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Can we please not reduce the plot of this amazing project into "Super Devil wants to dominate the world and creates an eternal dictatorship and we have to stop them"?

 

I have great rejection to plots based on shallow "good vs. evil" line. Maybe it is my history major, summed up with the reading of my old dusty books from AD&D, stuff like Complete Book of Villains, Dungeon Master Guide, specially the part of story creation and motivation, or my many years of DM-ing... well, i just don't like to be caught into moral presumptions of a eternal battle of good vs. evil.

 

It is very annoying to reduce the rich world of possibilities and motivations to "stop the Super Devil" storyline. These are for kids...

 

I want my character dragged into political assassinations, dethrone of legitimate kings, favors in exchange of land, nobles unwilling to accept the new regent while the true king is too young, or priests fighting over the control of the richest church around; a rich businessman that lost his horses to a local arrogant noble and has no one to appeal since the local courts are all nobles in favor of that arrogant prick...

 

The universe of possibilities is tremendous, so, please, do not reduce the plot into a "good vs. evil" shallow.

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Can we please not reduce the plot of this amazing project into "Super Devil wants to dominate the world and creates an eternal dictatorship and we have to stop them"?

 

I have great rejection to plots based on shallow "good vs. evil" line. Maybe it is my history major, summed up with the reading of my old dusty books from AD&D, stuff like Complete Book of Villains, Dungeon Master Guide, specially the part of story creation and motivation, or my many years of DM-ing... well, i just don't like to be caught into moral presumptions of a eternal battle of good vs. evil.

 

It is very annoying to reduce the rich world of possibilities and motivations to "stop the Super Devil" storyline. These are for kids...

 

I want my character dragged into political assassinations, dethrone of legitimate kings, favors in exchange of land, nobles unwilling to accept the new regent while the true king is too young, or priests fighting over the control of the richest church around; a rich businessman that lost his horses to a local arrogant noble and has no one to appeal since the local courts are all nobles in favor of that arrogant prick...

 

The universe of possibilities is tremendous, so, please, do not reduce the plot into a "good vs. evil" shallow.

i would like to see it though, but as a side plot full of realistic disillusion about the role of heroes and vilains.

something like this part of this web comic that i recomend http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0755.html


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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Just a thought... are evil gods actually as one-dimensional as their followers tend to be?

considering actual ancient religions, the answer would be NO.

"humans tend to see the world through the veil of their own mortality" (dwarf king, Arcanum), and the fear of death is what drives them to seek wealth and power, things that they illude themselves will offer them longevity and happiness. so even those who worship good gods tend to be as evil as those who worship evil gods, and since evil gods have nothing to fear, they are evil for their amusement, while their worshipers are more evil that what the god could ever be, trying to be as close to their god as they think they can, to forget their mortality.

read it carefully cause it looks more complicatef than it is


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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Can we please not reduce the plot of this amazing project into "Super Devil wants to dominate the world and creates an eternal dictatorship and we have to stop them"?

 

I have great rejection to plots based on shallow "good vs. evil" line. Maybe it is my history major, summed up with the reading of my old dusty books from AD&D, stuff like Complete Book of Villains, Dungeon Master Guide, specially the part of story creation and motivation, or my many years of DM-ing... well, i just don't like to be caught into moral presumptions of a eternal battle of good vs. evil.

 

It is very annoying to reduce the rich world of possibilities and motivations to "stop the Super Devil" storyline. These are for kids...

 

I want my character dragged into political assassinations, dethrone of legitimate kings, favors in exchange of land, nobles unwilling to accept the new regent while the true king is too young, or priests fighting over the control of the richest church around; a rich businessman that lost his horses to a local arrogant noble and has no one to appeal since the local courts are all nobles in favor of that arrogant prick...

 

The universe of possibilities is tremendous, so, please, do not reduce the plot into a "good vs. evil" shallow.

