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Why are there no real consequences for our choice to deal with his life strand?

 

Tying it to the castle did nothing from what I saw.  Absorbing the energy gives you a vision, which is cool but...  And letting to go free doesn't do anything either.  For what I thought was a fairly major plot point, so little attention is given to his ending.

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One of the first two options gives +1 to starting Prestige and +2 to starting Security. The other gives the opposite. The third gives neither but unlocks a hidden area in Od Nua.

Edited by Achilles

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Achilles is right. But those are mostly pretty crappy consequences. There aren't enough consequences in the game that really makes you feel responsible for your choices.

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One of the first to options gives +1 to starting Prestige and +2 to starting Security. The other gives the opposite. The third gives neither but unlocks a hidden area in Od Nua.

Ah.. thanks.  The combat log didn't show any changes.. feh.  So that's what unlocks that door, eh?  Good to know.

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Achilles is right. But those are mostly pretty crappy consequences. There aren't enough consequences in the game that really makes you feel responsible for your choices.

I agree. Option 1 should have resulted in a vorpal sword and +10 armor. Option 2 should have given +10 armor and a vorpal sword. Option 3 should have given 1 million copper pieces and unlocked a merchant who sells vorpal swords and +10 armor. After 11 years, you'd think that Obsidian would understand what real Choice & Consequenses looks like in a true RPG.
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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Achilles is right. But those are mostly pretty crappy consequences. There aren't enough consequences in the game that really makes you feel responsible for your choices.

 

Generally speaking, I agree with that. There are some consequences to some actions, but they never truly feel tangible, like as if they were afraid to make certain decisions matter. The options relating specifically to Maerwald feels very.. gameist, if you know the bonuses, and meaningless if you don't. They drive the point, but then nothing feels like it happens.

 

If you tied Maerwald there, he should've stuck around, maybe even be intractable with to some degree. If you released him, something more tangible could've happened, like a weight having been lifted off the keep, and if you data-mined his noggin', the secret would obviously be granted to you. The heart of the matter is in the real place, but it fails in delivery.

Edited by Luckmann

t50aJUd.jpg

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Achilles is right. But those are mostly pretty crappy consequences. There aren't enough consequences in the game that really makes you feel responsible for your choices.

I agree. Option 1 should have resulted in a vorpal sword and +10 armor. Option 2 should have given +10 armor and a vorpal sword. Option 3 should have given 1 million copper pieces and unlocked a merchant who sells vorpal swords and +10 armor. After 11 years, you'd think that Obsidian would understand what real Choice & Consequenses looks like in a true RPG.

 

It's a problem because the game never clearly shows you what the results are (and, indeed, with the room in Od Nua Level 13, never tells you why you can't access it) and because the stronghold bonuses are completely trivial either way (compared to, say, getting a hireling). Making it really pronounced (say, +10 Security, -8 Prestige and vice versa or the like) would help. Also, adding some sort of tiny perk (be it +1 to a defence, +1 to some sort of niche DR like Corrosion or whatever) would give you both a place to *show* you that the choice matters and some consequence for your character throughout the game, however small.

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Not every Choice/Consequence pairing needs to swing for the fences. They could have, much more easily, just skipped that dialog altogether. Instead they devoted resources to a minor C&C moment. **** them for trying, I guess.

 

Oh and just so I can crap on your parade a little more, a lot of devs are moving away from drawing a direct line between a choice and its outcome. Why? Because they don't necessarily want people to know when X was caused by Y. They want players to make decisions based on the information they have available at the time and live with the...consequences.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Not every Choice/Consequence pairing needs to swing for the fences. They could have, much more easily, just skipped that dialog altogether. Instead they devoted resources to a minor C&C moment. **** them for trying, I guess.

 

Don't be so melodramatic. None of us were talking about specifically this one issue, either, but the game as a whole, in which this contributes. It's not the end-all be-all.

