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I think racism is a prominent enough topic in video game fantasy (most notably The Witcher and Dragon Age) that PoE doesn't really have to embrace that topic. There is more than enough resentment between cultures and religions to have believable tensions. That is not an aspect they really need to put emphasis on.

 

Obsidian just needs to make races more reactive next time.

Why? Race isn't a big deal in Eora. I like that people in Eora aren't obsessed with race. Making it more reactive to race would be a kill joy.

 

 

It's not that big a deal, but people not reacting to Pale Elves or Godlikes when they are explicitely very rare (and the latter look quite freaky) is a bit much. Same with everyone defering to Orlans when lore says that they are not held in high standards by most in the Dyrwood.

 

There were also a few situations where people (mostly in Twin Elms) refered to ''those pale elves'' or words long those lines, to my Pale Elf PC's face. An ackowledgement that he was the same race would be welcome.

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Dual citizenships exist, but your second citizenship isn't legally recognized on American soil. Many of my fellow Filipinos, myself included, have dual citizenship. It's just that I'm only an American on American soil, while I'm both American and Filipino on Filipino soil.

 

Also, please cite a source that contradicts my statement (and personal experience) instead of simply stating that I'm wrong.

 

Here's a link to the official Department of State website regarding the matter:

 

http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html

That's about duo nationality, not duo citizenship. Not all nationals are citizens, and the regulations of one aren't fully applicable to the other.

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Playing as a Death Godlike, I was hoping that someone would have had something to say about it in Defiance Bay and beyond. Guess not.

 

Also, thought it was weird that some NPCs made reference to my character's eyes despite them not being visible.

Nice catch there. I wonder if we can get that patched.

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How can anyone in their right mind try to ship a multimillion dollar product without making absolutely sure that they don't upset all their players with a degree in Medieval English Linguistics?

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It was jarring that everybody treated you pretty much the same regardless of race, which made it feel false and unrealistic.  I mean, It would have been refreshing to see you get treated completely different based on your race, even an occasional "Human scum" thrown my way when around elves, dwarves or other would have been nice.  Godlike should be feared the most since they are so supposedly rare.  Pallegina gave this big speech about her being mistreated by her race and what hardship she had..yet, nothing really like that happens around you except for some very rare token moments.  

How would that be refreshing? Animosity between races in fantasy is so tired and cliche. It would have been the opposite of refreshing; I would have been rolling my eyes, "Here we go again, the same story told for the billionth time. God forbid Eora be even slightly original or interesting."

 

 

 

There were also a few situations where people (mostly in Twin Elms) refered to ''those pale elves'' or words long those lines, to my Pale Elf PC's face. An ackowledgement that he was the same race would be welcome.

 

I could see how that's a bit jarring. That is one of the few cases where they should have reacted to race and not mention, "those Pale Elves" to your Pale Elf.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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"Have you ever sired a Hollowborn child?"

"I'm a ****ing Death Godlike. I'm sterile. So you tell me."

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How would that be refreshing? Animosity between races in fantasy is so tired and cliche. It would have been the opposite of refreshing; I would have been rolling my eyes, "Here we go again, the same story told for the billionth time. God forbid Eora be even slightly original or interesting."

It doesnt have to be animosity. but a reaction proper to the NPC (oponents calling you filthy x, or you freak godlike, those you help saying something i newer thought i would be rescued by a death godlike and so on...)

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PIllars of eternty (Hard) 1st playtrough: 155h, 38 m (main Ranger with bear(bow), Eder, Durance(off tank), Hirvais(off tank), Kana(ranged), Aloth/GM)
PIllars of eternty (PtoD) 2nd playtrough: 88h 30 m (main Bleak Walker Paladin, Eder, Barbarian, Monk, Rogue (ranged) Cypher(wand)
(not counting reloads and experimenting)
status i love the game, hate the bugs, and wish for better AI and Pathfinding

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/78749-needed-qualyty-of-life-improvements-information-and-transparency/

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Racism Actually Sucks

 

To those of you advocating for more racial reactions/tension in the game, have you actually experienced real racism against your perceived race in real life? I find that even non-racist whites tend to be really naive when it comes to real racism because they are the wide majority where I live, and the actual racists don't bother them as much. I have it a lot easier than others, as I'm brown instead of black, plus I speak unaccented English. People regularly ask me where I'm from, but the tone of their voice implies that they're asking where my ancestors are from. Most of them assume that I was born here, and are genuinely surprised to discover an immigrant who speaks like a native.