 

I enjoy the stopping the bag guy stories. I enjoyed Sarevok from BG1. As long as the villain has an understandable motivation, then he can be as evil as possible. If the whole tone of the game was "there is no good and evil just crummy people doing crummy things to each other" then those types of quests/stories would be understandable. I myself am not interested in those stories. I read the news, that is enough for me. When I play games I like the ideal that good people, when working together can make the world a better place. Less grim and more hopeful please :)

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I'm really not seeing a problem with the vanilla good vs. evil (or law vs. chaos) trope as an underlying mechanism for an enjoyable game. It's quite possible to use that background and still include a lot of subtlety and complexity in the game.

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

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I am more concern about the all grey, "Unrealistic gritty" marketed as "Realistic Gritty" setting that is all the rage since the 90s. My god, some time, I think the Lawful dumb(good) vs. Chaotic Stupid (evil) setup would be a breathe of fresh air. sigh.

 

I think part of the problem is that these so call realistic setting that are supposedly "without the clear cut good and evil" is that instead of having these factions pursuing their interpretation of the Common Good and let the player themselves interpret the good, evil, order, chaos from the ways each faction try to bring about said common good; most of the time the dev. came up with these pretty clear cut good and evil factions and just dress them up so that they appear grey and gritty.

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I don't think you need to worry too much about a Good vs Evil Fighting For the Fate of the World scenario.

The player witnesses an extraordinary and horrific supernatural event that thrusts them into a unique and difficult circumstance. Burdened with the consequences of this event' date=' the player has to investigate what has happened in order to free themselves from the restless forces that follow and haunt them wherever they go.[/quote']That excited me so much when I saw it.

Curious about the subraces in Pillars of Eternity? Check out 

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I enjoy the stopping the bag guy stories. I enjoyed Sarevok from BG1. As long as the villain has an understandable motivation, then he can be as evil as possible. If the whole tone of the game was "there is no good and evil just crummy people doing crummy things to each other" then those types of quests/stories would be understandable. I myself am not interested in those stories. I read the news, that is enough for me. When I play games I like the ideal that good people, when working together can make the world a better place. Less grim and more hopeful please :)

 

Disagree. I do think there is nothing wrong with having some evil villains, people who are very obviously 'bad', so long as their motivations are understandable on some level. The real world has plenty of these people, from murderous dictators to drug lords and serial killers and so on. It would actually be unrealistic not to have them.

 

But what you're describing feels too much like 'I'm just here to play the game, don't make me think too hard!'

 

Or, at least, that is the vibe I get whenever I encounter clear-cut black vs. white morality tales. If the antagonists are obviously evil, and your side obviously good, then all the rest is just beating up the bad guys, right? You don't have to question anything. You don't have to consider whose motivations make the most sense, who has the best arguments, who has done what good and what evil. There is the Dark Lord Who Must Not Be Named in his Dark Tower doing Dark Things for Dark Reasons and there is your scrappy band of heroes fighting to stop him and save everyone. The brain never once enters into the equation.

 

And yet, ironically, it has historically been precisely this attitude which has given rise to some of the worst and most barbaric behavior. Precisely because the brain never once enters into the equation when you already know the other side is 'evil' and you are 'good.'

 

I much, much prefer to have multiple sides, each with their good points and bad points, each with arguments that make some sense and some aspects of their approach that are unsavory, ala New Vegas. If we have an NCR, they should be both champions of democracy and the rule of the law, while at the same time being imperialists bringing 'democracy' at the point of a gun and often for their own reasons. If we have a Mr. House, he should have a genuine plan for how to rebuild society and save humanity while also being a ruthless dictator who cracks down coldly and methodically on all potential challengers. If we have the chance to rule on our own and possibly create a better society that avoids these extremes, it should come at the possible cost of creating anarchy and instability throughout the area for some time to come.

 

A game world is more interesting when it provokes thought rather than absolves us of the need to think. 'There's big bad Sarevok who wants to kill everyone and make himself a god, go get him!' is less interesting than 'Here are a bunch of people who each genuinely have their own vision of the best society, who do you agree with and want to help, if any of them?'

