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Cause and Effect

XP Behavior Lawful Chaotic Reputation

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#21
TRX850

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Lephys, would you ever powergame in P:E ? And if so, how would you go about it?



#22
Lephys

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I see what you're saying. That's a valid concern. I just wasn't really attempting to address that.

I feel that it's separate from "what should and shouldn't grant XP?"

I think the "character" of your character should be determined by your choices. And I think that's what they're aiming for with the current reputation system. So, I don't think that being "good" (to use the common term applied to such choices) should mean you're restricted to future good choices. But, at the same time, you probably shouldn't be allowed to flip-flop 73 times throughout the course of your adventures. People would basically not trust you after learning that you did super good noble things, AND super crazy depraved things, back-to-back. Your reputation would simply be psycho, and you'd then be restricted to all that people trusted you with (probably just killing and such).

Still, though, that has nothing to do with how XP is awarded and its restrictions/effects on things, which is all I was addressing. Restricting access to XP-earning objectives, based on ANY criteria, is completely separate from the decision of what is or isn't an XP-earning objective. If it should grant XP, it should grant XP. If it shouldn't, it shouldn't. If you can do it, you should get whatever it provides. If you can't, you shouldn't.

Again, I fully support your points about that kind of restriction and how the reputation system should work in. But, alas, the optimal function of the reputation system, the objective-XP system, and the playstyle spectrum are not mutually exclusive things.

EDIT (didn't see your last post before I posted):

Lephys, would you ever powergame in P:E ? And if so, how would you go about it?

I might. The term "powergame" still seems really vague to me, so I'm not sure exactly what to say regarding it. Here's an example I'll give, though:

At the beginning of Fallout 2, in the little temple test, you could actually disarm every single trap (for individual XP), kill every single thing (for individual XP), and perform some kind of speech action to talk your way out of the fight with your friend at the end of the temple (also for XP). You could also just fight him, and you gained XP. I'm really not sure if one or the other gained you more, but you couldn't do both.

ANNNYwho, I personally disabled every trap, killed every thing, and tried to talk my way out of the fight. I designed a character who was actually a bit worse at fighting, specifically to do these things. I also enjoyed these things (within the context of what was presented to me in the game.) In other words, that's pretty much my playstyle. If there are traps to be disarmed, I see it as my own personal challenge to disarm them all. And, while it's nice to gain XP for each, or trap parts (or a whole usable trap), I wouldn't mind if they didn't do that.

In the same way, killing all the scorpions was kinda difficult (with limited resources/healing and such, since you couldn't get any more until you got outside the temple). Sure, it was nice that things granted me XP as I went. If I remember correctly, I actually gained a level before confronting the final guy (and therefore was able to raise my Speech skill a bit, to be able to talk him out of the fight.)

But, some things to note here are that, in Fallout 2, all your skill points were spent on a single pool of skills (combat AND non-combat), so that level didn't really improve my combat much, simply because I chose for it to improve my non-combat, specifically because I wanted to do the speech option, because of my playstyle preference. It wasn't because fighting the guy got me any LESS experience. Also, fighting him, in that instance, didn't get you anything BUT experience, I don't think, because you didn't actually kill him. So, you got XP for combat, but you also got SOME amount of XP for Speech (which I think is perfectly reasonable, since the skill points I put into my speech skill are dependent upon XP).

Also, I finished killing all previous groups of enemies/creatures before I even got to the last guy (for whom I "needed" the level up for the purposes of my playstyle). And, actually, now that I think about it, Fallout and Fallout 2 already didn't award XP until the combat encounter was over. Either way, you didn't gain a level unless you killed all the things (because of XP amounts), so if you opted to only kill portions of them, it wouldn't have helped you anyway.

So, I don't know if my getting all the XP that was available to me was powergaming or not, but I did it. I did it not JUST for the XP, though. So, again, I don't know if that means I was powergaming or not.

My point being that, if I didn't get XP for disarming each individual trap, I would've been fine with that AND probably still disarmed the traps. Also, I would guess that the traps probably would've been designed differently or maybe even provided different rewards (some kind of trap components or materials or something), if the game was designed to where those traps DIDN'T grant you XP per trap.

Also, being able to find the traps (to disarm them) was dependent upon your Perception. And your starting health and fundamental combat competency were decided by Strength and Endurance. Speech was affected by both skill points AND Intelligence, I think.

So, it was the developers' decision to allow all three of those things to be high enough for all the traps to be disarmed, all the creatures to be killed, and the final guy to be talked past, meaning that they accounted for the possibility of ALL those things to be able to be done. They could have easily required the traps to require higher Perception, or the creatures you fought to require higher Endurance or Strength to kill all of them, or the Speech option to require higher Intelligence (base Speech skill). If they had, I would expect the amount of XP to be gained to be rebalanced with that in mind, in regard to how prepared for the rest of the game I should be upon leaving the temple. I certainly wouldn't have said "HEY, WAIT A MINUTE! I should've been able to do all three things! And they all should've granted me XP, too, on an individual basis!"

