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Ristora

What would you do to ensure dialogue doesn't......suck?

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Hi all,

 

 

I'll start by saying firstly that my two favorite CRPGs, Baldur's Gate II and Fallout II had great dialogue. Secondly, if the dialogue in PE is not greatly improved upon from these two games, I will be sorely upset.

I mentioned in my last post "My hope for Project Eternity" that one thing I'm hoping to find in the game is course-of-the-game affecting dialogue. I have a few ideas as to how this might be implemented. I won't comment on things that BG II and FO II did correctly, because I'm sure the devs already have that aspect of dialogue planned for PE.

 

First, there should be very, very, little--if any at all--dialogue options that elicit an identical response from NPCs. Afterall, what's the point of being saucy or sarcastic in a response if being sincere or empathetic elicits the same catch-all response? Generic responses make it impossible to role play in an RPG, leaving the game classified as an RPG simply on the basis that it is different from Action, Adventure, Sports games, etc. I hope that last bit makes sense. In any case, I'm hoping generic NPC responses are  not part of PE.

 

Second, consequences. For the glory of Amn, there must be consequences to dialogue! I don't simply refer here to "dialogue option x elicits response y from NPC z thereby giving the PC a new quest" etc.. I mean there should be genuine 'course-of-the-game affecting' consequences to dialogue options. If you play PE as a real arsehole, choosing threatening dialogue options, being sarcastic, displaying a lack of empathy for those in need within the game world, then your playthrough should reflect that not simply in the fact that you chose a dialogue option, but in the consequences of the dialogue options you choose.

 

A way of implementing this, and I've seen hints of it in some CRPGs, is a robust reputation/alignment system, but with an addition. Where alignment is affected *primarily* by deeds, reputation could be affected primarily through how the PC deals with NPCs in dialogue. The addition is this: in addition to a reputation and alignment system, there could also be a 'renown system' that determines whether your PCs reputation precedes you, so to speak. Your renown (a scale from nobody to well known) could be tied to an area and determined by how many NPCs you have interacted with in that area, or dialogue you have had with certain prominent figures could have a greater affect on your renown. There could be a Global Renown rating (whether viewable by the player or not) that is weighted by the renown of the PC in smaller areas.

 

Reputation (a scale from mysterious- famous/infamous) could be tied to how liberal the player is in disclosing information about her and her party in dialogue. And of course alignment (a scale from evil to good) is tied to deeds--choices made by the player in dealing with situations. It's not very difficult to imagine the interplay between these three systems, and the results, I think, are extremely positive and would enhance gameplay. Begin sarcastic when speaking with the leader of a faction could have more serious repercussions than being sarcastic with a commoner. Better yet, the affect of sarcasm could be weighted differently depending on the group affected. The most important point is that your dialogue options with one NPC affect the dialogue options available to you with other NPCs.

 

I think this triad of PC traits, Alignment, Reputation, and Renown, as I intend them, would provide a framework for meaningful, course-of-the-game affecting dialogue. It allows there to be genuine consequences to dialogue, I think.

 

Maybe someone here knows of a game that has done something similar?

Edited by Ristora
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What would you do to ensure dialogue doesn't... suck.

 

Hire good writers.

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

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Ziets and Avellone.

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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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Hire good writers.

This is a good way to make sure the story doesn't 'suck', but I'm talking about the mechanics related to dialogue.

Ziets and Avellone.

The previous works of these two are testaments to the writing abilities of these two, but the dialogue in the games, namely, how dialogue affects the game, leaves much to be desired in my opinion.

 

Is no one else worried about this? Haha

Edited by Ristora

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First, there should be very, very, little--if any at all--dialogue options that elicit an identical response from NPCs. Afterall, what's the point of being saucy or sarcastic in a response if being sincere or empathetic elicits the same catch-all response? Generic responses make it impossible to role play in an RPG, leaving the game classified as an RPG simply on the basis that it is different from Action, Adventure, Sports games, etc.

