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the romances in recent bioware games seem designed for sexually frustrated fat girls and people that love cheesy porn acting quality romances. Romances are weak when they are optional side story sex offer like most crpgs. 

 

As for dragon age 3 itself I'm undecided. Game looks like xcom enemy unknown and final fantasy 12 combat. If its open world like dragon age one but better it could be a amazing game. I don't have high hopes for it after dragon age 2. Even the original game was tragic considering how long it took to get released and design elements felt dated.

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My main objection to romanceable companions in CRPGs is that without fail, the object of desire becomes nothing more than a blank canvas upon which the player projects a wish fulfillment fantasy.

 

In these games we hope to suspend our disbelief and it usually comes down to the extent that writers succeed in creating characters that are believable and nuanced. Much of the illusion is shattered for me when it becomes apparent that there is a minigame embedded in the conversation tree for the player to "win" and subjugate said NPC to their desires.

 

For me, the illusion of a real person rests on a character being written with their own beliefs, morals, goals and proclivities; romance options in every RPG I've ever played have invariably broken that sense of verisimilitude.

 

So unless a writer can come up with a way of removing the sexbot, rapey aspects of romance in games then I don't want it in the games I play (equal parts creep out factor and "immershun" breaking).

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I have heard every possible objection to Romance and none of them have convinced me with there validity

I've got one. It may be one you've heard already or maybe it's not, but it's especially relevant, currently. And it is an example of why my "objection" to romances goes beyond just my specific personal taste.

 

A couple of days ago, Bioware held a DA:I Q&A session and followed it up with the release of 15 minutes of its E3 gameplay footage. It was a major info-dump. It covered almost every aspect of the game, and the gameplay footage focused almost exclusively on Exploration and combat.

 

And what was the result? Romance discussion from the fans. And nothing else. Here we have a highly anticipated RPG and its developers are comprehensively attempting to present its features. In vain. The fan base, apparently, is not interested in the RPG's robust Combat system. Or its exploration. Or even its plot. They only care about the 8 romances that were announced. Something isn't right, here. Dating simulators and RPGs are NOT interchangeable terms.

 

Thankfully, it's just Bioware and its hopeless BSN fanbase. But if this becomes industry norm... where nothing matters in an RPG but its romances, that will be the day there's no longer such a thing as RPGs. Do you want this? I don't. And that is why I rejoice whenever a major RPG developer like Obsidian releases an RPG with no romances.

 

 

Consider this though. In how many RPGs of today do you find any romances? Not many, right? It's not surprising that fans of romance in RPGs flock the BSN since BioWare is one of few the companies that make a big deal about romances in their games.

 

Had romances been a fact in basically every RPG created then the people favouring such aspect of a game would be spread out on a lot of forums and you would most likely not see such a gathering as it currently is at BSN.

 

Imagine combat wasn't a standard in todays RPGs. Of 100 RPGs created only two of the games had any combat functionality. Do you think the forums of those two games would have a huge base of people gushing over a new combat video just released?


I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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I'm happy keeping BSN quarantined and firewalled off from most of the rest of teh intawebz, the way it is

#thankyouverymuch

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After spending literally dozens of seconds I guess I can't think of a romance in an RPG that I can hold up as an example of what I would like to see. My favorite relationships in games that I can think of off the top of my head aren't romantic, at least not explicitly. As long as I care about him/her, within the context of the story, I'm happy. 

The Baldur's Gate romances? Done all four at one time or another (I haven't done the EE ones). I didn't hate them but I haven't revisited them either. I think the Bastila romance in KOTOR may have been a bit better, if only for how it could influence the main story. And I felt the ME romances were designed to titillate more than to help us care about the characters, for the most part.

My main objection to romanceable companions in CRPGs is that without fail, the object of desire becomes nothing more than a blank canvas upon which the player projects a wish fulfillment fantasy.
...
So unless a writer can come up with a way of removing the sexbot, rapey aspects of romance in games then I don't want it in the games I play (equal parts creep out factor and "immershun" breaking).

I'd agree with this. I like the premise of a well-written romantic (sub)plot within the game, but I don't want to feel like the game is trying to give me romantic gratification.

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And I felt the ME romances were designed to titillate more than to help us care about the characters, for the most part.

