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I'm pretty disheartened upon learning there are NO ROMANCE STORYLINES in PoE. :|

 

It just really drives the interest for me, in whatever form- it could be really sexy and mature, or just straight up talk about two people forming a relationship.  Then there's the side of me that just wants to explore the fantasy ('mature' or not).  But I get to like these characters, and I like to see them develop bonds between them of any kind.

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I like romances when they work, but they're not really essential to Obsidian's storytelling style if you ask me. Bioware popularized this, but it's not some requirement for every RPG out there. Icewind Dale was a ton of fun with no party personalities OR banter OR romance.

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The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

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I've no problem with romance in CRPGs, as long as it isn't wedged in or tacked on to sell copies. If you want romance, you can mod it in. Or play an older RPG that allows you to fulfill the ultimate nerd dream of making out with a dark elf.

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Considering how dull and un-interesting (my opinion of course) the companions are in Pillars, I'm not sure I would want a romance option in the first place.

 

It's probably one of my more annoying gripes with the game as I play through it - There's just not banter like in the Baldur's Gate days. Nor are there interesting companions with an opinion and drama with each other. Hell - People don't even acknowledge your godlike origins or nature in spite of the stigma tied to them.

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I would have enjoyed a romance element to the game, honestly. And by this, I do not mean specifically sex. I would have enjoyed that over time, depending on dialog choices and how well you click with a character, to start having options in the dialog tree which could point towards a relationship. And they could be entirely optional so you could ignore them alltogether if you're not interested in this sort of thing.

 

Admitedly, I am very early in the game but the companions I have so far seem like an awful lot of fun and I for one, would have enjoyed to have my char be able to take things further as the game progressed and if the oportunity arose. I would, however, not enjoy it at all if it would have been something shoved down my throat.

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Too contentious. There are at least a dozen threads since 2012 about it. Any "romance" stuff in computer games is far better added as fanfic player mods. Let precious dev resources go towards broad content.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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The one time I sunk into one such discussion, I pointed out my "ideal" system for party interaction:

 

Ideally, I envision a game where over time, via dialog trees, you can build a relationship with all of your party members--and that relationship is slowly defined over time into one of many options. IE, you could become friends, rivals, lovers, or simply maintain a professional "co-worker"-like relationship.

 

But that's a really difficult ideal to realize.

I had to go find it, but I explained a content problem and proposed parallel companion development in 2012. Obviously the problem is that companion content would double or triple. Maybe Obsidian would be up for such a thing in an expansion or something, but certainly not the main game with 8 significant NPCs.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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I thought there was already a thread for this subject. I like to have romances in the games. I think PoE is worse off without them. For those that don't like them, having them in the game makes no difference since they can be ignored. I still consider Viconia one of, if not m outright favourite BioWare NPC ever. She had so much personality and most of it came thru in the romance that spanned dozens of hours of adventuring, questing, combat and the best RPG ever made.

 

I really hope we get a toolset so some intrepid fans can add in what Obsidian overlooked.

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The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

Well... it depends on the execution. Sex is an inherent part of relationships, but in videogames the sex itself is not important but what it means for the characters. The problem is that handling sex tastefully in videogames is hard, and we haven't had many writers yet that would have tackled the subject matter in a proper way.

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There can be only *one...* official romance thread. Seriously, though, please confine the romance debate to one thread.

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Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
Obsidian Plays


 
Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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It baffles me that so many people think that ANY discussion of a "sex scene" is relevant to an isometric game--it can't be done. It is, therefore, not a valid fear. Or hope, for that matter.

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One of my favorite romances in any story is the one between the female Courier and Christine in Dead Money. It's maybe ten optional lines of dialogue, none of them voiced, that only show up if you take Cherchez La Femme. There's a connection. You hold hands for like two seconds. It doesn't go anywhere once you've survived your ordeal. Christine stays at the Sierra Madre, the Courier treks back to the Mojave (apparently too drunk on those Sierra Madre Martinis to remember the way back afterwards). The End.

 

That said, I think Dragon Age 2 did romance about as well as a video game can do it. It also did companions in general better than any other video game I've seen, even Planescape: Torment, which I consider runner-up in that category, mainly because you can build a relationship of mutual contempt with your companions and that's a totally legitimate way of doing things. In every other RPG you either suck up to your teammates or else you miss out on content, either because the people you alienate leave the team or because you miss out on unlocking dialogue, companion upgrades, or even quests. In DA2, hey, you don't think Merril can be trusted with an evil blood magic artifact? Tell her no. In fact, tell her exactly what you think of her and her beliefs, and then she'll tell you exactly what she thinks about you. You're still stuck together by your circumstances when all is said and done. Leading a team of awkward, bitter rivals is something DA2 offers that no other RPG I'm aware of has ever done. Even in KotOR 2 the party members all worship the Exile even if they despise each other.