Unlesssss... You could actually have the exact "same" response, if you incorporated moods. One thing you say might evoke the same words from an NPC while pissing them off, as another response might make them smile and relax as they speak the words. The point to that being that their mood would impact the effects and availability of subsequent dialogue choices. That isn't to say, of course, that they would always say the same exact things simply with different emotional reactions. That would be silly, 8P

 

Obviously, if you piss them off too much, they'd just kick you out/end the dialogue/attack you, etc. Things people do when they lose their tempers. BUT, if you piss them off a bit less, you could still get all the way through the dialogue, and, at the end, still ask something like "So, how about you let me borrow that spiffy sword?", causing them to finally lose it and hulk out on you (kick you out, attack, send you away, run away screaming and pulling their hair out, etc.), even though you didn't get the dialogue cut short, really. You got through everything they were going to discuss with you, regardless of the exact manner in which the two of you discussed these things or how much they told you about each thing (on account of your pissing them off most of the duration, heh).

 

But, it doesn't stop there. Maybe you piss them off even less than that, (at some point, that'll just be "you didn't piss them off, but you also didn't really affect them positively, either, so they remain indifferent to you") you'll get through the entire conversation, and when you ask something of them, they might consider it and bargain with you. "You want to borrow this sword? Hmm... maybe for enough collateral."

 

Then, you start venturing into the "they like you more than they did when you started" territory. Ultimately resulting in, in this super simplistic example, their trust in you and allowance for you to borrow the spiffy sword.

 

Of course, it shouldn't be simply that pleasant things that make them like you are good, and that unpleasant things that make them angry are bad. Maybe they'll lose themselves in their anger/frustration and say something they had been meaning to keep quiet. Maybe getting in someone's good graces causes them to give you some amulet they found, which turns out to be cursed, or maybe they turn out to be an obsessive serial-stalker friend/"lover" (in their eyes), or they simply get in the way of things at some point by trying to help you out when you didn't really need it and/or they reached beyond their abilities despite their good intentions. Hell, maybe they follow you on some dangerous task, and leap out and take an arrow for you before you can do anything about it(good for you from a "you're not dead" standpoint, but bad for you from a "you inadvertently got that person killed" standpoint), whether you were capable of handling the arrow on your own or not.

 

Then, of course, you've gotta factor in the notion that the same thing can piss off person A, and make person B laugh and love you for saying it. Even being hostile/aggressive can garner friendship and respect in certain characters, who might see softness as rude and/or a weakness (like... isn't it Klingons, in Star Trek, who think it's rude NOT to hail a ship with your weapons fully armed? They feel it's demeaning, as if the ship you're hailing isn't a potential worthy adversary or something, and you can just fly around them with your guard down you're so unconcerned).

 

Sorry. Your words just got me thinkin' 'bout a bunch more words. :)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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All good considerations lephys, and I like the idea of incorporating moods. I would still feel there is much to be desired if the majority of dialogue results in catch all responses whether with a different inflection or not, which you noted.

Edited by Ristora

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Personally I thought the vastly different choices and consequences of dialogue in both Alpha Protocol and New Vegas was fantastic, one of the high points for me was the conversation with Dean in Dead Money, where you could reveal your own ruthlessness and thus upset his view of the world as a place full of victims ripe for the picking, one of many such responses. This doesn't seem to be a problem for Obsidian, they've consistently championed this aspect of gameplay, to the point of shaming most of the competition.

 

I understand your dislike for the different question same answer system that we recieve so often in for instance Biowares games, even when the responses are upper, middle and lower right or less, but Obsidian doesn't usually do this.

Edited by Nonek

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 found that I was being herded through the storyline in New Vegas. The dialogue writing was excellent but the affect on the gameplay was glitchy (as in the brotherhood of steel) to the point that if felt like the dialogue options weren't genuine. In new Vegas it felt like the important dialogue decisions happened so late in the game that the effects again didn't seems genuine. I haven't tried alpha protocol, however.

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But there were multiple routes, solutions, choices and factions that you could choose through conversation and far more importantly actions in New Vegas, such that you could have entirely different ending slides and Mojaves. For instance I saved Goodsprings, proved myself to the NCR, aided the ghouls attain their ascension, and a number of other significant changes to the Mojave before i'd even gotten to New Vegas, not to mention the fantastic dlc. Isn't that exactly what you're asking for?