This is probably true, but I actually had a pretty good experience with the romance options in the ME series. In ME1 my character wasn't romantically involved with anyone, as they all seemed as you described (one-dimensional wish fulfillment). That said, I thought Tali was one of the more interesting characters and I was engaged in her story. In ME2 I think my Shep eventually had a romantic involvement with Tali (I can't remember if it was ME2 or ME3), but I was pretty much smitten when she started making references to the BG series and it felt natural to progress from their non-romantic friendship in the first game (or two). Anyway, in the third game there's a point where

Tali and Legion square off, and if you don't side with her then she kills herself (I can't remember the exact reason, but I'm pretty sure most of her fleet was wiped out if you sided with Legion)

The fact that my Shep had deeper feeling for Tali than anyone else on the team (as I was roleplaying him) definitely made that decision weighty and more complicated than it could have been, and potentially provided a somber conclusion to the romance if you are a utilitarian with certain credences. That isn't to say the romantic option provided anything that non-eros love wouldn't have, but it definitely didn't hamper the experience.

 

On a side note, if anyone has played Saints Row IV, most romance options in ME and DA seem to me to be elaborate forms of the 'romance options' in that game. Probably because those options were satire of ME and DA, but all the same, a poignant example in my mind of 'how not to make people care about your characters'. 

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So unless a writer can come up with a way of removing the sexbot, rapey aspects of romance in games then I don't want it in the games I play (equal parts creep out factor and "immershun" breaking).

I honestly doubt it, too many of the crazy promancers would throw an epic fit if they were denied the ability to slam it into their desired escort because of consistent characterization.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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...

Anyway, in the third game there's a point where

Tali and Legion square off, and if you don't side with her then she kills herself (I can't remember the exact reason, but I'm pretty sure most of her fleet was wiped out if you sided with Legion)

The fact that my Shep had deeper feeling for Tali than anyone else on the team (as I was roleplaying him) definitely made that decision weighty and more complicated than it could have been, and potentially provided a somber conclusion to the romance if you are a utilitarian with certain credences. That isn't to say the romantic option provided anything that non-eros love wouldn't have, but it definitely didn't hamper the experience.

...

 

After that spoiler section, I actually had to stop playing the game for the day after that. 

 

 

I killed Legion and the Geth just because I didn't want Tali to die. As the Paragonest of Paragon Shepard, that ****ed me up pretty good for the rest of the game. The ending's rather bleak and short tone worked very well for me for this reason, as I felt I deserved nothing else for what I had done.

 

 

 

 And I felt the ME romances were designed to titillate more than to help us care about the characters, for the most part.

 

The Garrus romance was excellent, in my opinion. But then, his romance path and his bromance path are pretty similar, though I would say that is more to his credit. 

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So unless a writer can come up with a way of removing the sexbot, rapey aspects of romance in games then I don't want it in the games I play (equal parts creep out factor and "immershun" breaking).

 

Little do I care about romances being or not being included in PoE, but your post makes little sense for one reasons: in the end characters are nothing but strings of code translated into pixels. They don't and can't have free will whether it's if...else or random() or whatever. If romances feel "rapey" to you that so should everything you ever do in any game.

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I think we should be honest and look at all the communities of those cRpg made during all those years.

A lot of their mods are about romance or about develloping friendship/relationships (or fixing bugs).

 

Is it okay to turn a blind eye about this ?

I think not because it's a big part of an long adventure, having bonds with your teamates is important otherwise they will be just bots.

Adding romance is adding more depth to a relationship.

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I think not because it's a big part of an long adventure, having bonds with your teamates is important otherwise they will be just bots.

Adding romance is adding more depth to a relationship.

 

I don't see how your companions will just be bots. There's a lot of creative talent at Obsidian. If you knew this, you wouldn't expect Obsidian to take the mundane approach of doing something mundane to something mundane, which romances tend to be. And the writers at Obsidian like Avellone can use abstraction to build a dungeon that sucks people like me in and to make an original story. Not to mention a thousand different subplots that opens up with an NPC's experimentation that explore human psychology, motivations and ethics. There has already been enough shallow, cliché, cookie cutter romances in gaming. Only this creative mindset from obsidian, the likes of Avellone, will set things apart and give the story depth. No, rest assured, we won't see bots, We'll likely see the opposite and have memorable characters, dialogue, interaction, creative storytelling, and most likely see things turned on their head

 

I would be very surprised if we don't see any romances in any Obsidian Kickstarter games. Unless the game is a dating sim or the major theme or plot of the game is about romance. It's already been explained that they don't believe they have the time and other resources to implement them well and execute at a high level of quality. I can't see this being implemented in the scope and budget of a Kickstarter game, unless it's the aforementioned dating sim.

