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The problem with your suggestion is that Race, class and skill choices mainly impact gameplay. Romance impacts story, and what you suggest would require them being a much bigger part of the story than what we've seen in BW games so far. This is fine for people who like them, but people who don't will simply end up not buying the game, because they're not interested in an RPG that is, effectively, about romance / a relationship simulator.

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Bruce, Bruce, Bruce...

 

 

 

...integrated Romance would be one irrefutable way to end this debate around the "role of Romance in RPG". I would support it for a number of reasons.

 

Well, I suppose one way to end a debate is to make something mandatory. It's also a way to stop people buying your product.

 

 

 

Firstly I know many people will say " but I don't like Romance, why subject me to me something I don't like". But that view wouldn't really exist if Romance was mandatory.

 

Bruce you are as mad as a box of frogs. On LSD. So if I don't like mustard on my sandwich, my views on mustard would be void if all sandwiches came with mustard? Can't you see how delightfully deluded you are in your desperation?

 

 

 

Secondly this would put more attention on the developers creating more meaningful Romance that would appeal to the fanbase. They would have to do this as now Romance is part of the game and whether you can complete it and they would get judged on that.

 

As ever, your arguments turn on compulsion, which is why you'd have made a great Khmer Rouge re-education officer. "They would have to do this. You'd get judged on it." In your dotty world-view everyone would love stuff if only they were MADE TO DO IT.

 

 

 

Finally I think most of us agree a well written Romance does enhance the RPG experience

 

No, we really don't.

 

 

 

...and improve interaction in your party

 

Huh?

 

 

 

so logically wouldn't integrated Romance improve the overall entertainment of your RPG journey in a particular game?

 

It might improve yours, Bruce. But you, as I have established beyond doubt, are mad. Please look again at my mustard analogy.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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I do think that if romances are to be a less perfunctory portion of the game, then developers need to get away from a few things, like resolving them in a single story or requiring that all of them end in some form of consummation (or, for that matter, that all of them succeed unless the player rejects the romance).

 

This. The BG2 romances worked because they didn't end once you did the deed, they continued and had a lasting effect on your relationship with that person. Sex shouldn't be the goal of the relationship, it should just be a side effect.

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Bruce, Bruce, Bruce...

 

 

 

...integrated Romance would be one irrefutable way to end this debate around the "role of Romance in RPG". I would support it for a number of reasons.

 

Well, I suppose one way to end a debate is to make something mandatory. It's also a way to stop people buying your product.

 

I was under the impression you weren't buying Bioware games any longer, so it wouldn't matter, right? :p

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You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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I do think that if romances are to be a less perfunctory portion of the game, then developers need to get away from a few things, like resolving them in a single story or requiring that all of them end in some form of consummation (or, for that matter, that all of them succeed unless the player rejects the romance).

 

This. The BG2 romances worked because they didn't end once you did the deed, they continued and had a lasting effect on your relationship with that person. Sex shouldn't be the goal of the relationship, it should just be a side effect.

 

 

Eh, I can't see much difference between bg2+tob and ME2/ME3, for instance, in this department.

Edited by Nepenthe

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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^ I've already said I'd consider the new DA game if it was any good. I haven't bought much Bio stuff, that's true, in fact nothing inbetween NWN and DA:O

You're just saying that so that you can make more dramatic statements about not buying them! :p

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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Bruce, Bruce, Bruce...

 

 

 

...integrated Romance would be one irrefutable way to end this debate around the "role of Romance in RPG". I would support it for a number of reasons.

 

Well, I suppose one way to end a debate is to make something mandatory. It's also a way to stop people buying your product.

 

 

 

Firstly I know many people will say " but I don't like Romance, why subject me to me something I don't like". But that view wouldn't really exist if Romance was mandatory.

 

Bruce you are as mad as a box of frogs. On LSD. So if I don't like mustard on my sandwich, my views on mustard would be void if all sandwiches came with mustard? Can't you see how delightfully deluded you are in your desperation?

 

 

 

Secondly this would put more attention on the developers creating more meaningful Romance that would appeal to the fanbase. They would have to do this as now Romance is part of the game and whether you can complete it and they would get judged on that.

 

As ever, your arguments turn on compulsion, which is why you'd have made a great Khmer Rouge re-education officer. "They would have to do this. You'd get judged on it." In your dotty world-view everyone would love stuff if only they were MADE TO DO IT.

 

 

 

Finally I think most of us agree a well written Romance does enhance the RPG experience

 

No, we really don't.

 

 

 

...and improve interaction in your party

 

Huh?

 

 

 

so logically wouldn't integrated Romance improve the overall entertainment of your RPG journey in a particular game?

 

It might improve yours, Bruce. But you, as I have established beyond doubt, are mad. Please look again at my mustard analogy.

