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On the class struggle and the coming victory of the proletariat


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So they're saying 'class problems' will be explored. Kinda makes me curious, since that isn't a common issue for RPGs to tackle. 

 

For one thing, since we'll apparently be getting a stronghold from which we'll be able to tax people, I suppose the PC's position in any class dispute would lean by default to alliance with whatever landowning class might exist. I'm curious as to whether that will be acknowledged. Will our control of a stronghold be a source of friction with anyone displeased with their low position in the social order? If we side with the disenfranchised in some dispute, will that mean being called a traitor by other landowners? Will it be made uncomfortable for us if we're playing a despised race, like the Orlans, and yet find ourselves in a position of political power?

 

For another, despite the tongue-in-cheek thread title, we're dealing with a pre-industrial society hovering around the equivalent of the Renaissance. As such, I suppose a major theme could be the slow emergence of a strong middle class displacing the traditional aristocracy as the most powerful force in the social structure. Perhaps that's what they mean by 'class problems'. If so, will our stronghold again mean we're aligned by default with the decaying landowning class, as against a newly strengthened merchant class?

 

Perhaps all of the above is too weighty for a game of this sort, but I've always been encouraged by J.E. Sawyer's apparent depth of historical knowledge in some of his past responses to questions. I like to think the designers, free to make their game however they like without outside intervention, want to make a world that feels real in a way that isn't typical of fantasy games, or even games in general. A world where there are genuine-feeling social issues, with genuine-feeling historical roots, and without simple answers to the complex question it raises.

 

But perhaps I'm in a minority. What does everyone else think of the idea of P:E tackling 'class' issues? Do you think it will be an important part of the game, and if it is, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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I love it. Given possibility, I will be aristocracy's biggest  nightmare  headache... or hangover, depending on the context and nature of my PC exploits. Power to the people and all that nonsense.

 

Also:

LPA71-56.jpg

Edited by milczyciel
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"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones." - Ross Scott

 It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care.

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This can only be a good thing in my opinion, without the necessary background and the societal make-up we're left with a gameworld that will feel artificial, like Thedas or the Forgotten Realms. The fact that we're in a colony newly split from an ancient Empire obviously raises certain ideas of a "New World," and I for one welcome exploration of its varying strata. Obviously I will take advantage of any chance at power and ruthlessly subjugate at the first opportunity, but it would hardly behoove a citizen of the time to do anything less, power at that time meant simply winning or dying as history shows repeatedly. My character will live, prosper and exploit the stinking peasantry.

 

And when and if a popular revolution arises back both sides in secret while proclaiming public neutrality, so that his ascent into the next order of power brokers is assured whatever the results, while ensuring he profits from the conflict.

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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 love it. Given possibility, I will be aristocracy's biggest  nightmare  headache... or hangover, depending on the context and nature of my PC exploits. Power to the people and all that nonsense.

 

Also:

LPA71-56.jpg

 

Speaking of Arcanum, I have a feeling the class struggle and the race issue could be strongly intertwined. In our world, the supposed 'inferiority' of black people was used as the basis for their subjugation to whites for centuries. Yet it was a prejudice based on pseudo-science and ignorance and those who believe in it nowadays are treated as bigoted idiots. 

 

Arcanum had a different issue, and so might PoE. What do you do when there is genuine and obvious differences between races, beyond superficial appearance? What do you do if one race is objectively dumber or weaker or more prone to violence than others? If a given race is physically strong and mentally weak, then might it actually make perfect sense for them to be relegated to the ranks of lowly workers, serfs, peasants and so on?

 

Not that we know enough about the various races to decide if such a large difference will exist. 

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I love it. Given possibility, I will be aristocracy's biggest  nightmare  headache... or hangover, depending on the context and nature of my PC exploits. Power to the people and all that nonsense.

 

Also:

LPA71-56.jpg

 

Speaking of Arcanum, I have a feeling the class struggle and the race issue could be strongly intertwined. In our world, the supposed 'inferiority' of black people was used as the basis for their subjugation to whites for centuries. Yet it was a prejudice based on pseudo-science and ignorance and those who believe in it nowadays are treated as bigoted idiots. 

 

Arcanum had a different issue, and so might PoE. What do you do when there is genuine and obvious differences between races, beyond superficial appearance? What do you do if one race is objectively dumber or weaker or more prone to violence than others? If a given race is physically strong and mentally weak, then might it actually make perfect sense for them to be relegated to the ranks of lowly workers, serfs, peasants and so on?

 

Not that we know enough about the various races to decide if such a large difference will exist. 

 

 

I doubt that any of PoE's races are going to be markedly more or less intelligent than any of the others.  My guess is that they'll be physically and psychologically different from one another but not in terms of brainpower.  That would tend to open up a bit of a can of worms if dealt with in a realistic manner.  

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I need to exterminate cat druids, much more than to disseminate the socio-economic geo-political ephemera of Defiance Bay. But I'll look into it, once the blood has been let. Hide ... hide, now, kittehs ...  

 

This was actually something like the mentality that lead me to think there might be some dissension at the whole idea.

 

"I'm just playing this game to kill things, loot dungeons and get my character to the XP cap. Why are they throwing a bunch of crap at me about socio-economic inequality and the impact of class divisions on the Renaissance-era political system?"

 

This game was pitched as a revival of the spirit of the Infinity Engine games. Baldur's Gate 2 had a lot of cool stuff, but political commentary and a realistic, detailed depiction of medieval society wasn't its strong point. And I imagine that suits quite a number of people just fine. 

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As long as it's not black-and-white (anarchy goood, government baaad) and it's not heavy-handed (Bioshock: Infinite), I think it's a good topic to explore.

 

Ugghh...Bioshock: Infinite.