 

When Obsidian feels like doing it I think they do romance very well, though it's not often the standard sappy love story and they don't do unambigiously happy endings. Remember how the romance options for a female Exile in KotOR 2 were, respectively, an ex-assassin who specialized in murdering Jedi by training himself to be a sociopath, a sniveling Jedi apologist and stalker who had a huge creepy mother complex for the Exile, and the Sith Lord of Pain whose boss fight could be won by exploiting his crush on the Exile to convince him to kill himself in order to get out of her way? Good times.

 

I think there should have been a romance in Pillars of Eternity. You should have been able to hit on one of your party members and then get turned down. If you have a lot of Charisma, maybe you can talk them into a one-night stand that means something to you and nothing to them. Then your party member starts dating someone else. The party member your character is crushing on is happy and content in their relationship. Meanwhile, you remain single and lonely, trying to satisfy yourself with your empty, meaningless life of managing a stronghold screen and having waxy, mercantile, emotionless sex with hookers in order to gain minor stat bonuses while you fight skirmishes throughout the land and plunder dungeons. All the while you know deep in your aging bones that you will never make a difference because no matter how many bandits and tyrants and monsters you kill there will always, always be more (in fact in most RPGs the villains vastly outnumber the population of the rest of the world combined). Every so often your crush drops by to pay you a visit because they're your friend and they feel sorry for you. Your options are to unfairly freeze them out or else put on a sick fake smile and pretend to be happy for them as if you aren't dying inside because your life sucks (because every RPG protagonist's life sucks until the game finally ends and the player lets them go home, if they even have a home to go back to, if they even survive the ending cutscene).

Then, close to the end of the game, your crush comes to you in the middle of a brutal storm after a terrible battle that leaves everything you've built in ruin. The villain has murdered their significant other, and your crush is broken-hearted, full of vengeance--and newly available. What do you do then?

 

That would be pretty good, in my opinion.

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The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

 

I personally think they do if they're important to the plot.

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The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

 

I personally think they do if they're important to the plot.

 

So brutal violence up to and including humanoid beings exploding into red clouds of gibs and blood sausage, grotesque and cruel experimentation on humanoids and animals, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, racism, rape leading to unwanted pregnancy, humanoid sacrifice, implied mass infanticide; all good. They don't even need to be "important to the plot." But sexual relations between two consenting adults, well, that's where we as a society draw the line, huh? My Cipher can, with impunity, use a psychic ability that violates a sentient being's mind by forcing them to relive their most traumatic memories (a literal mind rape) for the purposes of gaining an advantage over them in combat, but they can't show them having sex with a hooker? My Wizard can set a living creature on fire to incinerate them because, hey, I'll be resting soon and I've got spells to burn (get it?) and hearing their last shrill screams brings a twisted smile of victory to my face, but GOD FORBID that same Wizard be depicted having a moment of intimacy and vulnerability with a loved one.

 

Have you guys played this Pillars of Eternity game? The one where they ended a war by detonating a fantasy nuke in order to incinerate a god? Where physicians try to solve the problem of soulless babies by implanting animal souls inside humanoid shells? Where your party slaughters their way through every single tile on the world map for no reason except to fill out the bestiary pages and collect random crafting ingredients? Where you can't even step outside without being mauled and eaten by rampaging hordes of evil wood nymphs, trolls, lions, kobolds, and bandits?

 

This game is profoundly and thoroughly screwed up. I fail to see why sex scenes, tasteful or otherwise (it's not like anything else is handled tastefully), would be some kind of problem.

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Problem is, most of these 'romances' usually end up as a cheap fan boy service... who I doubt are succesfull at seducing every 'real life' woman they come across. 

Take father/daughter relationship from Last of Us, between Joel and Ellie...it is a focus/theme and something that is being developed over the course of the ENTIRE game and both characters are complex and believable as well as equally vital for the game...In comparison, Bioware romances are more alike to Leon and Ashley from RE4, and the 'romance' involves picking heart icon three times in the upper left corner of the dialogue wheel, solve /insert here/ emotional trauma ( that usually defines the romanced character), followed by characters dry humping one another.