 

Monte please bugger off !!!

I'm just joking Monte, I don't mean that at all :)

Unlike you I don't feel the need to tell people that they shouldn't comment on certain topics just because they annoy me or I disagree with them

I would rather ignore a person or debate what they are saying. I see telling someone to "bugger off" as a form of censorship and betrayal of the principle of free speech which I support unless the words the person uses are words of discrimination or bigotry.

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Monte please bugger off !!!

I'm just joking Monte, I don't mean that at all :)

Unlike you I don't feel the need to tell people that they shouldn't comment on certain topics just because they annoy me or I disagree with them

I would rather ignore a person or debate what they are saying. I see telling someone to "bugger off" as a form of censorship and betrayal of the principle of free speech which I support unless the words the person uses are words of discrimination or bigotry.

 

That's all very nice, but he did make some pretty solid counterpoints to your suggestion... Especially regarding this part of it:

 

Firstly I know many people will say " but I don't like Romance, why subject me to me something I don't like". But that view wouldn't really exist if Romance was mandatory.

 

Because, really, making something that is traditionally optional, and not necessarily all that well liked by everyone in your target audience, mandatory is a very effective way of swiftly losing a large chunk of that audience. In fact, your entire suggestion seems based around the assumption that most people will simply be OK with having romance forced on them as an integral part of the game, which is completely unrealistic.

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Monte please bugger off !!!

I'm just joking Monte, I don't mean that at all :)

Unlike you I don't feel the need to tell people that they shouldn't comment on certain topics just because they annoy me or I disagree with them

I would rather ignore a person or debate what they are saying. I see telling someone to "bugger off" as a form of censorship and betrayal of the principle of free speech which I support unless the words the person uses are words of discrimination or bigotry.

 

That's all very nice, but he did make some pretty solid counterpoints to your suggestion... Especially regarding this part of it:

 

Firstly I know many people will say " but I don't like Romance, why subject me to me something I don't like". But that view wouldn't really exist if Romance was mandatory.

 

Because, really, making something that is traditionally optional, and not necessarily all that well liked by everyone in your target audience, mandatory is a very effective way of swiftly losing a large chunk of that audience. In fact, your entire suggestion seems based around the assumption that most people will simply be OK with having romance forced on them as an integral part of the game, which is completely unrealistic.

 

 

You've made some good points, there have been several  polls that highlighted that the majority of fans want some form of well written Romance. If Romance was integrated into the RPG then there would only be a minority of people opposed to them. So I don't see this as a major issue. Besides I have never heard anyone say " I won't play game xx because of Romance". People seem to not want to play certain RPG for other reasons?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Yeah, and that supposed majority of people are people who would buy the game anyway. Conversely, the people firmly against it might end up not buying the game. Sure, that might not be a huge number, but then it only needs to be measured against the number of new customers who buy the game when they wouldn't have otherwise, a demographic which I think would be very very small indeed. So no, it's hard to see any possible circumstance in which that would be a good idea economically.

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Yeah, and that supposed majority of people are people who would buy the game anyway. Conversely, the people firmly against it might end up not buying the game. Sure, that might not be a huge number, but then it only needs to be measured against the number of new customers who buy the game when they wouldn't have otherwise, a demographic which I think would be very very small indeed. So no, it's hard to see any possible circumstance in which that would be a good idea economically.

 

Okay but do you honesty think people wouldn't buy a major RPG just because there was mandatory but well written Romance? Are people that opposed to the idea of Romance which would only be a small part of the RPG experience anyway?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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You've made some good points, there have been several  polls that highlighted that the majority of fans want some form of well written Romance. If Romance was integrated into the RPG then there would only be a minority of people opposed to them. So I don't see this as a major issue.

 

I'm really not sure how trustworthy poll results would be in regards to this kind of thing. Each fan-base has something called a "vocal minority" -- a small group of people who make a big fuss about their tastes and opinions, and often end up looking like they represent the overall opinion of the larger audience when in fact they don't. For BioWare, the fans who like romances are obviously such a vocal minority. In fact, I expect that most people who play their games will either roll their eyes, chuckle (heheheh boobs!) or just skip and ignore any romance sub-plot they come across. But the moment you slap "Advanced Integrated Romance System!" on the box as one of the game's main features, you'll lose a large chunk of those people as customers. Because it's just not what they want out of the game.

 

Besides I have never heard anyone say " I won't play game xx because of Romance".

 

Because they have always been optional... So people can just ignore them if they're not interested in them. Making them an integral part of the game on the same level as race, class and skill selection would make them mandatory which, trust me, a lot of people would not like.

