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You're a mean ol' bastard, Stun, but I *did* laugh out loud.

 

However, Lephys did peg my point (and made it better than me, the swine).  Start out with relationships and craft something with them.  Don't start with romance in mind.  Have a relationship and see where it leads in the narrative, which could conceivably be romantic.

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You're a mean ol' bastard, Stun, but I *did* laugh out loud.

There must be a level of humour here that I don't get, when reacting like a butthurt 17 year old who provokes arguments that he can't win, elicits laughter.

 

I suppose this is the best I can do:

laughing.gif

Edited by gurufabbes
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Making fun one of my posts isn't a substitute for a rebuttal of my points. (The points I remind you, you started off by disputing)

Sorry, Stun.

I'm not making fun of it. I'm approaching it with the dead-seriousness it deserves. You are right about one thing: Your viewpoint is legion. There's too many of your ilk around. The RPG genre as a whole has had no choice over the years but to give you guys what you want. And the result is plain for all to see.

 

Bioware, the company that once gave us stunning time-honored Classics with unmatched gameplay like Baldur's Gate, Baldurs Gate 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, is now reduced to releasing interactive soap operas like Mass effect and Dragon age - Games with terrible one dimensional combat and zero gameplay depth. Why? Because they can't afford to spend money and time on such things. Because the majority of their budget is being spent on f*cking Romances and drama-filled relationships instead.

 

You people aren't real RPG fans, so stop abusing that term for your own ends.

Edited by Stun
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Making fun one of my posts isn't a substitute for a rebuttal of my points. (The points I remind you, you started off by disputing)

Sorry, Stun.

I'm not making fun of it. I'm approaching it with the dead-seriousness it deserves. You are right about one thing: Your viewpoint is legion. There's too many of your ilk around. The RPG genre as a whole has had no choice over the years but to give you guys what you want. And the result is plain for all to see.

 

Bioware, the company that once gave us stunning time-honored Classics with unmatched gameplay like Baldur's Gate, Baldurs Gate 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, is now reduced to releasing interactive soap operas like Mass effect and Dragon age - Games with terrible onedimensional combat and zero gameplay depth. Why? Because they can't afford to spend money and time on such things. Be cause they've decided it'd be better to allocate the majority of their budget of f8cking Romances and drama-filled relationships.

 

You people aren't real RPG fans, so stop abusing that term for your own ends.

 

I respect that you have this opinion, even though I disagree. I figured you had some beef with this viewpoint.

 

I'm curious: What is a real RPG fan to you?

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Making fun one of my posts isn't a substitute for a rebuttal of my points. (The points I remind you, you started off by disputing)

Sorry, Stun.

I'm not making fun of it. I'm approaching it with the dead-seriousness it deserves. You are right about one thing: Your viewpoint is legion. There's too many of your ilk around. The RPG genre as a whole has had no choice over the years but to give you guys what you want. And the result is plain for all to see.

 

Bioware, the company that once gave us stunning time-honored Classics with unmatched gameplay like Baldur's Gate, Baldurs Gate 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, is now reduced to releasing interactive soap operas like Mass effect and Dragon age - Games with terrible one dimensional combat and zero gameplay depth. Why? Because they can't afford to spend money and time on such things. Because the majority of their budget is being spent on f*cking Romances and drama-filled relationships instead.

 

You people aren't real RPG fans, so stop abusing that term for your own ends.

 

I don't want to go off topic, but... KOTOR unmatched gameplay?

 

Seriously? ****ing seriously?

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I don't think this discussion is very constructive because both sides appear to be mentally ill.

I'll be honest with you, it's easy to be cynical and go all crazy on the other side when folks perceive the situation as 'either/or.' By the dog!  If we could just step back and stop hounding each other, we could have a little sunlight.  Okay, okay, I'll stop.