So, I don't really see powergaming as the demand that a certain amount of reward opportunities be available to you purely to appease the amount of rewards you want. I see it as "regardless of whatever rewards are available, I want to get as many of them as possible on my playthrough." If that means saving this orphanage, and burning down this other one, and you're able to do that, then cool. But once you start saying "Wait, I once burned a building down, and I gained XP... all buildings in the game should be burnable for XP! Better yet, I should be able to BUILD buildings, THEN burn them down for XP!", that's when you're being ridiculous.

Edited by Lephys, 30 January 2013 - 05:53 PM.


#23
TRX850

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I was also thinking from a game dev point of view. Every time you have to make exceptions for whom you think shouldn't be a random target to a psycho blackguard, you have to hard code that data into the core mechanics. If, on the other hand, you simply gave commoners and children and squirrels a CR of 0, you wouldn't need to hard code all those exceptions. It means you can still take a swipe at them, but it won't ever net you any XP. However, I do believe you should still be able to attack them if your character's agenda is to antagonize the faction in question. Not simply in the case of powergaming, but as a valid choice of irrational behaviour.

 

And, really, it's always going to come back to the undeniable reality that what you do in your own game can never ever ever ever ever affect what happens in someone else's game. :no:


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#24
TRX850

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I feel like we're on the verge of something wonderful... :woot:



#25
Lephys

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I feel like we're on the verge of something wonderful... :woot:

Sorry... I'm a slowpoke (hence the avatar), and I was typing a bunch of stuff whilst you posted. But, yes! I think we are! *HIGH FIVE*

Seriously. I'm not meaning this as "YAY, YOU'RE AGREEING WITH ME NOW!" or anything, haha. I just... don't think it was abundantly clear that what I was advocating didn't actually clash with what you were advocating. My brain tends to compartmentalize aspects of ideas rather quickly, so I tend to have trouble conveying only the minimum amount of information for my point. Hence the ludicrously long posts, which I seriously feel bad for sometimes. You work with what you've got... *shrug*

Yes, in your example, where everything that can die gets a CR, every single thing shouldn't get a CR worthy of XP. Things with a CR of 0 COULD still give you XP, but they wouldn't necessarily. If someone gave you a quest to, for some reason, go kill a bunch of squirrels in the forest (maybe they want to piss off a group of environmentalists and pin the blame on another faction?), then you would probably get XP for killing the squirrels, as it just so happens you're accomplishing something beyond the death of squirrels (which, in and of itself, should not offer enough challenge to grant you any XP). See? Flexible, no? ^_^

Edited by Lephys, 30 January 2013 - 06:01 PM.

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#26
TRX850

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Could I tempt you to grudgingly see the point behind why I think quest-only xp tends to serve rational character behaviour better than irrational behaviour?

 

Which is why, in my view, kill xp is needed to accommodate a range of historically-unpopular-yet-valid play styles, provided there is a robust reputation/faction system that handles the consequences.



#27
Lephys

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Oh, I assure you I see it. I won't say "I always know and understand EVERYTHING you've ever said, ever!", haha. I'm only human. But, I mean, you've got very good points. Always. It's why I so much enjoy discussing things with you, even in the midst of disagreement, :). I would say that "tends" is the key word, though. All I'm saying is that it doesn't have to discriminate. It doesn't inherently discriminate, I don't think. I have yet to see a way in which it does. Every example has been dependent upon more conditions than simply the method of designating certain things as XP-awarding, and other things as not (kills included).

It is a valid concern. Very much so. But not a valid, inherent truth. The concern can (and should) still be addressed, though. That is what I was talking about in all my "but then it's a matter of balancing" talk. Haha.

I would simply specify the exact nature of that need for kill XP as 2 separate parts:

1) Aggressive objective options to kill things (when available) should produce XP, just like any other options toward objectives (whenever available.)

2) The aggressive objective options should be just as plentiful (however many there are and whatever they may be) as the non-aggressive (non-combat) objective options. There should be no trends, in the scope of an entire playthrough of the game, towards one single playstyle or another.

Does that suffice? Because, as you've said, sometimes the option to kill should be there, but it shouldn't necessarily reward XP (CR 0 example.)

Of course, the only concern I'll add with the decision on who you should be able to kill (regardless of XP) is that certain people HAVE to be integral to the story. If some guy is the only person who can lead you through the mountain, and you need to get through the mountain (no matter what path you take on the other side), then killing him would essentially end your playthrough. And basically being a murderous crazyman in his presence should cause him to flee in terror at the sight of you (thus preventing him from ever leading you through the mountain, no matter what you do, and prematurely ending your playthrough.)