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Yeah, and that supposed majority of people are people who would buy the game anyway. Conversely, the people firmly against it might end up not buying the game. Sure, that might not be a huge number, but then it only needs to be measured against the number of new customers who buy the game when they wouldn't have otherwise, a demographic which I think would be very very small indeed. So no, it's hard to see any possible circumstance in which that would be a good idea economically.

 

Okay but do you honesty think people wouldn't buy a major RPG just because there was mandatory but well written Romance? Are people that opposed to the idea of Romance which would only be a small part of the RPG experience anyway?

 

In a word, yes.

 

In more words, it doesn't matter how well a romance is written, it's impossible to make a character that appeals to everyone. A mandatory romance assumes everyone will react the same way to a given character, which is nothing but pure folly.

 

I have quit games outright after being presented by an unpalatable forced decision or characterisation. With foreknowledge I would not have purchased the game at all, but it's hard to discover the nature of said events without spoiling the game. Foreknowledge that romances are mandatory, on the other hand, will be easy, and consign the game to the do-not-play list.

 

 

P.S. Oh god, imagine ME2 had a forced Miranda romance. That's the worst example I can think of, of a case where the developers completely misanticipated the player reaction to their headline character.

Edited by Humanoid
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You've made some good points, there have been several  polls that highlighted that the majority of fans want some form of well written Romance. If Romance was integrated into the RPG then there would only be a minority of people opposed to them. So I don't see this as a major issue.

 

I'm really not sure how trustworthy poll results would be in regards to this kind of thing. Each fan-base has something called a "vocal minority" -- a small group of people who make a big fuss about their tastes and opinions, and often end up looking like they represent the overall opinion of the larger audience when in fact they don't. For BioWare, the fans who like romances are obviously such a vocal minority. In fact, I expect that most people who play their games will either roll their eyes, chuckle (heheheh boobs!) or just skip and ignore any romance sub-plot they come across. But the moment you slap "Advanced Integrated Romance System!" on the box as one of the game's main features, you'll lose a large chunk of those people as customers. Because it's just not what they want out of the game.

 

Besides I have never heard anyone say " I won't play game xx because of Romance".

 

Because they have always been optional... So people can just ignore them if they're not interested in them. Making them an integral part of the game on the same level as race, class and skill selection would make them mandatory which, trust me, a lot of people would not like.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, and that supposed majority of people are people who would buy the game anyway. Conversely, the people firmly against it might end up not buying the game. Sure, that might not be a huge number, but then it only needs to be measured against the number of new customers who buy the game when they wouldn't have otherwise, a demographic which I think would be very very small indeed. So no, it's hard to see any possible circumstance in which that would be a good idea economically.

 

Okay but do you honesty think people wouldn't buy a major RPG just because there was mandatory but well written Romance? Are people that opposed to the idea of Romance which would only be a small part of the RPG experience anyway?

 

In a word, yes.

 

In more words, it doesn't matter how well a romance is written, it's impossible to make a character that appeals to everyone. A mandatory romance assumes everyone will react the same way to a given character, which is nothing but pure folly.

 

 

I have quit games outright after being presented by an unpalatable forced decision or characterisation. With foreknowledge I would not have purchased the game at all, but it's hard to discover the nature of said events without spoiling the game. Foreknowledge that romances are mandatory, on the other hand, will be easy, and consign the game to the do-not-play list.

 

 

P.S. Oh god, imagine ME2 had a forced Miranda romance. That's the worst example I can think of, of a case where the developers completely misanticipated the player reaction to their headline character.

 

 

Okay you guys have made a good argument, my objective would never be to make something in a RPG that causes people specifically not to purchase it. So integrated/mandatory Romance is maybe not such a prudent suggestion

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Finally I think most of us agree a well written Romance does enhance the RPG experience...

 

I don't play Bioware games for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is their romances.

 

We are pretty good at creating game worlds now. We can do relatively realistic trees and humans and monsters. We can even do realistic physics and decent voice overs. But as soon as we try to simulate human relationships it falls apart like a house of cards. I can not identify with what they are saying, with how they are acting or even the goal of the relationship. It breaks my fourth wall (violently) and annoys me to the point that I start disliking the entire game.

 

So no, I really do not think romances enhance anything. In fact, I think your opinion would be better suited for the Blasphemous thread.

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You've made some good points, there have been several  polls that highlighted that the majority of fans want some form of well written Romance. If Romance was integrated into the RPG then there would only be a minority of people opposed to them. So I don't see this as a major issue. Besides I have never heard anyone say " I won't play game xx because of Romance". People seem to not want to play certain RPG for other reasons?