Only 'romances' from Obsidian games I liked were Sie/Mina from Alpha Protocol.... they were simple, humorous interactions that involved building some measure of trust and respect between characters and it did not aspire to be anything more than something that adds more levity to the game.

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The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

 

I personally think they do if they're important to the plot.

 

Actually I think making a sex scene important to the plot would be even more devisive. Many of the objections to romance are when it is not optional, or unexpected.

 

 

 

The people that think sex is required for a mature story scare me.

 

Romance is fine. Sex scenes have no real place in video games.

 

I personally think they do if they're important to the plot.

 

So brutal violence up to and including humanoid beings exploding into red clouds of gibs and blood sausage, grotesque and cruel experimentation on humanoids and animals, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, racism, rape leading to unwanted pregnancy, humanoid sacrifice, implied mass infanticide; all good. They don't even need to be "important to the plot." But sexual relations between two consenting adults, well, that's where we as a society draw the line, huh? My Cipher can, with impunity, use a psychic ability that violates a sentient being's mind by forcing them to relive their most traumatic memories (a literal mind rape) for the purposes of gaining an advantage over them in combat, but they can't show them having sex with a hooker? My Wizard can set a living creature on fire to incinerate them because, hey, I'll be resting soon and I've got spells to burn (get it?) and hearing their last shrill screams brings a twisted smile of victory to my face, but GOD FORBID that same Wizard be depicted having a moment of intimacy and vulnerability with a loved one.

 

Have you guys played this Pillars of Eternity game? The one where they ended a war by detonating a fantasy nuke in order to incinerate a god? Where physicians try to solve the problem of soulless babies by implanting animal souls inside humanoid shells? Where your party slaughters their way through every single tile on the world map for no reason except to fill out the bestiary pages and collect random crafting ingredients? Where you can't even step outside without being mauled and eaten by rampaging hordes of evil wood nymphs, trolls, lions, kobolds, and bandits?

 

This game is profoundly and thoroughly screwed up. I fail to see why sex scenes, tasteful or otherwise (it's not like anything else is handled tastefully), would be some kind of problem.

 

I can't agree that the game is thoroughly screwed up - I'm enjoying it, and by the looks of the reviews, I'm not alone. Nor have the devs stated that they're not including romance because it would be some kind of problem.

 

There are many good games without romance. PoE is another great game without romance, so empirically it seems clear that it's not a problem not to have it either.

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Problem is, most of these 'romances' usually end up as a cheap fan boy service... who I doubt are succesfull at seducing every 'real life' woman they come across. 

Take father/daughter relationship from Last of Us, between Joel and Ellie...it is a focus/theme and something that is being developed over the course of the ENTIRE game and both characters are complex and believable as well as equally vital for the game...In comparison, Bioware romances are more alike to Leon and Ashley from RE4, and the 'romance' involves picking heart icon three times in the upper left corner of the dialogue wheel, solve /insert here/ emotional trauma ( that usually defines the romanced character), followed by characters dry humping one another.

 

"Cheap fan boys" looking for thrills would probably be pretty disappointed by the romance subplots in mainstream RPGs. Most of them are made with the intention of giving the player a scenario where the primary reward they earn is warm fuzzy feelings--which is good, because the characters in Bioware games, at least, sink way deep into the Uncanny Valley when they're trying to be sexy.

 

The fact that you criticize Bioware romances for not being very complex or nuanced and then hold up The Last of Us of all things as a contrast baffles me. Last of Us is a pretentious movie, not a video game. Even romance conversations in Bioware games give you choices of things to say, including things that will break off the relationship, if you want. Last of Us is a bunch of cutscenes broken up by linear gameplay sections. It doesn't exactly make much use of being an interactive medium. Compared to that, choosing to flirt with someone, doing a quest with them, having a soulful conversation about your pasts, and then making out in bed with your underwear on is a triumph of player choice and agency.

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My point is... either do it right or don't do it at all. I liked, to some extent, Jaheira Romance from BG II, because it was tied to a number of side quests, and it involved building of trust between characters, rather than dumping 'gifts' on their portrait icons or approving with everything they say. Her character was more complex and never felt too needy or dependent on the protagonist. It was more about developing strong friendship than can possibly turn into romance(with the whole, warm, walk into the sunset together, mental image) ...she says something like this at the end...'We are great friends... and more'.

And you're missing the point of why I mentioned 'Last of Us'... it's all about context in which the relationship between characters is played out...it's what the whole game or as you call it, 'pretentious movie', is all about.