 

Seriously, though, that's why I say that the romance crowd should stop trying to make this about romance as such and more about different ways to address relationships in general.  The fact is, every incremental step still gets you towards your goal, and I'm saying that as someone who isn't even for romance in games.  ...But, if taking incremental steps has two benefits, one for each side.  The first benefit is for the romance advocate.  He gets closer to his goal.  The other benefit is for romance detractors.  They might end up with a romance, but all those little steps will at least make the quality of the end product better.  Of course, it's easier to give that advice to the romance crowd because it's a sneaky but effective way to achieve your goal.  My advice to the anti-romance crowd, by which I mean folks who actively hate it, is to fight for every inch because you don't want the end product because you see romances in CRPGs as simply, irrevocably, and irreparably bad.

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I suppose I'll chime in with my opinion on this.

 

People keep bringing up the genre, so let's start with that. An RPG is a game in which the focus of the game is the player(s) pretending to be one or more characters and acting spontaneously to some extent rather than entirely following a set path or script. As such, there must be choices to make.

 

When I want to play an RPG, it is for the depth of the characters, the story, the setting and the choices. Nothing to do with combat, stats or loot. If that was all I wanted, I'd play something like Diablo 3 or Path of Exile or <insert MMORPG here>, where that stuff is the focus of the game and the actual RPG elements are secondary.

 

In any game which includes mutually exclusive choice with consequences, there is going to be content which you don't see. Choices you don't make. It is when you play through a game to the end, do all the sidequests, and still feel like you have only scratched the surface, that you've got a really rich RPG.

 

For me, someone saying that there should be no romance is exactly like someone saying that there should be no "evil" paths or that there should only be one playable race. It lessens the freedom you have to choose who your character is and how they think and behave. If the majority decided to play through the game as benevolent humans, never taking any "evil" options or trying out other races, would that make it a waste of time for the developers to include the other options? Of course not. The existence of other options is what makes the options you do choose actually mean something, and if the choices are meaningless then the developers might as well quit making a game and make a book or a movie instead.

 

When I make a choice in an RPG, I want the set of options to be believable - in that it neither excludes any obvious responses, nor includes any unbelievable responses. To give some examples, when I talk to Gorion in the prologue of BG, I don't want to see a "We're not going anywhere. I'm going to kill you now" option because that makes no sense in the context. When I talk to Imoen, who has been established as pretty much a little sister to the main character, I don't want to see romance options because last I checked, Forgotten Realms =/= Game of Thrones. However, options to walk into a tavern and flirt with a stranger? Cool, that builds character. Options to tease the halflings about their height, or share some of your own stories with the bard, or pray with the cleric? Yes please. Options to express feelings for those travelling companions you're on really good terms with, who are often all too happy to sit by the campfire and tell you all about their past, their reasons for adventuring, their hopes and dreams, what they think of your leadership or other companions, etc. Yes please. Even if it never develops into anything, these options build character and help the player feel like they're playing a person rather than just CharName the Generic... and sometimes the lack of them can feel unrealistic.

 

In my opinion, BG is a good game, but install the BG1NPC mod and it becomes a great game.

 

Anyone here played the Banner Saga? Now that's how to do choices right.

 

 

I'd say I'm for romance, if/when it makes sense as a possibility and isn't just tacked on. I don't think it needs to dominate interactions with companions, even those who are "romanceable". I also think short romantic encounters with other NPCs can be cool too. Example: Delainy/Durlyle from BG:TotSC.

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I disagree, especially for a dungeon crawl game.  The story is there to keep people engaged in killing more stuff, not for cares and feels.  I'll go watch My Little Pony if I want that.  [seriously, that isn't a dig, if I want warm fuzzies, I go watch MLP.]

 

And given obsidian's track record (of published games), trying to write characters that are even vaguely interesting is a challenge for them, let alone one (or more) worth caring about.  PoE will be successful if stabbing fools in the face and taking their stuff is fun, and if the story keeps players engaged enough to keep doing that.  Getting people to care about their characters only matters if there is an urgent need for bad fanfics or new wanking material.  Either way, I'd be obliged if anyone who wants that keeps it to themselves. 