 

It's already been confirmed, It would cost more in time and money - by quite a bit. Writing a good romance is not as simple as you think. Also, you are overestimating the ease of hiring a narrative designer that is a great writer, understands RPGs, and is technical enough to use the tools and scripting that is required. Also, writing in a traditional form is very different than game writing - especially when you take into account branching dialogues. There are lots of constraints placed on our narrative designers. 

 

Note: lots of constraints placed on our narrative designers. 

 

That tells me when you have a lot of constraints, you already have limitations or restrictions.

 

I seriously have to question why anyone would have concerns of the overall level of writing with the companions in Pillars of Eternity and also by Obsidian when they use romances as a standard of writing ability for 'depth' to character relationships for those writers to be measured and judged by.

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I think we should be honest and look at all the communities of those cRpg made during all those years.

A lot of their mods are about romance or about develloping friendship/relationships (or fixing bugs).

Terrible argument, citing mods. Show me 1 romance mod for any RPG released in the past 10 years, and I'll show you about 50 nude/tittie mods for the same game that are far more popular. (and better, btw. Writing is not a mastered art on the Nexus. Mesh and texture creation certainly is, though)

 

Is it okay to turn a blind eye about this ?

I don't think anyone is turning a blind eye to romance in video games. No, no. I believe the genre is suffering from the exact opposite phenomenon: an almost industry-wide over-focus on Romances in RPGs, which has probably caused developers to deprioritize the things RPG fans used to consider fundamental to their games.... like well designed dungeons, large deep, explorable worlds, robust leveling and combat mechanics, and decent narrative structure. And what has been the result of this shift in focus? That's right: Behold the Dragon Age and the Mass effect era of e-dating video games masquerading as RPGs.

 

Adding romance is adding more depth to a relationship.

False. It just adds "love" to it. And love does not hold some monopoly on "depth". It's just one of many emotions that exist to be explored in a video game. And I'd argue that since PoE is a party based RPG, a well written party-based comraderie or even a rivalry has the potential to produce a much deeper narrative. Edited by Stun
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Adding romance is adding more depth to a relationship.

False. It just adds "love" to it. And love is not the pinnacle of emotions. It's just one of many that exist to be explored. And I'd argue that since PoE is a party based RPG, a deep party-based comraderie has the potential to produce a much deeper narrative.

 

I think this is the crux of the matter. The important thing is to have relationships with the party member that matter. It might be that romance could be one, but it doesn't mean it has to be.

 

And I think many who dislike romance dislike it because it exist to the exclusion of other relationships with the character (as opposed to in addition to).

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If I may... I haven't played DA2, but I am playing ME2, and I've developed a quite a dislike for Miranda, and a part of that has got to be the fact that she goes into battle wearing apparently nothing but stripper pumps and body paint. Blatant pandering is blatant. In highly visual games like what BioWare has been doing since Jade Empire, the way a character looks and what she wears is a big part of her portrayal.

 

I didn't dislike the character for that.  But I was very annoyed at the developers.  First of all this is Mass Effect everybody wears skin tight outfights but in ME1 they at least looked practical.  There was no reason at all to have Samara and Miranda wear those absurd get ups.  They are beautiful women and would have looked just as hot in the regular stuff the other females wear.  I found it regressive compared to how they did characters in the past.  But then they made it worse by lampshade hanging it, and made it undermine Miranda's character more.  Miranda does what she does to get ahead and be a success so why would she undermine that by dressing so absurdly it openly makes others mock her?  It just makes no sense from a character or practical standpoint.  Miranda has skills relating to her exceptional abilities as a leader, her character should be built to reflect that.

 

It was total pandering and Bioware basically announced it was done entirely for that reason.  It was weird.  A company who always did a decent job with portraying women just went backwards for...no reason I could see.  It undermined their characters, the setting, and the tone of their game.

 

I still do not get it.

Edited by Valmy
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Edit: Sarevok's spiky armour impractical,

 

 

Oh yeah Sarevok's armor was stupid.  He looked like a clown.  I wonder how the Dukes of Baldur's Gate took him seriously dressed like that.

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If I may... I haven't played DA2, but I am playing ME2, and I've developed a quite a dislike for Miranda, and a part of that has got to be the fact that she goes into battle wearing apparently nothing but stripper pumps and body paint. Blatant pandering is blatant. In highly visual games like what BioWare has been doing since Jade Empire, the way a character looks and what she wears is a big part of her portrayal.