Either way, there are far more important things than romances in video games, that the writers should put their effort to... take Mass Effect 3 for instance... completely nonsensical story that consists of nothing but plot holes, but hey, your Shepard can bang most of his crew, before (possibly) impregnating the whole damn galaxy in the end.

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Either way, there are far more important things than romances in video games, that the writers should put their effort to... take Mass Effect 3 for instance... completely nonsensical story that consists of nothing but plot holes, but hey, your Shepard can bang most of his crew, before (possibly) impregnating the whole damn galaxy in the end.

 

Are you saying that Mass Effect 3 was not the greatest story of our times?!?! Don't you remember how they cut half the party members from the second game so they could have a party of five losers no one liked + Garrus/Liara/Tali (which one you don't consider a loser depends on who you're romancing)??

 

That whole game felt like playing a disaster of game design. Like, I don't know, half the team walked out during development and the guy in charge went off his meds.

 

(FemShep is only Shep, by the by.)

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We should take inspiration from Dragon Age ...

 

Hey I just met you, and here's my story, so come by my camp tent, and bonk me maybe.

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Actually I would not use DA as an example of how to make a romance. Romances are something you should not be aware of, something that happens. If you want to flirt with a girl you don't watch a screen with a counter out of 100 and increases by giving a present.

 

Romances should be the consequience of the behavior and interactions between two characters: You like one character that for you stands out the most. If you start talking and bugging them they will not like you. If you give an expensive present to a person you just met, they will think there is something wrong with you.

 

BG2 was kind of interesting because when you create some connection between the PC and one NPC, then you are waiting for the next banter. Because the banter is the reward of two characters trusting each other, not the opposite. In DAO it feels weird. Banters are how you increase your relationship with that character, so you forcefully talk through an endless tree of dialogs than rather of showing your interest in that person, you become a stalker. But also, the interesting thing about relationships is about the other person paying attention to you. DAO takes the romance mates as a trophy to achive. And that's just the opposite as romance. Romance is not about trophies, but about feelings.

 

I'd never follow the DAO's system. In fact, I'd do the opposite. I would make a system where the actions, even in combat, are related to the evolution of the bonds between two characters. If you take care of them, then they will reward you with new banters. Because the purpose of the romance is that. Even if there are some sexual intercourse cinematics, they are the consequence for caring about. Having visible counters and flags, making them to react so mechanically to the different mechanics, it breaks what makes romances interesting. It doesn't generate emotional or sexual tension. Then, your romance mates becomes a paid whore. Romance is worthy when there is real romance. Else, it's just fanboy services, as you said.

 

Actually, there are not many games that has some real romances. I can think on none. BG2 had some moments. Some tension that made you want the next dialog. But, further than that, in videogames everything is excesively mechanic. Still, there are some TV shows that are pretty good, and this kind of games with such a good narrative and deep character interaction are at the doors of something great. If all the effort used to create a setting were used to develop a character interaction that could lead into a romance, then, we could watch one of the very first games into have some real romance, further than story guided games or mechanical "do this to force she to love you".

 

If I had to vote for a reference, I'd go for the rune factory series. Maybe RF4 since is the most polished one. It's a bit childish and very mechanical as well. But since the relationship evolves in the long term, is not like you can just spawn presents to the girls. But instead, you just want to check the next holidays in the calendar or the next town events to hang out with that girl and let her tell you part of her story. It's a game that even with those mechanical relations, it made me change my favorite girl several times just by learning about them: listening to their stories, learning how do they feel, generating emotional tension. Rune factory are low cost japanese rpg games. But I can imagine how good a mature well written and deep romance can be if taken care properly.

 

That's why I want romances in the games. If it's not the writer's best, then, have a support writter or just keep trying and learn.

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Agreed. That's why i liked Mina's 'romance' in AP... she was a professional, fully focused on her work, so any of Mike's flirt attempts at her would only end up in failure. But as you move through the story, she begins to respect you as a result of your actions( if you go down that route...like avoiding civilian casualties etc...), and she assumes more relaxed and flirtatious disposition towards him. It felt more natural, more humane...than quick jumping in the tent with Morrigan( and count yourself lucky if you never see gay dwarf/Zevran scene in

that game, you'll end up praying for amnesia).

Bioware can write some pretty good, 'heartwarming' scenes( like Jack romance from ME2/3)... but I think they try too hard to accommodate to everyone's taste, so their romances , feel too fast forward, lack subtlety and leave unfinished impression in the end.

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