all of the features) ... there were a lot of games used in the pitch of this project, of which PST was just one ... personally I would love to see the scope and scale of Baldur's Gate, the combat and dungeons of Icewind Dale, and the excellent story of PST. They may need to retain a few cliches and to break a few to create a viable game. Also, if we would like to see a PE 2 someday we should want them to have overwhelming success on this project :geek:

 

They will make a profit even if they do a game almost exactly like PST so that's out the window.

 

One can hope but I don't remember PST being very combat oriented and I suspect there are a lot of players looking forward to the Icewind Dale style tactical combat ... kind of defeats the whole point of having a party of followers if you can't use them to full effect ... but they already have my big chunk of dollars either way :)


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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Well, I think we should never forget that clichées are a big part of storytelling. At least that's what I've learned from my journalistics lectures. Clichées work because they are very strong images and most of those clichés move in an area (storytellingwise), in frames as we call them.

So many conflicts in modern storytelling work because there's an archetype for many different conflict situations and characters. Good examples for frames are Robin Hood or David vs. Goliath. Clichées give us something to hold on, to orient ourselves in "known waters" so we know what's going on. Real exoticism only works for a few parts, maybe to create the mystery (and even then the exoticism is kind of a clichée).

In media linguistics there's also a thing called priming - so different terms are being primed in a setting, so we can distinguish and understand - for example the word thread has many meanings. If we are in a forum it's clear we talk about a "topic" and not a thread used for sewing. Of course that's a bit abstract but this is actually how it works en détail. I may be wrong - this is only first and second semester stuff of journalistic storytelling, so don't sue me if I'm not entirely correct :no:;(

 

Maybe an easier way to explain this, is in a LARP setting. In LARPs (at least in Europe) are many people who play overly exotic characters from an even more exotic race and ultra-complicated storys. Those characters never stick with you. The most successful characters I've seen in LARPs are the easiest ones. Maybe a simple peasant, or a normal (well, normal...) Landsknecht. They were not cliché charaters at all, but they played in a certain frame that made it easy to comprehend this character.

 

Well, anyhow. :ban::disguise:

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Yes, cliches are used a lot because they are familiar and it's easier for people to follow stories. That doesn't mean they are "good" or "bad". It's just nice to see people try new things from time to time.

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One can hope but I don't remember PST being very combat oriented and I suspect there are a lot of players looking forward to the Icewind Dale style tactical combat ... kind of defeats the whole point of having a party of followers if you can't use them to full effect ... but they already have my big chunk of dollars either way :)

 

It's not combat oriented, but that's not exactly what I was talking about. I was just referring to the story part.

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I'd rather leave the story and the clichés that are or aren't used now firmly in the hands of the developers. They all have a great creative nous and the experience to know what they're doing, it seems unnecessary to instruct them continuously as they well aware of how to make a good story. I guess if people had an inspired suggestion then it's worth making a thread over but to tell them - reading between the lines - that they shouldn't do anything stupid is pointless. Plus playing a game that has a story which is too avant-garde and hipster is just as annoying as playing one that is full of clichés and uninspired. You need that perfect balance of familiar (even cliché) story elements coupled with some curve balls to make the story relatable and at the same time engaging.

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As others have noted ... not all cliches are bad ... The Lord of the Rings is considered by many to be one of the greatest Fantasy novels ever but it is very cliched by the definitions of people here ... I think they can walk the tightrope of picking certain elements that will make for good story and game play and abandoning those that don't help PE become a unique and viable IP for Oblivion ... I trust their judgement to sort that all out and I look forward to seeing what they will come up with :)


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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