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Krehlmar

Thoughts on Romance and Modding (official romance thread)

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First off, let me clarify that I know that one of the main dev's has explicitly said he does not like/enjoy romance in games. As such, I am fully aware that the majority of people backing a game made by such a man mostly share his notion.

 

Here's why I fully disagree with this sentiment. 

 

A disclaimer first, since I'm largely anonymous in that no one here knows who I am nor cares; I'm just gonna give my view on romance and sex from my experience and hope that people take it at face value.

 

A short introduction; I was heavily picked on as a kid, didn't have any real friends up until I was 16+ and during the first years of drinking and socialising (16-19) I literally had to drink myself ****faced to even talk to women. And even then, the first few times I'd actually tremble. Hell the first time I made out with a woman my legs were shacking afterwards (even when drunk) because it took such a toll on my weak confidence. Then I did my conscript service and noticed I'd grown up to be a fairly good-looking person. Tho in truth I was still a wreck in my persona, I followed the whole "the game" view of sex and interaction where-in I'd be someone I was not to gain something I truly didn't want: Sex, and gratification; Only the person they had sex with was not truly "me", it was this person I played to have sex with them.

 

I became a sex addict because I wanted validation, I slept with more women than I can literally count and although I will admit there is a great learning in this (as we learn from mistakes) and some great adventures, there was also a heavy toll on my psyche. I became a alcoholic and I've been batteling depressions for more than a decade (I'm 27 now). Nowdays I'm pretty zen about all this, I never ponder or care for sex in the sense that it bothers me... If I find someone interesting and we share mutual interest and sexual affinity then it happens, if not who cares: The point herein is that it's not a "goal"; I don't start talking to anyone with a pre-defined agenda where sex is a goal, because in that I automatically will form myself to achieve said goal instead of just having a normal human meeting with no hidden intentions.

 

It is here gaming and romance comes into the picture. I feel that a lot of times, romance in video-games follow the first road I traveled. You instantly recognize that what the writer and character has in intention is sex. Given, this is not always wrong; Sex is in truth extremely healthy and fun: Thousands of years of religious oppression and control has taught us otherwise, to feel shame when masturbating or showing sexual intent. We make love behind locked doors and don't speak of it, but we'd gladly express hatred and anger towards things as if that was somehow better feelings to show. I mean just ponder the fact that each and every human that has ever lived, a estimated hundred billion humans, was ****ed into existence! And probably not on the first try! That's a lot of sex.

 

So my point is simply that, when handled "correct" (or my perception of what is healthy, natural and honest) sex and romance is not something to shun. When it follows the first path, the path of intent before reason, then yes it becomes a trope. It becomes a cliché, it becomes a rulebook of how to engage in all ways except being natural and "self".

 

Now let me bring some examples to the table to discuss when romance is handled well, and when it is not. At least in my opinion.

 

 

Anyone who has played "Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit)", Knights of the Old Republic (1-2) and Halo will know what bad romances are. Let me explain; In all of these games, for no apparent reason the protaganist and a female will somehow develop a bond, or rather the woman will covet the male, without any real reason. I love Halo, but Master Chief has no persona (shown in the games, I don't care if he has a library of books on the side; What we are shown is what we are allowed to judge upon), yet for some reason Cortana loves him in a semi-romantic way. I find that these kinds of "romances" are blatant whoring for the male player-base... Much like boothbabes. 

 

Now I don't mind women having sexuality, or being the ones to engage, on the contrary I am all for it. But if there is no real personal journey, no real discussion of character, who "we" are in these games, then why the hell would anyone love us? What these "romances" are, are not romances at all, it's abusing our inherit care for our main character from a perspective only we have been able to see, yet somehow the females just suddenly want to sex the protagonist for reasons they could never know unless they'd seen them through our eyes. And even then it's unrealistic at times. Worse yet is when, as in KOTOR, the developers still shoehorn romance into the game but are so deathly afraid of sex (thanks to americas churches) that there's no sex. And sex is a natural godamn thing, it's as natural as friendship, smiling, breathing. But instead of just treating it as another urge within humans, one that in no way defines us, but is a part of us, some games tip-toe around it making it to a huge elephant in the room.