 

Oh I believe there'll be no alignment in Eternity by the way.


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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Isn't that exactly what you're asking for?

Not quite. While those are examples of branching storylines, I'm speaking directly to dialogue in a broad sense. I'm hoping for there to be some mechanic in play that makes almost all dialogue choices affect the game world vis a vis the dialogue options available or not available in the rest of the game. It would be nice if the role playing a person does via dialogue choices affected how all fleshed out NPCs perceive the PC. Does this make sense? I can try to be more elaborate if not.

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I think that sometimes (or... often?) dialogue gets taken on in a little too much of an all-or-nothing approach. "If you say this, they will get very mad. If you say this, they will get very happy. If you say this, they'll just provide you with info."

 

Maybe it just needs to be more modulated, from conception to the finished product? Instead of "angry or not angry" maybe there's sort of a 0-100 scale of anger or frustration. Instead of "option A = response A, option B = response B," you could have the system check for mood level. "Option A? Frustration at 60, so load response A3 instead of A. Frustration < 30? Load Response A." Etc.

 

You take a given character, and there's only so much they're going to do differently when you're talking an individual response to a given statement from a given person. You've already got switches like "You saved the little girl? Load 'Saved-The-Little-Girl' response settings." Kind of. I couldn't tell you exactly how they work, in code syntax, but... hopefully what I'm saying makes sense. It wouldn't be that much difference to set thresholds for a given character in terms of mood status. It would be kind of like combat status, really.

 

"Status: Armor Broken. Physical attack deliver more damage."

"Status: Annoyed. Effectiveness of provocation is doubled."

 

Etc. You might encounter people who start out as annoyed, and you can end with them being amused, or angry, or relaxed. Etc. The effects of your statements to them would basically work just like your weapons versus armor and such. Some targets have higher armor, some lower. Some have better armor against piercing, others have better armor against slashing. Others, still, have high magic resistance but little physical armor. Some people would take more "humor" damage from your witty remarks. Some would take more "annoyed" damage from them. Etc. So, behind the scenes, you end up with a 0-100 number value.

 

The player doesn't even need to see numbers. You'd just have to convey stages of each status. Like "perturbed," "highly annoyed," and/or "last nerve." Or "down," "distraught," and "rock bottom."

 

Obviously the names could be better than that, heh. The whole system could. This is being whipped out of my head like a sprinkle of seeds. It's gonna need some water, minerals, and time to grow into a good system.

 

But, back to the whole "more modular" thing, imagine talking your way out of being arrested for something. Maybe you can end up being locked up. OR, you could talk your way out of being locked up, have to pay a fine, and have your weapons taken away (temporarily, during a phase of a quest, or your stay in a city, most likely). OR, you could talk your way out of jail time AND a fine, but still have your weapons taken away. OR, you could talk your way out of jail time AND keep your weapons. OR, you talk your way out of jail time AND get to keep your weapons, but you still have to pay a fine.

 

All that, instead of "Do you get arrested, or don't you?" And maybe the fine is based on Annoyance rather than belief that you've actually done something wrong, which is why you could have your weapons taken (a lesser suspicion that you've done something wrong) but still not have to pay a fine (you didn't annoy the guards). Etc.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Now, I'm afraid, you are going too far -- what you are asking isn't achievable, and won't be achievable until we have working AI technology.

 

Consider a fairly simple conversation with a quest giver NPC.  This  conversation will be 5 "layers" thick, with a layer being one or more statement(s) by the NPC, followed by the player making a selection.  At each point where the player can make a selection, there will be 3 choices (for the sake of example).  Each statement will be 10 words in length.  As per your OP, all conversation paths are unique.

 

So, for 5 layers, each layer being separated by 3 choices, we need a total of 3^5 = 243 possible responses for the PC.  At 10 words each, the responses alone amount to 2,430 words.  Each of these responses leads to a unique statement by the NPC as well, adding another 2,430 words.  So we are up to 4,860 words of dialog for this single conversation.  So, if we have 21 quest givers, we end up with 102,060 words of dialog -- for the sake of comparison, Gone With the Wind is 418,053 words in length, and a typical novel with in the 100k range.