 

I disagree, although I do see your point.

 

I remember Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn fondly mainly because characters had their own agendas, their own beliefs and were willing to stand up to them. The point where they left a team after you took too long to help them complete their goals or did something they couldn't "live with". Many of them weren't even trying to be nice to you. It made me think of them like they were human beings real and thus I cared more than I would otherwise. What you're saying can be true, but in the context of old dungeon crawlers or hack'n'slashes, where story and characters play a minor role and combat is the most important part. You can play IE games the way you describe, but that's one way to do it and I'd argue not the best, because the focus understanding of RPGs shifted from traditional dungeon crawling to role playing as the most important aspect of RPG genre. That's how I approach it.

Edited by Kal Adan
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I've followed this discussion and similar ones, for example in Torment: Tides of Numenera.

I can understand the hesitations/scepticism of game designers and gamers about romances. Firstly personal opinions on what constitutes a 'well written romance' diverge widely, but there also aren't many games (I honestly can't think of many examples) which take the matter seriously enough. This is unfortunate because I would argue that relationships, love and sexual desire make out a significant part of our lives and it appears that games STILL haven't quite found their way around to include and communicate this topic in a mature way (for the most part at least).

I agree with Kal Adan on the point that Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a game that I too remember fondly, specifically the romance with Viconia and the change her character/personality went through.
I also thought that the Wicher 2 took an interesting route by creating an emotional bond between the Witcher and Triss which then really made the decision at the end of the game much more difficult.

I would have really liked to see romances in Pillars of Eternity but hope that there will be other meaningful interactions with the companion npcs.

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You're a mean ol' bastard, Stun, but I *did* laugh out loud.

 

However, Lephys did peg my point (and made it better than me, the swine). Start out with relationships and craft something with them. Don't start with romance in mind. Have a relationship and see where it leads in the narrative, which could conceivably be romantic.

That's how normal people go about things, yes.

 

And I especially want to point to this too:

How is a single game going to rise above laughable for most such folks?

That's exactly it. Immature people cry for dialogue tree minigames. Those who can actually tell quality characterisation want to learn about the characters, not play a game where they hit the right lines of dialogue and call it "romance".

 

It is funny to follow how things evolved with Bioware's attempts at romance minigames - from something quickly thrown up at the end of BGII development, to becoming a selling point for a big part of the audience - you can imagine the kind of audience - and to the actual introduction of 'quotas', where there has to be a romanceable woman, a romanceable gay, romanceable lesbian, and a romanceable antropomorphic bull just in case someone is not satisfied with the other options. Sex scenes are obligatory to exist with each "option". Does this quota-based romancing and growth of development time and budget devoted to producing this bland game-within-game sound closer to the concept of "good characterisation where the reader/player has enough content prepared for him by the author in order to discover things about the character he talks with" or does it sound closer to the "romance simulator" side of the spectrum?

 

The existance or absence of romance mechanics (dialogue trees) is a non-issue. What is worth asking for is good characterisation and quality writing. Going for the superficial things only tells about the people who do it.

Edited by Gairnulf
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A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
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 What is worth asking for is good characterisation and quality writing.

 

Indeed.

 

the actual introduction of 'quotas', where there has to be a romanceable woman, a romanceable gay, romanceable lesbian, and a romanceable antropomorphic

 

This shows what romances, as a gimmick, are truly about. I'm starting to understand why we uncounsciously thought of food and buffet while searching for analogies to romances. It's indeed become like a love menu.

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Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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...

 

is too many ways we can make tasteless jokes about the LGBT community and whether or not they would be offended or appreciative of a "huge finger."  am gonna back away... slowly.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps 'cause somebody made reference to chrisA notions regarding romance options, we will include one o' the more detailed responses we has seen him give recently on the subject in a print interview.