 

There are some middle-ground romances that are both positive in one way, but negative in another. A good example here is Morrigan in Dragon Age, and Jack (the female bionic) in Mass Effect 2-3. See both of these characters are quick to show a sexual interest in the character, and at first I actually thought Jack would be this badass woman who knows what she wants and takes it, but then also has a deeper side (which most people do have, even when sexual deviants). Nope. Turns out she's a damsel in distress that in the end just wants to be held by a big strong man. This is bad romance, even if it is good storytelling. Same with Morrigan, she comes out strong, then even needy and vulnerable... But for no apparent reason, sex without feelings is sex. Sure we can develop feelings but unless you're 13-19 years you'd be a godamn idiot to "fall in love" with someone if you have no godamn clue who that someone is; You're not in love with that person then: You're in love with the image you are projecting upon them, your perceived idea of who they are, "The statue in the marble block". 

 

Some amazing anti-examples of this is Baldur's Gate 2, where especially the "good" and "evil" romance really goes above and beyond character-development for not only the companions characters but their growth in the relationship as well. If you play the expansion together with the main game, the "good" romance interest will (SPOILER if you haven't played Baldurs Gate 2) go from a near helpless, naive and vulnerable girl to a fierce protective mother and partner in the expansion. This is romance done great, because even if the romance starts out with perhaps ulterior motives, it's nearly impossible not to fall in love with the character itself... We actually understand why our character would love them, and our journey also shows us why they would come to love us, the player. 

 

Another good example of this is Garrus and Tali from Mass Effect. In the first game they're not even romance options, and Liara is a good example of the bad kind of romance where there's no real explanation as to why either person would come to become drawn to the other (or well, Liara to Shepard because Shepard runs around doing great things, but Shepards interest in Liara comes down to less than 5 minutes of talking and the fact that she is sex-able). But Tali, Tali says it best in Mass Effect 2 when Shepard slyly asks her if she's flirting with him, "What, would I somehow develop feelings for a daring space-caption who not only saved the universe but also my life on two occasions? Heavens forbid!" 

 

And it is in these cases I find the lack of romance extremely detrimental to a role-playing game. If I am given a world and a character where romance seems a distant sparkle, like say Gear of War, well of course I won't expect or care for it. But give me a world so deep as Pillars of Eternity and it becomes downright absurd that no one would somehow not want to **** another character. Christ, put any amount of humans in any situation and sooner or later they will have sex, it's part of how we've evolved to be and to deny that is to break character. 

 

I'm not saying every npc, female or male should suddenly want to have sex with you, quite the opposite. But I am saying that if I spend literally days, weeks, months on the road with companions. Friends I learn about, share stories infront of the camp-fire, laugh with as we explore deep caverns, bleed with as we fight monsters, that we'd go through all of this and for some reason none of the people involved would find a kindred spirit? 

 

Disclaimer about sex: And no, it's not because I want some "rule 34" situation, if I wanted that I'd go to the site, if I wanted porn I'd go watch porn. We gamers don't play games to fap (well most of us, most of the time). We play games to get engrossed in fictional worlds, to explore, to live lives we'd never live anywhere else, to see and experience things. And to experience all feelings of the spectrum, sorrow, anger, hatred, friendship but for some reason leave out one of the biggest parts of being human (or a mammal for that matter) just seems so bizarre to me.

 

Skip the sex scene for all I care, biowares barbie-bodies never did make me do anything but cringe. But I still remember Viconia from Baldurs Gate 2. Hell this was years ago, it was after I'd stopt ****ing around like a idiot, and it's insane to admit it but part of her writing stuck with me harder than half of my real-life sexual encounters. It was a moment when my character asked her how she was holding up, in the back of my head I had intent on consoling her to show her I cared, but she rebuked and instead said to me "Enough about me, how are you feeling?" I just sat there, in the dark of the night, with pale-blue light reflecting on my face... And I just started crying. It was the first time in so long someone had honestly asked me that. 

 

Now there's good writing. I'd been so engrossed in the world and my character, that when she asked my character that, it was as if she asked me that. That's the kind of romance I'd like to see, where the character we choose to play resonate with other characters who find mutual grounding. 