 

Note to developers: if you want to approach a controversial subject (such as American exceptionalism, early 20th century racism in the United States, religious fundamentalism, class divisions, etc.), have something a little more interesting to say than, "See? All of these people are cartoonishly evil, without exception! Now go out and kill all of them!"

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What is, in fact, the third estate?

 

Of course, the question will always be more interesting with FIREBALLS!

 

I think they have developed a setting that is perfectly set for exploring conflicts along both social and ethnic lines (I suppose we could use the term racial here, but I despise using it in general), specifically in reference to democratic and pseudo-democratic organizations. 

 

And as Bioshock Infinite, I cut it a little slack in comparison to the general discourse of many games (also, anything that takes a swipe at objectivism gets bonus points). 

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Death Machine, I cringed when I read the interview where it was proclaimed that Obsidian would direct it's fell gaze upon issues of class and race. I still think it's extraneous. If it's too earnest and predictably left-wing I'll just laugh at it and try to be as 'evil' as possible.

 

Hopefully it will be confined to some emo, woe-is-me NPCs I can ignore.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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As long as it's not black-and-white (anarchy goood, government baaad) and it's not heavy-handed (Bioshock: Infinite), I think it's a good topic to explore.

 

Agreed. It's also full of good non-black-and-white dilemmas in which player choice would be very interesting.

As a feudal lord, it's your job to provide stability to the region and protection to its inhabitants. This requires investment in military infrastucture and equipment, and wages and training for your soliders. That money needs to come from somewhere, so you expect the people under your protection to supply the goods and ultimately money to make this possible, which means collecting taxes.

Given that the world is an unsafe place in these times of turmoil, if you don't get the taxes, people will probably suffer because you can't protect them. So what do you do, when people don't willingly pay their taxes? Will you implement heavy-handend measures to collect these taxes, or perhaps motivate the people to pay taxes by explaining the situation to them - and what if they don't listen/believe/understand you?

I'm loving it already.

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We've seen race issues handled in a reasonably detailed and nuanced fashion in the Witcher series. Some other social issues, including class-related, were also explored there. I would be gravely disappointed if Obsidian's narrative design and writing wouldn't reach the level of CDPR's. They can do it, of that I'm sure. That's all I have to say.

 

And related to the topic's subject, a song from my childhood, East Block Hungary, played on the national holiday for the Glorious October Revolution and other occasions:

 

 

Gotta give it to them, it's a very sweeping, majestic hymn.

 

 

 

 

 

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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As long as it's not black-and-white (anarchy goood, government baaad) and it's not heavy-handed (Bioshock: Infinite), I think it's a good topic to explore.

 

Ugghh...Bioshock: Infinite.

 

Note to developers: if you want to approach a controversial subject (such as American exceptionalism, early 20th century racism in the United States, religious fundamentalism, class divisions, etc.), have something a little more interesting to say than, "See? All of these people are cartoonishly evil, without exception! Now go out and kill all of them!"

 

Not to mention how pointless it is  :lol: 

I mean, the game tried to be edgy by involving religion and social equality, only to find out it's not relevant and replace them by magical quantum mindf*ckery. I mean, what the hell game  :facepalm:?

 

IMO, Witcher series has a good interactions between NPC social classes. It's a good place to start.

Edited by exodiark
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If I can't make my stronghold an anarcho-syndicalist commune where we take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major affairs, I'm going to be extremely upset at being oppressed by the violence inherent in the system.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Death Machine, I cringed when I read the interview where it was proclaimed that Obsidian would direct it's fell gaze upon issues of class and race. I still think it's extraneous

are you perchance white and middle-class?

 

 

Ha ha ha. Yes and No.

 

I bet you are, though.

 

Interesting how your binary metrics work though when it comes to identity. What if I told you I was Jewish and born in a slum but dragged myself up by my boot-straps? What if I told you I'm not very interested in being put into a box constricted by a third party distinction of what's important? What if I told you I spent years in a job interfacing with the most vulnerable people in society and simply wanted to play a game with dragons and swords without having to worry about this kind of stuff?

 

Eh?

 

Edit: Can you hear violins in the background? :dancing:

Edited by Monte Carlo
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A story, it grows organically.

 

First, you have a soul who has some... soul problem. It's got something to do with a Watcher, apparently.

 

Second, you have a world. As most populated, Earth-like worlds, it has societies big and small. Some empires, some closed small enclaves, and some in between.

 

Third, you have a region, where geographical and other conditions influence the development of societies.

 

Fourth, you have a history for the region and the world. That history has a lot tension in it, just like every history ever created for a world worth reading about or playing in.

 

Fifth, you have current events, trends, situations.

 

...and story grows from all of the above, and more.

 

I'm sure that back in 2012, when the writers started developing this world and this game's story in particular, there wasn't any bullet point on their list which said: "Oh, and we will put in class issues because we're such hardcore liberals!". That Kickstarter pitch promised an IE-successor, they never made any promise to either include or exclude certain topics. This is what they ended up with.

 

---

 

I don't care where they go with the story. It might tackle class issues, or ignore them. It might have romances, or not. It might have sexy sorceresses in skimpy outfits riding atop dragons, or not. All I care about is good writing, coherence, sensibility. Quality.

 

Dear Monte Carlo, the writers of Eternity are not your bitches. Your whining about omitting certain topics works on the exact same level that promancers' lobby for romances: entitlement. How does it feel to be in their shoes, eh?

 

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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I never whine. I lobby. Sometimes I'm strident, sometimes I'm not. Why would I try to argue for things I don't want to see.

 

The idea that Obsidian's writers would take much notice of me is risible. They might if my voice is one of many, which is why I post.

 

You, sir, are rather rude. I'll get over it.

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