 

I didn't dislike the character for that.  But I was very annoyed at the developers.  First of all this is Mass Effect everybody wears skin tight outfights but in ME1 they at least looked practical.  There was no reason at all to have Samara and Miranda wear those absurd get ups.  They are beautiful women and would have looked just as hot in the regular stuff the other females wear.  I found it regressive compared to how they did characters in the past.  But then they made it worse by lampshade hanging it, and made it undermine Miranda's character more.  Miranda does what she does to get ahead and be a success so why would she undermine that by dressing so absurdly it openly makes others mock her?  It just makes no sense from a character or practical standpoint.  Miranda has skills relating to her exceptional abilities as a leader, her character should be built to reflect that.

 

It was total pandering and Bioware basically announced it was done entirely for that reason.  It was weird.  A company who always did a decent job with portraying women just went backwards for...no reason I could see.  It undermined their characters, the setting, and the tone of their game.

 

I still do not get it.

 

 

To be honest, in ME you were putting various armors on your teammates, and could toggle helmets. The body armors were nowhere near the design of FIXED uniform which is the same for battle and out of battle in ME2 onward. Like who the hell thinks that having a female running in combat on high heels with no body armor is a good idea? let me not even mention the STUPID breath masks for out ship hazardous area missions... The same design happened in DA 2... like WTF?! and people are trying to defend those bang simulators as RPGs with romances?

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To be honest, in ME you were putting various armors on your teammates, and could toggle helmets. The body armors were nowhere near the design of FIXED uniform which is the same for battle and out of battle in ME2 onward. Like who the hell thinks that having a female running in combat on high heels with no body armor is a good idea? let me not even mention the STUPID breath masks for out ship hazardous area missions... The same design happened in DA 2... like WTF?! and people are trying to defend those bang simulators as RPGs with romances?

 

 

It was so unnecessary.  I remember when we got out in some hazardous environment and I looked at Miranda expecting her to have a helmet on and groaned when I saw she had that breath mask thing on.  Shouldn't the fact we are in basically zero G be killing her right now?  I mean not to be a realism stickler but Bioware had this problem taken care of in the previous game in the series.  Actually trying to do Sci Fi a bit seems to have been a ME1 thing only.

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Zero G wouldn't be the problem. The problem would be if it was outside the ship and not on a planet, there's the temperature to consider (as well as unfiltered radiation); if they were on a planet there would be pathogens and microscopic life forms that could infiltrate through skin contact.

 

I assumed the idea was that the "sci-fi personal force shields" was supposed to cover for that, but then why bother with the gas mask?

 

Would have been better if they stuck with one idea (the full suit) or another (the shields and everyone wears whatever).

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Only they had already gone full 'team-suit' in ME1.  They even have an entire race, the Quarians, based around it.

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I agree, having established it in ME1, they should have stuck with it through ME2-3.

 

Or have not established ME1 with the armor in the first place.

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Edit: Sarevok's spiky armour impractical,

 

 

Oh yeah Sarevok's armor was stupid.  He looked like a clown.  I wonder how the Dukes of Baldur's Gate took him seriously dressed like that.

 

 

You got to remember its a fantasy setting though. Its a 300 pound raw muscle giga villian able to wield a greatsword in one hand, his own business, followers, he even had a asian assasin girlfriend. His character was ridiculous and I swear he was inspired by shredder from ninja turtles.

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Quickly flying through some posts in this topic I can't help but notice that some of romance's opposers only consider it to be some sexual side dish when properly done it would (or at least in my mind should) be about love but not in its Hollywoodesque form of flowers, chocolate and sex but ever-growing companionship, caring and deep emotions. Being a pledger I naturally have no idea what the story-setting is but I'm gonna take a wild guess that end of the world is somehow related to it so strengthening your relationships with those close to you in a form or another would be reasonable to expect.

 

After all, don't we all want as immersive game world as possible?

 

PS. Someone with more talent in English could explain my point better. Rather hard to make a speech appealing to emotions with non-native language :D

Edited by semu
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@semu I believe you'd lose that wager. Obsidian have hinted that they want to make the story a personal one, and that the setting is in a golden age of discovery and progress. That doesn't mesh well with impending end of the world.

 

Impending end of the world is also incredibly cliché and I think they'd rather avoid that if at all possible.


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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... Obsidian have hinted that they want to make the story a personal one, and that the setting is in a golden age of discovery and progress...

 

And how many of our personal story's don't have romance in them? Who can honestly say that love hasn't made a major mark on our personal development through life? 

 

I get the criticism that traditionally in games 'romance' has been handled poorly, and can be a drain on other resources for the game, but I honestly feel that the entire absence of such a driving force of human nature in a story about a personal journey is a little... incomplete? I'd like to see it done well more often, and in ways that other companies, like our old friend and community punching bag Bioware, haven't done. And I think Obsidian are just the team to do that (albeit in the sequel, heh)

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