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For more nuanced antagonists try Fallout, Torment, Arcanum, the Sith Lords, Mask of the Betrayer, Alpha Protocol, New Vegas and Dungeon Siege 3. They're all made by the folks at Obsidian, so I personally have no fears regarding this issue. Indeed when they did present such antagonists in the persons of the King of Shadows and Darth Nihlus, they were still a far step away from what you describe. The King of Shadows was the perverted guardian of a long dead empire still trying to fulfill his now twisted purpose, while Nihlus was a pathetic addict, easily betrayed and outplayed by his former master.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I like the multiple factions route where you have different factions that go across the spectrum of clearly good, evil, and shades of grey, and within those factions are sub factions that can make those factions lean more toward good/evil/grey. Having too much of either can make the game dull, you either go with the clear choices of your alignment of its clearly good/evil, or you start flipping coins if they are nothing but shades of grey and either choice both rewards and screws you at the same time. Especially the "oh, the villain was really doing this horrible things for the greater good" trope is way overused.

 

Games like new vegas where you did not have one big bad, but you had multiple factions competing against each other are the best games. Although, I do think they were a little to grey where their was both good and evil to all of them, with some clearly leaning one way or another. Some factions that are clearly good an evil should be present.

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My understanding is the PE won't be a "save the world from a super devil" type story. It's a more personal story. So I don't think we need to worry about this.

Edited by Marceror
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"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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considering actual ancient religions, the answer would be NO.

"humans tend to see the world through the veil of their own mortality" (dwarf king, Arcanum), and the fear of death is what drives them to seek wealth and power, things that they illude themselves will offer them longevity and happiness. so even those who worship good gods tend to be as evil as those who worship evil gods, and since evil gods have nothing to fear, they are evil for their amusement, while their worshipers are more evil that what the god could ever be, trying to be as close to their god as they think they can, to forget their mortality.

read it carefully cause it looks more complicatef than it is

 

Are there DnD lore precedents for evil gods punishing/ tormenting loyal and succesful followers when you'd expect them to reward them? Are there deductible reasons for this?

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considering actual ancient religions, the answer would be NO.

"humans tend to see the world through the veil of their own mortality" (dwarf king, Arcanum), and the fear of death is what drives them to seek wealth and power, things that they illude themselves will offer them longevity and happiness. so even those who worship good gods tend to be as evil as those who worship evil gods, and since evil gods have nothing to fear, they are evil for their amusement, while their worshipers are more evil that what the god could ever be, trying to be as close to their god as they think they can, to forget their mortality.

read it carefully cause it looks more complicatef than it is

 

Are there DnD lore precedents for evil gods punishing/ tormenting loyal and succesful followers when you'd expect them to reward them? Are there deductible reasons for this?

that's from my knowledge of actual human history and a bit of psychology, it has nothing to do with DnD lore, just as eternity has nothing to do with DnD.

Edited by teknoman2
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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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Well, while most stories (but not all) tend to need one or multiple antagonists to go with that protagonist it certainly doesn't have to mean a "chosen one" or "save the entire planet/universe" type of hero/villain arc. And yes, I'd rather not see those yet again, either. Saving the main area you're a part of from a perfectly mortal tyrannical rule or something (eg, like a localized civil war) would be ok with me tho.

 

Or in terms of divine conflict/influence, you could go the Greek/Roman mythology route, where it's often more of a personal thing for the hero...like Hercules atonement labors. Well, not exactly like that, because I think Hercules became immortal at the end as a sort of reward, but you know what I mean I hope. His adventures and battles weren't about saving the world...they were about saving himself.

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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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I enjoy the stopping the bag guy stories. I enjoyed Sarevok from BG1. As long as the villain has an understandable motivation, then he can be as evil as possible. If the whole tone of the game was "there is no good and evil just crummy people doing crummy things to each other" then those types of quests/stories would be understandable. I myself am not interested in those stories. I read the news, that is enough for me. When I play games I like the ideal that good people, when working together can make the world a better place. Less grim and more hopeful please :)

 

Disagree. I do think there is nothing wrong with having some evil villains, people who are very obviously 'bad', so long as their motivations are understandable on some level. The real world has plenty of these people, from murderous dictators to drug lords and serial killers and so on. It would actually be unrealistic not to have them.

 

But what you're describing feels too much like 'I'm just here to play the game, don't make me think too hard!'