 

These numbers are, of course, estimates -- some conversation paths will terminate early for one reason or another, but some will be longer, and besides, I'm sure you want far more than 3 choices per NPC statement, right? :)

 

If this is really important to you, you probably want to investigate Torment -- this kind of reactivity is more of a focus over there than over here, but you still aren't going to get 100% unique dialogs for each and every dialog choice.

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But dialogue proves nothing until acted upon surely? You can wrap King Leonidas round your finger with the right words of brotherhood, alliance and honour but if you fail to follow up with deeds then your words are empty, and discarded. Advice can change minds and the deeds of others, but you woukld have to prove yourself through actions before they'll listen to you.

 

I suppose persuasion and intimidation can yield results, though I can't see any effect from the lowest forms of wit such as sarcasm. But these dialogue options are present in fairly much all of the Obsidian games, and yield various results.


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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Isn't that exactly what you're asking for?

Not quite. While those are examples of branching storylines, I'm speaking directly to dialogue in a broad sense. I'm hoping for there to be some mechanic in play that makes almost all dialogue choices affect the game world vis a vis the dialogue options available or not available in the rest of the game. It would be nice if the role playing a person does via dialogue choices affected how all fleshed out NPCs perceive the PC. Does this make sense? I can try to be more elaborate if not.

Alpha Protocol has the perfect dialogue for you i think.

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Advice can change minds and the deeds of others, but you would have to prove yourself through actions before they'll listen to you. I can't see any effect from the lowest forms of wit such as sarcasm. But these dialogue options are present in fairly much all of the Obsidian games, and yield various results.

Choosing a sarcastic response when speaking with a faction leader or a king or some other such great figure, or someone in desperate need of help should have consequence, I'm arguing, on how others associated with those people see you. If you approached a faction leader who had a serious investment in a certain problem being solved and you belittle that investment, it should be reflected in how he/she and others associated with the faction treat you. When sarcasm equals disdain, it is an insult, and insults should be met with consequences, 'good' or 'bad'.

 

Of course, what I'm talking about would require an overhaul of how dialogue has been handled in the background, for example, it would require the quantification and valuation of dialogue choices: a network that is a weighting system of dialogue choices to keep track of how the attitudes of the PC influences the game world, namely, the NPCs in it.    

Edited by Ristora

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Alpha Protocol has the perfect dialogue for you i think.

Thanks Malekith, I will check it out. Hopefully it's on GoG! I will report back within the next few days at most.

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You can do exactly this with Ceasar in New Vegas, and they've allready said that faction reputation will be their main method of an alignment like system so I don't get what changes you want to what they've allready announced. The opinions of most dialogue members will still be decided by actions, whatever your words.

Edited by Nonek

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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You can do exactly this with Ceasar in New Vegas, and they've allready said that faction reputation will be their main method of an alignment like system so I don't get what changes you want to what they've allready announced.

I have to be honest, I only started looking at the announcements today, and I haven't encountered anything specific about dialogue.

I played through FO New Vegas and was thoroughly disappointed in my interactions with Ceasar. Although it felt as though the factions in New Vegas were a real presence, by the time my character had a chance to influence them (this is just my opinion of course) it seemed like the game was over and there was no real difference in the game world at all. 

 

I do suspect that dialogue options with faction associates will be really fleshed out and consequnetial, but I'm worried about the dialogue with non-faction or 'main story line' NPCs being nothing more than a delivery system for a story with not real affect on the PC and therefore gameplay. This isn't to say they are going to botch it, but I am still concerned :) 

Edited by Ristora

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For me the perfect dialogue system will be Planescape:Torment's many dialogue options and acts through dialogue, combined with Alpha Protocol's narrative reactivity in the world.

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Now, I'm afraid, you are going too far -- what you are asking isn't achievable, and won't be achievable until we have working AI technology.

 

As per your OP, all conversation paths are unique.

 

So, if we have 21 quest givers, we end up with 102,060 words of dialog.

 

These numbers are, of course, estimates -- some conversation paths will terminate early for one reason or another, but some will be longer, and besides, I'm sure you want far more than 3 choices per NPC statement, right? :)

 

If this is really important to you, you probably want to investigate Torment -- this kind of reactivity is more of a focus over there than over here, but you still aren't going to get 100% unique dialogs for each and every dialog choice.