 

The point is, racism really sucks because it's prejudice against something you have no control over. The same goes for sexism, which is why there isn't much difference between male and female characters in the grand scheme of things. While it is a known fact that in real life, men are generally stronger than women, there are many, many exceptions to the rule. People like the PC and his or her companions are by no means regular people; for them to have survived their ordeals, past, present, and future, they'd have to be exceptional individuals who don't fall into the realm of ordinary.

 

Race != Nationality

 

Another thing that I'd like to point out is that Obsidian is an American company. Whether they like it or not, American values will seep into their games, chief among them the idea that race doesn't equal culture, or rather, nationality. Here in the USA, race has nothing to do with nationality. Whether your ancestors are Chinese, Navajo, Korean, Russian, South African, Arab, etc., it has no bearing on your legal citizenship status here in the USA. If you are an American citizen, you are ONLY an American citizen; dual citizenships aren't recognized legally on American soil.

 

One thing that confuses foreigners watching American news is that when an American citizen makes the news abroad, he is referred to primarily as an American, regardless of race or previous nationality (in the case of naturalized citizens). For example, recently, an American citizen died trying to get his family out of war-torn Yemen. Countries where race = nationality would find this reporting odd, because the man was "clearly" Arab and Yemeni, whereas from an American perspective, he was clearly American (because his loyalty was to the Star-Spangled Banner).

 

The reverse is also true. Citizens who renounce their citizenships stop being Americans, even if they've lived their entire lives in the USA before giving up their citizenship. Many citizens announced that they would renounce their citizenships when George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. A few people were actually stupid enough to go through with this, and the result is that they are now legally foreigners, and can and will be deported if they stay too long in the USA, if they can even legally enter in the first place. Never mind that some of them were born and raised here.

 

This concept isn't new. The ancient Romans were known for their view that culture mattered more than race. There are many accounts of African Roman governors, but their blackness isn't remarked on as something significant, more like a description of how they looked like. They even had a long standing practice of holding the children of their vassals prisoner and raising them in their own homes and sending them to Roman schools so they would become real Romans, so the vassal states would be run by real Romans when those kids grew up.

 

Yes, racism sucks. So? What does this have to do with the game?

 

Currently, there was more racial recognition in Icewind Dale 2.

Edited by bleakcabaler
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The (lack of) reaction of the world to the race choice (specifically Orlan and Godlike) is imo one of the reasons why for me this game was a 7.5 score wise. Which is a bit weird when you read the lore of the nations. Orlans are slaves in many nations and second class citizens in many others. Godlikes are entirely shunned and feared.

 

If you walk around as godlike in Dyrwood or Gilded Vale, a mob should form (according to LORE). But Obsidian wrote themselves into a dead end by putting Backer characters everywhere where they shouldn't even be thematically, so they couldn't even do world reactivity if they wanted. Not to mention it'd have been an interesting RPG experience to play Orlan and have some actual gameplay differences. This could be done in such a way as to show the player how racism can feel like even in a fantasy world.

 

If we go the nit pick route and dismantle the lore, story and world of PoEt we'll never be happy. It is very clearly a world that simply flat out WASN'T THERE a few years ago. It had no time to fully develop over many writers and many with many people inputting story and stuff. And hence the lore in the game "is there" but also only half-assed and so-so implemented into the world. And reactivity is entirely missing. But then, this is the first game in the IP, lots of possibility to enhance that particular thing.

 

Ps.: That godlike example is especially jarring because in the PoEt lore I thought godlikes were like Drow, heavily stigmatized, shunned and feared. So I played one to see what would happen. Turns out aside from being able to light fires with my head nobody really cares.

I think that you read a bit too much into the lore there.

 

The Collector's Guidebook states outright:

A diverse medley of races populate Eora. Their separating characteristics are more apparent on a cultural level, with racial boundaries presenting neither roadblocks nor advantages in any given dealing between civilized men and women. An elf from one of the Glanfathan tribes, for example, would share more kinship with a dwarf of a neighboring tribe than with an elf from the Aedyran Empire.

That race is not a defining factor, is intention, not oversight.

 

As for Orlans - yes, they're often slaves in Readceras or the Vailian Republics, and servants in the Dyrwood. But not because they're viewed as inherently inferior, or similar RL-based notions. Wild Orlans are even considered to be "poor slaves" because of their violent nature. So while many Orlans may be slaves or at the lower end of the society, it's not because of their race per se.