 

question: You've stated in the past that you don't like romances in games—at least to the extent that they've been done in games thus far. Were you to implement a romance subplot in Project Eternity, what would it involve?
 
response: Not a big fan of romances. I did four in Alpha Protocol because Chris Parker, our project director, demanded it because he thinks romance apparently is easy, or MAYBE it’s because he wanted to be an **** and give me tons of them to do because I LOVE them so much (although to be honest, I think he felt it was more in keeping with the spy genre to have so many romances, even if I did ask to downscope them). At least I got to do the “hatemance” version of most of them, which makes it a little more palatable.
 
Also, the only reason the romance bits in Mask of the Betrayer worked was because George Ziets helped me with them since he was able to describe what love is to me and explain how it works (I almost asked for a PowerPoint presentation). It seems like a messy, complicated process, not unlike a waterbirth. Don’t even get me started on the kissing aspects, which is revolting because people EAT with their mouths. Bleh.
 
So if I were to implement a romance subplot in Eternity - I wouldn’t. I’d examine interpersonal relationships from another angle and I wouldn’t confine it to love and romance. Maybe I’d explore it after a “loving” relationship crashed and burned, and one or both was killed in the aftermath enough for them to see if it had really been worth it spending the last few years of their physical existence chained to each other in a dance of human misery and/or a plateau of soul-killing compromise. Or maybe I’d explore a veteran’s love affair with his craft of murder and allowing souls to be freed to travel beyond their bleeding shell, or a Cipher’s obsession with plucking the emotions of deep-rooted souls to try and see what makes people attracted to each other beyond their baser instincts and discovers love... specifically, his love of manipulating others. You could build an entire dungeon and quest where he devotes himself to replicating facsimiles of love, reducer a Higher Love to a baser thing and using NPCs he encounters as puppets for his experimentations, turning something supposedly beautiful into something filthy, mechanical, but surrounded by blank-eyed soul-twisted drones echoing all the hollow Disney-like platitudes and fairy tale existence where everyone lives happily ever after.

 

 

Man it has been over 15 years since Gromnir responded to one of my posts. 

 

Chris A is such a softy.

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I like the romance/connection with Triss in the Witcher 2 as an example of doing things right or at least heading in the right direction. You don't get any say in whether or not you are together but your choices can define how meaningful their relationship is to Geralt. You don't need to do any creepy minigames to win her over or make her like you and while you do get a sex scene with her its because its just the two of them goofing around when they go to a certain area in the normal course of the game, not because Geralt earned enough relationship points for Triss to dispense sex like a vending machine. Plus you can skip that scene entirely if you don't want to do it!

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It's pretty silly not to include some form of romance or love story in adventure game. Whole deal kinda screms "No girls allowed".

It's not the end of the world that they chose to skip it, sure, but it feels like they left out some part of the adventure fantasy with it.

 

This constant arguing about romance smells like BG vs IWD, as well.

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Bioware used to have me by the balls since BG1 but the "romance" creepdom and the hectoring SJW blather from the tumblrsexual snowflakes on their forum has really put me off their latest DA game. So I'm all for a change of palate with PoE. 

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For Firedorn all the Lads grieve

 

This Adam woke up next to Eve.

 

But beneath leaves of Fig,

 

He found Berries and Twig,

 

So Himself off a cliff he did heave.

 

 

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It's pretty silly not to include some form of romance or love story in adventure game. Whole deal kinda screms "No girls allowed".

It's not the end of the world that they chose to skip it, sure, but it feels like they left out some part of the adventure fantasy with it.

 

This constant arguing about romance smells like BG vs IWD, as well.

 

As I have said numerous times, let's see what they mean by "no romance".  There might be some sort of romance or love story just not of the Bioware kind.

 

Don't get the 'No Girls Allowed' thing.  Just because there are no romances does not mean my adventuring group is going to be all male.

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I suppose I'll chime in with my opinion on this.