 

Oh and just so I can crap on your parade a little more, a lot of devs are moving away from drawing a direct line between a choice and its outcome. Why? Because they don't necessarily want people to know when X was caused by Y. They want players to make decisions based on the information they have available at the time and live with the...consequences.

 

That has nothing to do with this particular issue, nor with the issue of overall reactivity or "C&C" (which I hate as a hard concept anyway). I really prefer having exactly what you describe, rather than having very clear cut "choose A, B, or C" with instant (or near-instant) effects, or knowledge of which exact effects there were. Which is exactly how this particular choice plays out, sadly.

 

I'd rather have the effects of the choice play out much later, with unforeseen consequences. The problem is that a lot of players find that "unfair" and thus it is extremely rare to see in games, which is why we have things like Skyrim where people can't even lie to you unless it's an unavoidable part of the rigid questline.

Edited by Luckmann
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Not every Choice/Consequence pairing needs to swing for the fences. They could have, much more easily, just skipped that dialog altogether. Instead they devoted resources to a minor C&C moment. **** them for trying, I guess.

 

 

As far as I see it, the communication of the consequences is the issue here other than checking if some stats have changed. I always wondered what the three choices actually did. They seemed pretty important after all. Chaining a soul to a castle or to the own person instead of setting it free seems consequential after all.

 

So no. I didn't expect some fancy reward for choosing either option, but I expected some dialogue choices, with the steward for example, to tell me what I had done.

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Thank you for quoting the part of the post that you actually read. 

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I'm actually OK with sometimes obfuscating the C-C relationship. As Achilles says, it helps people actually roleplay and live with their choices, instead of sit there not giving a rat's ass about Maerwald and just going "which one gives me the bonus I want". 

 

But +1 prestige and +2 security or whatever are virtually useless consequences. You are going to enslave a tortured soul for eternity... so that your keep becomes as secure as an extra 40 Gold guard. It doesn't even have to be consequences in terms of loot or bonuses. It can be reflected in writing - for example, maybe when you talk to Od Nua he knows about your treatment of Maerwald through their common binding to the Keep and thereby condemns you in words; so on and so forth. As it stands, you just say "huh, what did that do?" And never face any consequences, really.

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I'm actually OK with sometimes obfuscating the C-C relationship. As Achilles says, it helps people actually roleplay and live with their choices, instead of sit there not giving a rat's ass about Maerwald and just going "which one gives me the bonus I want". 

 

 

I'm not talking about knowing it beforehand. I'm talking about it being revealed at some point other than constantly observing your stats. Although after the first playthrough you know at any case.

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So what on Eora do you get if you data mine Maerwald? What is in that secret room? 

 

I personally favor letting the man's spirit go free as I value that extra +2 prestige a lot because I always hire the ogre Korgrak (with his -6 prestige) because he adds a lot of flavor to Caed Nua with his texts. That and the guy is a basically a living siege engine, anyone throws a boulder at my keep with a catapult and Korgrak will throw it right back!

Edited by Venatio
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So what on Eora do you get if you data mine Maerwald? What is in that secret room? 

 

I personally favor letting the man's spirit go free as I value that extra +2 prestige a lot because I always hire the ogre Korgrak (with his -6 prestige) because he adds a lot of flavor to Caed Nua with his texts. That and the guy is a basically a living siege engine, anyone throws a boulder at my keep with a catapult and Korgrak will throw it right back!

 

Well, to tell the truth, I never gave a sh.. about my keeps prestige. I let the dice fall as they will and hire the ones who provide the most boost in security, even if it means losing some of my crowns.

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I have done all three options.  The binding of his soul may seem harsh but it definitely protects the keep in my experience.     It would be nice if the Steward did comment after you have made the choice.  I didn't check but does your choice affect your personal reputation?  I think it should at least choice 1 and 2. Maybe 1 increases aggression and 2 benevolent?