And with Godlike, it depends - no, them coming to town does not automatically entice the population to get their forks and torches:

The godlike are the children of kith who have been blessed (or cursed, depending on personal or social view) with the physical manifestation of a divine spark granted by the gods... Sometimes, the reaction they get is overwhelmingly positive. Many times, the reaction is overwhelmingly hostile.

Could there be better reactivity? Sure.

But outright hostility, blatant racism and things like that are not what the lore states.

 

 

When it comes to Godlikes the character creation screen is very schizophrenic: You have the quote you write here, but also on Nature and Death godlikes it openly, and directly, states that they tend to be killed at birth, and that people think they are plaguebearers and bad omens.  "Killed at birth" is definitely "blatant racism".

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"Many times, the reaction is overwhelmingly hostile."

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Alas in the actual game it isn't ;) Schizophrenic is a nice way to put, incoherent is more like it though. The game reactivity itself is not coherent with the lore. And as the other topic about backgrounds demonstrates, backgrounds change dialog to some extent in the sense that you get a new dialog option but it does not change anything of any tangible value in gameplay. Race and background recognition is not the same as race and background consequences. And the game would imo have been tons better if dialog had been a little less reactive and instead some more unique things happened related to our background and race choice.

 

Sure it is most visible with godlikes as a race, but of course it involves all race and all background choices. Which currently are nothing more than a "which stat do you want the most" choice :)

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What I'm saying is that even fantasy games like PoE are not completed divorced from real-life issues. The game doesn't exist in an vacuum, and thus cannot blindly follow the lore without regard for its real life implications. Racism is annoying enough in real life, and it'd be annoying in game as well.

 

Perhaps a bigger problem with NPCs reacting with extreme hostility towards death godlikes and other pariah races is that their gameplay experience would have to be very different from those of the standard races, which is a lot of added work for not much gain. Even the Nosferatu path in Vampire Bloodlines still followed the exact same critical path as the other normal clans. For the Nosferatu, if the game were more realistic, the Nossie PC would have had a completely different path through the game and never interact directly with mortals. If a Nossie revealed himself as often to mortals as the Nossie PC in Bloodlines, he'd have whole pack of Hunters with a capital H on his trail.

 

Basically, a realistic gameplay path for pariah races would be beyond the scope of Pillars of Eternity. Maybe in a future expansion... Time will tell.

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Which is why I'd rather not see actual "pariah races" included as PCs in the first place as it isn't reasonable to expect them to be done right.

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Which is why I'd rather not see actual "pariah races" included as PCs in the first place as it isn't reasonable to expect them to be done right.

Hm... This is similar to my stance towards voice acting: No voice acting is better than bad voice acting.

 

And my stance towards PnP RPGs: No game is better than a bad game. I'd rather not be able to play than force myself to play with a bad DM or group.

 

Edit: In other words, get it right or don't even bother.

Edited by Aron Times
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Indeed, if the game couldn't support reactivity then why did Obsidian bother to write lore (and race) to build up some background and setting that is never an actual element of the world in the game? Godlike races seem like a cheat to me due to this, the same way I would scoff at a DnD game that let me play as Drow and just walk around on the surface with no problems drinking tea on the market and praying at a temple of ilmater....

 

You wanna play as Drow? fine, but you face a mob each time you fail a hiding check ;P

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The racist remarks against orlans are obvious in the game, especially with Durance. Some npcs clearly see orlans as sub-kith, like their real world counterparts who believed the african black people were sub-human. Regardless of how stupid or vile this behaviour is, it was (is?) real and eminent in some cultures.

 

I believe the game tried to picture how geographical conditions affect the development of a culture, rather than inherited racial traits, and specifically pictures black people as an advanced seafaring nation due to their appropriate location in Eora. At the same time they wanted to mirror the racism in our world, by projecting a not-so-much-developed culture/race and making them a prime target for racism and slavery due to their perceived differences from other races, largely because of their lack of contact with the rest of the civilization until that time.

 

And this is all good, for racism still exists in our world due to thousand year old prejudices. Ignoring racism is just as bad as promoting it, we rather need to draw a realistic picture of how and why it emerges, and why those reasons are baseless.

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The racist remarks against orlans are obvious in the game, especially with Durance. Some npcs clearly see orlans as sub-kith, like their real world counterparts who believed the african black people were sub-human. Regardless of how stupid or vile this behaviour is, it was (is?) real and eminent in some cultures.

Is, yes. It's not just historical and not just a European thing; as recently as the crisis in the Darfur, pygmies were being hunted for bushmeat just like apes.