 

 

For me, someone saying that there should be no romance is exactly like someone saying that there should be no "evil" paths or that there should only be one playable race. It lessens the freedom you have to choose who your character is and how they think and behave. If the majority decided to play through the game as benevolent humans, never taking any "evil" options or trying out other races, would that make it a waste of time for the developers to include the other options? Of course not. The existence of other options is what makes the options you do choose actually mean something, and if the choices are meaningless then the developers might as well quit making a game and make a book or a movie instead.

Welcome aboard, Lath.  Just keep track of where the lifeboats and lifejackets are located.  You never know when you'll have to jump ship.  :Cant's rueful grin icon:

 

So, I saw good points in your post, but I'd like to address this argument in particular.  When 'evil' options were first included in games I remember, they tended to be simply rude or greedy.  The design teams experimented with ways to include a broader set of responses that still fit into the overall narrative.  As more designers experimented, the responses began to flow more naturally out of the story itself.  In fact, in Mask of the Betrayer, I was sometimes jealous of how well some of the evil responses were done (as someone who always plays the good guy).

 

With romances, I would argue it's been the opposite.  I don't think it *needs* to be that way, only that it has become so.  The romances are included and used to appeal to folks for a variety of reasons, from personal desire for romantic fantasy stories to a desire for another way to manipulate the game for mechanical rewards.  We have better evil options because folks who railed for evil options in the first place were dissatisfied with shallow and laughable attempts to reflect the truly dark elements of human nature.  Sadly, it doesn't seem that there is the same demand from romance advocates for an improvement on the *quality* of romances.

 

...And I agree with... Gair?  Anyhow, someone mentioned the 'quota system.'  I think this is the death knell for advancing the quality of romances in video games.  Once you demand that artist check boxes in order to inoculate themselves against vocal subgroups, you've crippled their art.  It's like demanding that every romantic comedy include a couple from every racial group, every combination of racial matches, homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, and transgender in the story.  How the hell do you approach anything remotely cohesive in that setup?  ...And, since different actual playable species exist in these games, people naturally and rightfully want to see at least *some* impact on that choice in the game.

 

If I were a designer working with these restrictions, I would punt also.

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I like the romance/connection with Triss in the Witcher 2 as an example of doing things right or at least heading in the right direction. You don't get any say in whether or not you are together but your choices can define how meaningful their relationship is to Geralt. You don't need to do any creepy minigames to win her over or make her like you and while you do get a sex scene with her its because its just the two of them goofing around when they go to a certain area in the normal course of the game, not because Geralt earned enough relationship points for Triss to dispense sex like a vending machine. Plus you can skip that scene entirely if you don't want to do it!

Witcher 2 fails already. Geralt isn't your character. He's a character that's loaned to you to play the game with. But I suppose it would register a little less on the cringe scale than the traditional "clean slate" model, since the player can at least mentally separate him/herself personally from what's going on. Ie. "Well, it's Geralt who's in love with Triss/Ves/Yennifer, not the avatar of Me."

 

Still, I don't see this, or the lack of the standard romance mini-game nonsense, as any consolation. We're still being beat over the head with the same, overused, tiresome, been-there-done-that, uncreative, heart-string tugging emotional manipulation. And it still feels like a minigame.

 

I have a challenge to every RPG developer in the world: Try leaving your comfort zones just once and give us an exploration of a different emotion. One that isn't done quite as often. Suggestions: Horror. Fear. Detailed revenge. Even hunger. One of the things I loved so much about Mask of the Betrayer was that it explored hunger as both a gameplay element and a story theme. It was a rare thing.

Edited by Stun
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Bioware used to have me by the balls since BG1 but the "romance" creepdom and the hectoring SJW blather from the tumblrsexual snowflakes on their forum has really put me off their latest DA game. So I'm all for a change of palate with PoE. 

I agree 100% with this, but I also disagree 100% with this response of therefore excluding them altogether.

I'm not advocating taking a leaf from Inquisition's book and the politics of their developers.

What I am saying is that throwing out romances from an Infinity inspired RPG is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Edited by gurufabbes
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