 

 

You'd be surprised how seemingly small things can be actually quite large. I've not played a Bioware game since ME and DA:O in which this romance thing was already pretty damn jarring and awkward; a glued over teenage sex fantasy. And things only got worse after that (as I learned lurking in BSN back then; and seeing some in game videos later on that seriously left me slackjawed at what I had just witnessed). Lost all interest, and never regained it - not only because of the blatant fanservice coupling, but it being one of the reasons. In general, romance is such a large element to actually be done right in an interactive medium like cRPG's, that when ever I see such being asked for and/or specifically advertised as a feature, I always find myself hoping it's a joke (like the shotgun wedding in Fallout 2, or an actual joke "haha, had ya there didn't I").

 

Now, I don't know why I even contributed in this thread as I've no interest in DA:I (it just doesn't look or sound very appealing overall). But I blame boredom and caffeine withdrawals.

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I do think that if romances are to be a less perfunctory portion of the game, then developers need to get away from a few things, like resolving them in a single story or requiring that all of them end in some form of consummation (or, for that matter, that all of them succeed unless the player rejects the romance).

 

This. The BG2 romances worked because they didn't end once you did the deed, they continued and had a lasting effect on your relationship with that person. Sex shouldn't be the goal of the relationship, it should just be a side effect.

 

 

Eh, I can't see much difference between bg2+tob and ME2/ME3, for instance, in this department.

 

 

The problem with BG2+TOB is (IMO) it started off on the wrong foot; the romanceable characters (except, maybe Jaheria) are cyphers if you don't romance them.

 

The player shouldn't have to romance the companion to have an interesting companion, IMO.  The romance should be a specific (arguably) special relationship tree that acts parallel to the normal friendship/rivalry relationship with the companion.

 

This does mean it'd HAVE to be more work to do, and IMO that's okay because contextually romance doesn't make sense in every scenario, every plot, with every character or in every game.

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Finally I think most of us agree a well written Romance does enhance the RPG experience

I don't agree. I can't agree. First off, I have to say they're totally separate. I see no connection between the ideas of "romance" and "RPG experience."

 

But second is that I don't think most RPGs are even equipped for what I'd consider a well written romance. To me, a well written romance needs two things, conflict and time. I look at Farscape with Crichton and Aeryn, it's not until around season three that the romance really becomes what you'd identify as a romance. Along the way, they get jealous, they fight, they keep getting pulled apart by circumstance or their own goals, one of them even dies, and then only after all of that conflict is resolved do they get together.

 

When I look at RPGs romances, I only see the room for all of that when the romance spans multiple games or the game is mostly about that one romance. It's part of why I like Viconia's romance and Morrigan's. Viconia's is little but conflict and it takes from Baldur's Gate II to Throne of Bhaal to resolve. Morrigan's is faced with obstacles, her own nature, and her leaving with the child. Eventually resolved in Witch Hunt. But still, neither really enhanced what made these games RPGs, they simply inserted interesting character drama alongside.

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I do think that if romances are to be a less perfunctory portion of the game, then developers need to get away from a few things, like resolving them in a single story or requiring that all of them end in some form of consummation (or, for that matter, that all of them succeed unless the player rejects the romance).

 

This. The BG2 romances worked because they didn't end once you did the deed, they continued and had a lasting effect on your relationship with that person. Sex shouldn't be the goal of the relationship, it should just be a side effect.

 

They also at least felt as if they occurred over a much longer period of time your party spent together, which imho felt a lot more natural and I wouldn't even be surprised that if you went through the game really fast it was possible to outpace the romance code since iirc romance events were at least partly on a timer so they didn't just occur at fixed points in the narrative.

 

With AAA games seemingly becoming shorter and shorter (I wrote down how long I took to finish each Mass Effect game the first time through, iirc it was something like 60,40,30 hours for 1, 2 and 3 respectively, and I'm a completionist.) relationships feel more and more unnaturally rushed, especially since they don't occur on a timer but at fixed points in the narrative, so if you somehow have a few "major stops" in a row you get a lot of character exposition in a short period, if you then go a-side-questing nearly nothing companion-character-development related happens anymore.

 

Anyway, let me return to the campfire/ship and hear what my compatriots have to say, because they're damn mutes when we're at the pub. (which is another problem imho, interaction in the BG games was random, so while the dialogues were mostly the same between playthroughs, if, when and where they would occur could vary greatly, sometimes leading to really weird and hilarious scenes* or conversations happening at rather odd moments, like right before you get ambushed or some romance dialogue triggering on a graveyard)

 

But maybe I'm just looking through the rose-coloured goggles of memories of fun times past.

 

* (minor) BG2 spoilers:

A friend of mine playing BG2 for the first time entered the Harper Hold in Athkatla and got grilled about being evil, that was the perfect time for Lilarcor to exclaim: "Killing is my business and business is good!", my friend was found guilty of being evil and promptly reloaded figuring Lilarcor had something to do with the verdict. Still cracks me up.

 

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Ahh....Lilarcor.

 

Would've cheated on him with Hackmaster +12 though.

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