 

Korgrak is great and I always get him but he comes later.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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I'm actually OK with sometimes obfuscating the C-C relationship. As Achilles says, it helps people actually roleplay and live with their choices, instead of sit there not giving a rat's ass about Maerwald and just going "which one gives me the bonus I want". 

 

But +1 prestige and +2 security or whatever are virtually useless consequences. You are going to enslave a tortured soul for eternity... so that your keep becomes as secure as an extra 40 Gold guard. It doesn't even have to be consequences in terms of loot or bonuses. It can be reflected in writing - for example, maybe when you talk to Od Nua he knows about your treatment of Maerwald through their common binding to the Keep and thereby condemns you in words; so on and so forth. As it stands, you just say "huh, what did that do?" And never face any consequences, really.

The Steward comments on your choice.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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I'm actually OK with sometimes obfuscating the C-C relationship. As Achilles says, it helps people actually roleplay and live with their choices, instead of sit there not giving a rat's ass about Maerwald and just going "which one gives me the bonus I want". 

 

But +1 prestige and +2 security or whatever are virtually useless consequences. You are going to enslave a tortured soul for eternity... so that your keep becomes as secure as an extra 40 Gold guard. It doesn't even have to be consequences in terms of loot or bonuses. It can be reflected in writing - for example, maybe when you talk to Od Nua he knows about your treatment of Maerwald through their common binding to the Keep and thereby condemns you in words; so on and so forth. As it stands, you just say "huh, what did that do?" And never face any consequences, really.

The Steward comments on your choice.

 

She does?  I have made all three and do not remember her commenting.  I must have scanned through that dialogue.  Must be more careful next time.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


nakia_banner.jpg


 

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but not ALL decisions HAVE to have vastly different and far-reaching consequences.

 

Is it nice when they do? Absolutely. But sometimes it's nice just to come across a simple role-playing scenario where your character makes a decision based only on the information s/he had at the time. No tricks, no rewards or punishments, no in-game incentive to make this decision instead of that. Just get into character and have your character make the decision s/he would in that situation.

 

To paraphrase Penny Arcade What Makes Us Roleplay? video, "If you mechanically incentivize a choice, it becomes a barrier to players role-playing around it... If players know that certain in-game abilities [and/or consequences and outcomes] can only be accessed by making [certain choices], then the player is going to be torn between choosing what's right for their character, and getting to play the game the way they want."

 

Sure, in-game acknowledgment of choices and consequences of actions are awesome, and necessary at least a good chunk of the time to make our characters' role in the story/world meaningufl, but I don't think it's required 100% of the time. In fact, if it's like that EVERY SINGLE TIME, people aren't going to think, "This is what my character would do," they'd think, "Which decision will have which outcome? Which is the 'best' outcome? Which is the outcome my character would want even though s/he had no way of knowing at the time? Which decision should my character make to get the outcome I want?" And it gets tiring, and it pulls you out of the roleplaying experience.

 

In this case, I kind of like that there is no significant in-game consequence to dealing with Maerwald's soul. Just have your character decide what to do with it based on his/her own moral compass (would s/he want to absorb it to gain the knowledge, bind it to the Keep, let it move on, etc?), and don't stress it since there's no in-game reward or 'penalty' to make you choose otherwise.

Edited by Faerunner
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"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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Is it nice when they do? Absolutely. But sometimes it's nice just to come across a simple role-playing scenario where your character makes a decision based only on the information s/he had at the time. No tricks, no rewards or punishments, no in-game incentive to make this decision instead of that. Just get into character and have your character make the decision s/he would in that situation.

 

Yeah, but that's rather a big one. Your character doesn't do it because he or she feels like it, but because there's something expected in return. Binding to the own person or the castle is vastly different from setting the soul free. The first two options are very egotistical in hopes of getting some incentive for it. And since this is a watcher, the character should know what the choices mean because otherwise it wouldn't make any sense to go down that road in any case.

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