 

Or, at least, that is the vibe I get whenever I encounter clear-cut black vs. white morality tales. If the antagonists are obviously evil, and your side obviously good, then all the rest is just beating up the bad guys, right? You don't have to question anything. You don't have to consider whose motivations make the most sense, who has the best arguments, who has done what good and what evil. There is the Dark Lord Who Must Not Be Named in his Dark Tower doing Dark Things for Dark Reasons and there is your scrappy band of heroes fighting to stop him and save everyone. The brain never once enters into the equation.

 

And yet, ironically, it has historically been precisely this attitude which has given rise to some of the worst and most barbaric behavior. Precisely because the brain never once enters into the equation when you already know the other side is 'evil' and you are 'good.'

 

I much, much prefer to have multiple sides, each with their good points and bad points, each with arguments that make some sense and some aspects of their approach that are unsavory, ala New Vegas. If we have an NCR, they should be both champions of democracy and the rule of the law, while at the same time being imperialists bringing 'democracy' at the point of a gun and often for their own reasons. If we have a Mr. House, he should have a genuine plan for how to rebuild society and save humanity while also being a ruthless dictator who cracks down coldly and methodically on all potential challengers. If we have the chance to rule on our own and possibly create a better society that avoids these extremes, it should come at the possible cost of creating anarchy and instability throughout the area for some time to come.

 

A game world is more interesting when it provokes thought rather than absolves us of the need to think. 'There's big bad Sarevok who wants to kill everyone and make himself a god, go get him!' is less interesting than 'Here are a bunch of people who each genuinely have their own vision of the best society, who do you agree with and want to help, if any of them?'

 

Regarding your example of FNV vs BG1.

What I didn't like about FNV was due to the factions being flawed with their faults when I asked myself "who do you agree with and want to help, if any of them?'" I didn't want to help any of them. I haven't picked up FNV since. If there isn't a group I can say "This group is doing the right things for the right reasons" ((for story based games)) then I'm not interested in playing the game.

 

And this doesn't have to do with "thinking" vs "not-thinking", which is a false dilemma. A good vs evil story can be very interesting and thought provoking. In, what is the specific twist of the villain/hero. What archetype do they fit into? What specific emotions or feelings is the villain/hero trying to evoke? It is a different kind of intellectual exercise from what you are describing, but it is none the less.

 

My opinion comes more from being personally motivated to continue with the story and have the hero triumph. If I don't care about the different groups or people, I will not play.

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I'd like my player to be considered a villain by others, but a hero to himself.

He's trying to solve his crisis by any means, and sometimes that means cutting people in half where they stand.

I don't care if the world calls it evil, I call it justified.

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Regarding your example of FNV vs BG1.

What I didn't like about FNV was due to the factions being flawed with their faults when I asked myself "who do you agree with and want to help, if any of them?'" I didn't want to help any of them. I haven't picked up FNV since. If there isn't a group I can say "This group is doing the right things for the right reasons" ((for story based games)) then I'm not interested in playing the game.

 

Then I think all that there is to be said is that we have very different ideas about what makes for a strong storyline. I've had plenty of RPGs in which there is some cackling bad guy at the end, blatantly there to be opposed and nothing else. Just about any Bioware RPG you could name fits into this pattern, often with villains so ludicrously over-the-top in their evilness that I can never take them even half-way seriously.

 

To me, it gets old. I'm not saying that every faction should be just as nasty as every other faction, nor that some factions shouldn't be much more on the light shade of grey even as others tend towards the black, but I like to be challenged in regards to what I believe is right...or, more appropriately, what my character believes is right. I like my moral dilemmas complex, as complex as the real world, because I've already played a ton of escapist RPGs during my life where any and every problem can be solved by hitting the evil people with swords, whereas I've played only a few that actually made me think things through before I made my choices.

 

And this doesn't have to do with "thinking" vs "not-thinking", which is a false dilemma. A good vs evil story can be very interesting and thought provoking. In, what is the specific twist of the villain/hero. What archetype do they fit into? What specific emotions or feelings is the villain/hero trying to evoke? It is a different kind of intellectual exercise from what you are describing, but it is none the less.

 

But that's not really thinking. Its more appeal to the emotions. No matter who he is, what archetype he falls under, you still aren't required to put much thought into, say, Sarevok beyond, 'Here is bad guy. Kill.'