I think your numbers are correct, but with what I'm proposing (also what Lephys is proposing) is not a plethora of unique textual dialogue options, but rather a myriad consequences throughout the game world based on what has been selected in dialogue. The difference is this: with 100% unique textual options you can get the appearance of consequences to come, but you may never be able to cash in on them. What I'm proposing is a system according to which the kinds of dialogue options selected are weighted on the basis of mood or attitude elicted, cached and manifest in some sort of gauge like a 'reputation' which impacts subsequent dialogue options with NPCs associated in some way with the original NPC (whether because they live in a small town and word travels fast, or because you verbally slighted a noble with global influence).

 

Imagine fallout 2, or Baldurs gate 2 and ignore the plot linearity for a moment and focus on the dialogue options. What if the dialogue options, the story and such were all the same as they are now in those respective games, and each had a system behind them where, like I said, each option is weighted on the basis of mood or attitude elicited in the NPC (and to be clear, $null is a perfectly reasonable value for story line delivery etc, but when it comes to quests big or small, this system should register. And even in the case of storyline delivery, if an NPC shares the history of a relative who belonged to and served a faction and the PC poo-poo's the story, this could affect the PCs affiliation with the faction given time for word to spread). Based on the values cached from responses certain dialogue options that appear later in the game for a PC might not appear because of how they have responded to NPCs in the past. Why would an NPC tell a PC who has proven to be a smart-ass laissez-faire know-it-all that she is having genuine difficulties with such and such a problem?  If this results in only getting 3 dialogue options from an NPC when there are 5 coded, I am completely happy with that. If this were a system in FO II or BG II there would appear to be more continuity in the game! Quality over quantity! Yes, there would be a lot of content that goes unexplored in an initial playthrough, but I see that as an incentive to make the game world richer, not make it simpler. I want to play a game, not click my way through an ebook with moving graphics.

 

Also, I just started a new game of planescape torment because I never managed to get into it years ago. I'll check out this new planescape kickstarter too :)

Edited by Ristora
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This thread puzzles me. If New Vegas' reactivity wasn't enough for you, I don't know what would be. I don't think there's a single quest in that game that doesn't acknowledge the player's actions and react to them appropriately. The level of reactivity in it is insane, especially for an open-world game that was only made in eighteen months and has full voice acting.

 

Alpha Protocol is more reactive in a lot of ways, it's true, but they do that by segmenting "talk to this guy" missions and combat missions. There's no real "world" to run around in at all. Funny thing is, I was so into what was going on that I didn't realize there wasn't any exploration until my second playthrough. :lol:

 

In any case, I suppose I'm asking you to describe exactly what was such a letdown about New Vegas' dialogue to you, because I honestly don't know how you could come to that conclusion, given what you say you want.

 

To be clear, there are disappointing aspects of NV besides the bugs, most notably a lot of the voice acting (up to Bethesda's standards, but not Obsidian's) and New Vegas itself (which had to be chopped into a bunch of little chunks to work on consoles). The engine also had its awful quirks, like the weird zooming-in-to-everyone's-nostril-hairs camera angle you get whenever you talk to somebody, but those were legacy quirks you can't blame Obsidian for.

 

If nothing else, though, the level of reactivity was a truly remarkable achievement. It's going to be astonishing to see what they can do without being shackled to voiced dialogue and cinematic presentation. Text means they can put many more discrete story paths in.

 

All that being said, I suppose I'm asking you to describe exactly what was such a letdown about New Vegas' dialogue to you, because I honestly don't know how you could come to that conclusion.

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It's going to be astonishing to see what they can do without being shackled to voiced dialogue and cinematic presentation. Text means they can put many more discrete story paths in.

Astonishing indeed! I have high hopes.

 

As for my disappointment with New Vegas, the game felt like it was rushed in development. The simplest answer I can give as to what New Vegas was lacking is to reiterate what I've already said I'd like to see in a game with respect to dialogue and then simply point out that it does not exist in New Vegas. I think the crux of it comes down to a need to elaborate on what I mean by course-of-the-game affecting. 