That's a very simplistic example, but the control of some things is ALWAYS going to be in the hands of others, and you're only going to be able to go on SO much of a murdering rampage before they know of your actions. People who need things constructive things done (no matter HOW they're done) are not going to trust people who do purely unconstructive things all day long to do what they need.

Reasonability always produces limitations, is all.

Edited by Lephys, 30 January 2013 - 06:24 PM.

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#28
TRX850

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Yes, I was thinking about how to handle plot characters this morning. I think IE games come up with a message that you've been a dolt and killed someone integral to the story and must now reload. I can't remember how or why I (accidentally?) made that happen before, but it is indeed a design consideration.  Maybe that will be one of my next big forum posts. :)

 

Edit:

 

One option could be to make those encounters/meetings into scripted events? So the plot character walks in, says his lines, then walks off or leads the way until you've gone from A to B or whatever.


Edited by TRX850, 30 January 2013 - 06:32 PM.


#29
TRX850

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Oh, I assure you I see it. I won't say "I always know and understand EVERYTHING you've ever said, ever!", haha. I'm only human. But, I mean, you've got very good points. Always. It's why I so much enjoy discussing things with you, even in the midst of disagreement, :).

 

I spend way too much time on these forums, and sometimes I get tired or muddled and don't always accurately articulate my point the first time round. But I do believe we, and others here, are ultimately problem solvers. :grin:



#30
Lephys

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I spend way too much time on these forums, and sometimes I get tired or muddled and don't always accurately articulate my point the first time round. But I do believe we, and others here, are ultimately problem solvers. :grin:

Oh, it's totally understandable. It just happens. I work at a computer, and I often have to wait on lots of other computers/machines/printers/tape-storage-units as part of my job, so I have a lot of downtime (and these forums are like a bug-zapper in that downtime.) But, yeah, I do the same thing. We're just human. If only we had telepathy... :)

Also, it's really just a matter of perspective. I mean, if we're discussing to solve problems, then the more misunderstandings we accidentally create, the more problems we have to solve! We're creating jobs... volunteer jobs, but still jobs! 8D

#31
JFSOCC

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Myself and others have given examples of chaotic or evil play style that comes under the irrational banner though. A paladin would be irrational if he thought he should kill everything. A blackguard would be in keeping with character.  All along I have been talking about "character" and not simply the player. You are not your character. You play the role of another person.
 
Part of the problem is when lawful or good characters grab extra XP by killing a few random things because they know there are no consequences, or at least there weren't in previous IE games. That's where a behaviour system should come into it.
 
But if a chaotic or evil character kills a few random things, it doesn't (or shouldn't) matter if those creatures were part of another side-quest or not. That's irrelevant to the "character".
 
I think maybe the confusion lies between differentiating player from character. Maybe?
 
Edit:
 
Btw, I did mention powergaming in one of the other threads, but I fear it became lost in the sea of white noise that is now the P:E forums. :p

which is why NO alignments is the way to go.
Btw, I'm not sure if powergaming should be rewarded, because it's pretty much always meta-game thinking that causes players to powergame. I think eliminating those options forces people into a role-playing mindset, exactly because they CAN'T do everything they want to.

Edited by JFSOCC, 31 January 2013 - 06:30 AM.


#32
TRX850

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which is why NO alignments is the way to go.

Btw, I'm not sure if powergaming should be rewarded, because it's pretty much always meta-game thinking that causes players to powergame. I think eliminating those options forces people into a role-playing mindset, exactly because they CAN'T do everything they want to.

 

I use the term "alignment" as a guide for character intent, moral compass, and behaviour, similar to older systems. And yes, I'm looking forward to doing away with alignment in P:E. It was always part of the reason for past imbalances.

 

Powergaming is a valid play style for players who have already played the game several times and know the storyline. I would encourage players to "do it properly" and roleplay as different characters to get the most out of the game, before deciding to powergame. There's no reason to inhibit their choice on this though. It's an option where they know it's not strictly roleplaying before making that decision.



#33
Raithe

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One issue with Reputation as a mechanic, is if you have multiple reputations with the assoreted factions, is there also going to be one "Universal" reputation for how famous/notable your character might be?

 

Also, as has been mentioned, does it make sense that your actions are immediately known and recognised throughout the whole world? Is there going to be some sense of reputation gains/losses only in the immediate area, but then over time the stories of your actions spreads out and those reputation modifiers spread further?  So if you move fast enough, will you outrun your reputation?

 

Heh, I could amost see one faction spreading a false story about you to change your reputation in an area and the potential side-quest that would look into it and reveal the truth.. You don't have to take the quest, but then you'll have to deal with the Reputation shift....