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What I'm saying is that even fantasy games like PoE are not completed divorced from real-life issues. The game doesn't exist in an vacuum, and thus cannot blindly follow the lore without regard for its real life implications. Racism is annoying enough in real life, and it'd be annoying in game as well.

 

 

Not for people who can differentiate between real life and a fantasy role-playing game taking place in  a fictional setting where some races are outright killed when born.

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What I'm saying is that even fantasy games like PoE are not completed divorced from real-life issues. The game doesn't exist in an vacuum, and thus cannot blindly follow the lore without regard for its real life implications. Racism is annoying enough in real life, and it'd be annoying in game as well.

 

 

Not for people who can differentiate between real life and a fantasy role-playing game taking place in  a fictional setting where some races are outright killed when born.

 

 

Race issue are present in any fantasy setting... Book's even not only videogame... It add the world depth 

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It doesn't really bother me that there isn't much racism. Most fantasy games go with strong racism (for example Dragon Age), and to be honest it is getting pretty boring. I would be happy if race did actually mean more than it currently does though. The dialogue options for race are too few and with too little effect, it would have been nice to feel your race more throught gameplay too. Some, like the woodland Elves, have really nice passives which you keep in mind the whole game, others (like Humans), are too passive to be interesting.

 

Godlike are the most disappointing imo. There isn't any special dialogue with the Godlike companion, only things that any race can say. The description of Death Godlike suggested that they don't have it easy, but in reality, no one seemed to mind. It's strange that the race description in character creation says one thing, and you go through the game experiencing something else.

Edited by Raz415

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If I had the choice, I'd probably go for more race/class/background specific dialogue rather than dialogue based on attribute options since the former ties in with world lore more than the latter. Obsidian kind of put themselves in a rough spot with so many CC options though.

 

The IE games weren't big on racial reactivity either from what I recall. BG2 it really just affects romances, I think elves get some dialogue in Suldenesselar.

Edited by Svirfneblin
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Seems like another of those troll posts you see on the Dragon Age forums designed to get under the skin of the SJW's.

 

Moving on.

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I'm judging this completely from a gameplay perspective:

 

With the 4 major characterizing factors being:

 

gender

race

attributes

disposition

 

... I'm glad they went with the latter two primarily. It just isn't feasable to account for all four. The amount of required extra-dialogue would skyrocket to absurdity.

Attributes and disposition make for brilliant RP-possibilities. And while I feel there could be more dialogue based on race and gender, I think it's better that they concentrated on attributes and disposition instead, simply because those two choices matter more gameplay-wise.

 

Of all races, I think Orlans get the most flavour dialogue. And that is fine with me, considering elves and dwarves are mostly commoners in the game and nobody would really blink an eye (and you definitely don't want to upset a shark-person ...).

For that matter, I wish they had excluded godlikes from the selectable player races. It certainly breaks immersion to be able to create a party of 6 godlines when godlikes were clearly meant to be rare. I get that they were trying to add something cool to the game with godlikes, but I think in the end it was more trouble than what it's worth.

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Eh, beats the Bioware approach where every game has a ton of racism and has you beating up the bad mean racists but doesn't really engage with it in any meaningful way.

Godlikes should probably be played up because they're A) weird, B) rare and C) sterile.

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The lore and game world do not match up at all.  Adding ism's to a game does add depth and gives things the PC's are challenged with and overcome.  Reminds me of biowares horrible DA2 where there is this big war between mages and templars, here I am walking around with a big magic mage stick in my hand and the templars talks to me like I am a templar.  Unrealistic and jarring.  Godlike definetly should be heavily discriminated against (LORE!), along with the others getting different treatment depending on who and where you are based on your species/origin. 

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I don't get all this fuss about Race conflict in fantasy universe... I see people claiming racism is bad.. and i agree but if in a fictional world you potray only fairy and hello kitty attitude in the end will be not believable and not in depth... Conflict exist in our world and even in fictional ones avoid to potray some argument for the sake of the politically correct folk will end to deliver a weak fictional world..

 

If i want a fictional world whitout conflict i watch the smurfs movies and cartoon... Most of the most beautiful fictional artwork are the ones with complex society and huge conflict... Take Dune as example...The native folk of this planed was generally know as savages and treated and persecuted from the Harkonnen colinist... But Fremen adapted their society is complexy and simple at the same time.. And they are formidable warriors able to survive in open desert in a world that is almost all sand and rocks....

 

See? Those things give depth...

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