 

This may not have been the best mash up of words to describe my over all hope, because you are right, New Vegas did have course-of-the game-affecting dialogue. However, it was how those dialogue choices impacted the game world that was lacking, I think. The most striking example I can think of is Mr. House. Without getting into spoilers, I think its agreeable that nothing you said to Mr. House had any impact on the outcome of the game. His destiny was set in stone when the game began, as was the player character's destiny to be disappointed by a lackluster finish. Just my opinion.

 

In New Vegas, important decisions like those regarding Mr. House came way too late in the game and were choked to death by the few planned endings the game devs had in mind. So, 'course-of-the-game-affecting' dialogue is not limited to the dialogue system in and of itself, but rather relies on a successful 'course of the game' to be...well, successful. New Vegas would have been better, in my view, if making it to reno was one of the first things you did in the game, the families were fleshed out more (and I'm talking a lot more, it was just bloody pathetic how easy it was to bypass them completely as though there were no powers in New Vegas proper whatsoever which did not do justice to the memory Fallout 2, assuming my memory isn't clouded by nostalgia), and the build up to the various endings started earlier. More fleshed out factions, a system of dialogue that takes into account renown and reputation of both PC and NPC, and choke points early on in the game rather than at the end would have made New Vegas a good game in my opinion. 

Edited by Ristora

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Huh. The New Vegas I played does not remotely match the New Vegas you're describing. I'm not saying you're wrong, but my experience with it was completely different.

 

I mean, you can kill Mr. House halfway through the game, before you even find Benny, or you can let him take over Vegas, or you can let one of the other factions take over Vegas. And which sidequests you took, how you completed them, and the effects of the quest on the overall faction all permanently affected your reputation with the factions, to the point that there were even separate designations for your character if you made a faction hate you before helping them out a lot. And if you play as a woman and take the Black Widow perk, you can sweet-talk your way into Benny's bed and slit his throat while he's sleeping. You can even make Chief Hanlon kill himself.

 

To be fair to you, I haven't beaten New Vegas yet. But it sounds to me like you're referring more to endgame content. Like, if it doesn't directly affect the endgame, it doesn't count. Is that what you're saying?

 

EDIT: To be clear, I'm not saying there weren't issues with the game. There were a few parts where I would have liked more dialogue options, for sure, and I didn't care for the way a few of the quests worked. I'm just saying that all the stuff you're asking for sounds superficially like stuff New Vegas already did.

Edited by Ffordesoon
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Playtest all the dialogue!

 

Sit some random (RPG player) down, have them go through some dialogue area doing everything. Sit back and watch how they react, then ask them what they thought, then re-write anything that seems off.

 

Iterate iterate iterate, it's what you do in game design, it's what Pixar does with it's movies (just about the only movie studio that does). Valve sits there and has people play through each section of their games, totally un bothered or helped, just so people can watch what they do. I don't see any reason the same wouldn't work with dialogue heavy sections of PE.

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I like the idea of having more than one metric to determine how NPC's interact with you.  I'm sure it complicates dialogue writing immensely, but it would really increase replayability.

 

The player character could be viewed and interacted with by NPC's based on things such as:

 

Good or Evil

Nice or Jerk

Rich or Poor

Success/Failure with Quests

How they are dressed

and more...

 

But not only do I want to be rated on these things by NPC's, I don't want to be told until the end of the game.

 

One of the things that kind of annoys me in game is when I see some yellow text that says "You just moved 2 points towards evil, you just moved two points towards lawful."  Those kind of messages encourage meta gaming to me.  It should be a complete mystery what your karma or ratings are, except by judging how the NPC's interact with you. Especially if when you have choices of dialogue answers it isn't so obviously Good Neutral Evil.

 

Then at the end of the game, you get a summary of what kind of person you are, maybe a short scene where a god judges you and explains why he has sentenced you thusly.

 

I also think it needs to be harder to play as a good character who accepts rewards, its always the best way to maximize loot and quests and its hard to break from that mold. (Dialogue wise) Could just be me.

Edited by Boo's Brother Hoo
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