#34
TRX850

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Yes, it's an interesting topic, reputation. I suppose each time you complete a side-quest, it stores that info so that eventually various factions will know about you.

 

Some factions might know of your deeds immediately, then start spreading word. Others may take a while. You might even achieve things that no one ever witnesses and therefore never hears about, unless the party tells someone about it.

 

And I like the idea of false stories too. It gives the feeling that you're not always in control. You may have shown mercy to that raiding half-orc tribe and let them go, but someone somewhere has spread the rumour that you killed them in cold blood.

 

But complications are good. It makes for memorable roleplaying.


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#35
Helm

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I completely agree with the OP.

 

A reputation system should be included instead of completely removing "Cause and Effect" and "Choice and Consequence" and in turn making practically any choice you make have the same "generic" outcome. A reputation system would not discourage certain behavior, but encourage the player to continue with his prefered playstyle and have the world around him react to this playstyle. This prefered playstyle should also be rewarded accordingly.


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#36
Jarmo

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Yeah, FO:NV had pretty nice reputation system, but it was also immensely flawed at the same time.

I'd murder a whole bunch of passerbys (gangers and such) by ways of clever sniper action, to get XP and especially for loot.

 

Normal people start treating me like a messiah.  Sure, I butchered a lot of riff raff, but only to get their stuff and who told anybody anyway?

Gangers start hating me like cancer. Who the hell told them it was me?

 

When I murder someone it's all nice and cool and looting their corpses likewise,

but if I then steal their stuff from a cupboard I'm doing crimes and everybody starts hating me.

 

Jack Nobody from Hickswille wont deal with me because I stole stuff from a van miles away. Without being caught.

 

But yeah. Reputation systems can be great.

 

I'd like to see axis like:

 

good guy - bad guy

on our side - against us

sane and coherent - probably insane

 

Basically, if you murder 1 person and save 6 from robbers, save the Bishop of Lawful Stuff from eye cultists, but then burn his cow on behalf of the cult, the stuff might cancel each others out on the first two axis, but then throw you way right in the insanity axis.

 

Meaning... dunno. Maybe someone would clamp up, maybe thread carefully. 


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#37
TRX850

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Reading through comments regarding Souls in other threads, I'm wondering more than ever now if they will play more of a role in punishing or rewarding a character for their actions.  Maybe the soul can act like the player's very own mini-DM?  Or a combination of your soul and your chosen deity?



#38
AGX-17

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Every aspect of game design and mechanics is "cause and effect." Every aspect of reality is cause and effect, excluding our current understanding of quantum mechanics. How is this a helpful idea or improvement? You don't have a game without cause & effect. All you've got here is some rambling, weird idea to complicate the existing fundamentals of game design with pointless extra doodads stuck on.

Edited by AGX-17, 08 February 2013 - 11:57 AM.


#39
TRX850

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Every aspect of game design and mechanics is "cause and effect." Every aspect of reality is cause and effect, excluding our current understanding of quantum mechanics. How is this a helpful idea or improvement? You don't have a game without cause & effect. All you've got here is some rambling, weird idea to complicate the existing fundamentals of game design with pointless extra doodads stuck on.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL8e2ujXe8g

 

Clearly, you didn't read this thread.


Edited by TRX850, 08 February 2013 - 12:57 PM.


#40
Razsius

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Yeah, FO:NV had pretty nice reputation system, but it was also immensely flawed at the same time.

I'd murder a whole bunch of passerbys (gangers and such) by ways of clever sniper action, to get XP and especially for loot.



Normal people start treating me like a messiah. Sure, I butchered a lot of riff raff, but only to get their stuff and who told anybody anyway?

Gangers start hating me like cancer. Who the hell told them it was me?



When I murder someone it's all nice and cool and looting their corpses likewise,

but if I then steal their stuff from a cupboard I'm doing crimes and everybody starts hating me.



Jack Nobody from Hickswille wont deal with me because I stole stuff from a van miles away. Without being caught.

 

I think we often get a little hung up on the "little things" as it were. In the real world, there are very few times one can commit the "perfect crime."  In worlds that have the divination spell school it should be fairly obviously that a perfect crime that you thought you had committed wasn't so perfect.  Tack on the fact that if a sudden bout of murders and thefts occurs in a town it really is highly unlikely that the local authorities will think that someone within the populace has suddenly become erratic.  No, the much more obvious answer is the adventuring group that has just recently come into town.  The authorities do not have to see you blatantly commit your robberies to surmise that it was *you* that has done so.  Your reputation would, of course, be effected.   As for misplaced trust, well... it's misplaced isn't it?  A robust reputation system should allow all this and reflect it at the same time.

 

Besides, in a world where there are Cipher detectives I believe we can allow for a little more realism then "but he didn't see me rob that house!"


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