 

My opinion comes more from being personally motivated to continue with the story and have the hero triumph. If I don't care about the different groups or people, I will not play.

 

And yet how spotless does a faction need to be before you can call it the 'heroic' side? You obviously didn't like the options presented by the NCR, Mr. House, Caesar's Legion or even the Yes Man ending. The NCR and Yes Man endings, especially, struck me as having a lot more good stuff than bad stuff. Do they need to be completely white for you to care if they win?

 

Ahh, but whatever. I suspect this is just a difference in taste which can't really be logically argued. You like clean and straight forward good vs. evil, I like grey and tough choices about who to support. Never the twain shall meet and all that.

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I want my character dragged into political assassinations, dethrone of legitimate kings, favors in exchange of land, nobles unwilling to accept the new regent while the true king is too young, or priests fighting over the control of the richest church around; a rich businessman that lost his horses to a local arrogant noble and has no one to appeal since the local courts are all nobles in favor of that arrogant prick...

 

 

I heartily agree, The Witcher 2 had a great plot with conspiracies within conspiracies all bound up with believable motives.

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I'm pretty sure (I have NO basis for this) the main story will involve like three factions who will be much more gray and grey than the lightish gray and darkish gray of FNV.

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Can we please not reduce the plot of this amazing project into "Super Devil wants to dominate the world and creates an eternal dictatorship and we have to stop them"?

Well the only issue is that general plotline, though cliche, done correctly can actually be very compelling. In fact when done right you won't even notice it is actually a good vs evil story.

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I admit I enjoy heroic games. As others have said, the real world is full of lots of gray and myriad evils ranging from banal to incomprehensibly vile. And there is very little most of us can do every day to make a dent in that. I enjoy that games give me a sense of agency in changing the reality, often for the better. But the supervillain thing is definitely overdone. If it feels a little too much like Tolkien's apocalyptic evil then its time to go back to the drawing board. These stories _can_ be done well. Just like FPS games can be done well. But you're going to have to be ten times as awesome to stand out because its just been done so many times.

 

Localized heroism and personal stories are a good option. Having different factions with different motivations you might or might not agree with is also a nice way to go.

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Honestly, this thread seems repetitious and this topic has been discussed before. Considering that this is Obsidian we're talking about, I highly doubt that morality in the game is going to be clearly defined or black and white, and that politics won't be involved in some way. I mean, Sawyer himself is a history buff, and Avellone was the lead designer of Planescape Torment, so make of that what you will.

Edited by YourVoiceisAmbrosia
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Life is complicated. Understatement of the [specified time unit] for sure. So imagine how complicated Life could get if previous lives and souls played an active role in determining what was happening currently.

 

In a way that is exactly how our world works (and part of the reason it's so complicated.) The events of ancient history have shaped the present and we are actively dealing with the result of those events on a daily basis. Your genetic code is determined by your parents ancestry. And those people lived or died, or were made slaves, or fought wars, or became wealthy, or poor, and so on and so forth until eventually you showed up...

 

So the soul mechanism in P.E. is just a much flashier, spiritual, genetic code, so to speak, that other people are aware of. It's like if people could see your family history, and the past lives that lead up to you, and made determinations about you because of it.

 

Just that right there is going to ensure the game is not super cut and dry. Prejudice and racism and fear and violence are part of our history and world. As such they should be part of these souls as well. Regardless of how decent someone is, it's probably not going to be easy for them if they have the soul of some pariah intertwined with them.

 

As for the saving the world thing. There needs to be some kind of issue at hand that ties the story together. Otherwise it becomes a bunch of unrelated tales that, while nice and interesting on their own, give no drive or sense of urgency to the narrative. We are in the world of project eternity for a very short time, as such the story must make up for this by making that time seem worthwhile. When there is no struggle or conflict, that time just seems flat and mundane.

 

So saving the world may seem a bit much, but anything less usually doesn't feel like enough.

 

Personally I like it when the character goes unnoticed by the rest of the world after the climax. If they succeed, no one notices. If they fail, there is no one left to care.

Edited by Dersu42

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