 

 

 

TLDR See, to me romance is just something natural. It either happens or it doesn't, not much too it and it's not a big deal. Some characters we enjoy the company of, others we hate, other we want to murder and yet others still we want to help. I just don't get why one of these many basic human emotions are boycotted because it is somehow a cliché? It's only a cliché for as long as we make it one, and the sooner we start acting like it's a big deal the sooner it will stop being a big deal. Just look at "Hatred", everyone goes ape**** about it but most gamers didn't care, "Doesn't look like a good game" and that's that. Whilst traditional games media tries to drum up a ****-storm, no one else cares. So why are we afraid to add writing that would only solidify the realism of a fictional world? Because to me, it just becomes silly when all the other feelings are readily called upon to create realism, "devout", "stoic", "proud", "loyal", but love or romance is absent? To me that's not a realistic world, it's a world that seems to readily avoid a basic fact of reality: Attraction and procreation.

 

If you've read this far I thank you and I hope I didn't repeat or rant to much. I just wanted to share my own thoughts and views on this since I do realize that romance is a hot topic in gaming because it is so often wrongly called upon and used. I just think that it is our job as "mature" gamers to transcend this absurd debate, just as we've transcended violence in gaming. Instead of the old "only virgin boys want romance go play waifu similatur you loser" we could just admit that a great many people see and have sex as a normal part of their life, and there's nothing extraordinary, special or whatnot about that. 

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At one point there were official romance threads. I did a search and there aren't any recent ones. If my mod mojo is failing me, any of the other mods can wrap this thread into an existing one. In the meantime, here's another thread for discussing romance. Have fun, pro and anti romancers!


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At one point there were official romance threads. I did a search and there aren't any recent ones. If my mod mojo is failing me, any of the other mods can wrap this thread into an existing one. In the meantime, here's another thread for discussing romance. Have fun, pro and anti romancers!

Yeah sorry, I knew this had been talked about before but I didn't find any recent posts about it

 

Secondly I forgot to mention mods in this so I'll add it now:

 

 

Baldurs Gate 2 has literally hundreds if not thousands of player-made mod characters added. 

 

Some of these actually have talented voice-acting, and a very few even goes so far as to have full voice-acting throughout the entire game and expansion.

 

Why was this not a option for Pillars? I get not wanting to write it yourself, but tons of others do write romance in dignified and amazing ways. 

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We discontinued the official romance thread shortly after release. The major problem they solved were the constant, forum-filling flamewars of people angrily demanding Obsidian put romance in before released followed by other people angrily demanding those people admit they had mental disabilities. Since the game is out, that's no longer a real issue.

 

So carry on. These threads are totally okay as long as they stay civil. :) Thought your post was interesting. About modding - I was led to believe it was totally possible to create your own NPCs? It's just that they're a lot of work and nobody has done it so far.

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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You would need to create a unique character or mod in-game dialog for that to happen (and maybe create some unique encounters).

 

I agree that it was a big mistake to leave out that sort of character interaction. This game seems to be more about combat and the overall story and not about unique characters and dialog. That's why when you go to the inn to hire another party member you just create one from scratch rather than having to pick from 2-3 NPCs who have their own goals and personalities & then trying to make your group work. From a player standpoint that makes it easier since you can fill a hole in your group with whatever sort of character you want but from a flavor standpoint that character you create is a dull robot.

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The supposition by the OP, that backers behind the game automatically agree with the main dev's personal opinion, disagree with do I.  Being a backer, I find it redonkulous for any game maker to deliberately leave out of the game a fundamental aspect that is wanted by a significant portion of the buyers of the games.  Being a 'backer' or not is irrelevant to this.  They still wish to 'sell' the game, and being a for profit company, it is lacking in common intelligence for Obsidian to leave romance options out of the game.

 

I 'backed' the game specifically because Obsidian games have had some awesome romance options in the past.  Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, et cetera are fabulous examples.

 

That the main dev dislikes romance options? I was perfectly good with, because ultimately it should be up to whether they want more or less profit.  A lot of what a main dev does is delegate responsibilities they cannot, and/or will not, perform to the best of their ability.  So the responsible choice for the main dev is to hire a writer or two who DO enjoy romance options in games.

 

Anyone making excuses for the developers and producers for failing to do their job is clearly confused, believe do I.

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See, to me romance is just something natural. It either happens or it doesn't, not much too it and it's not a big deal. 

 

And in Pillars, it doesn't, and it's not a big deal. Right?

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I'm not against the inclusion of romance options in the context of the story ...but having a situation where every character can fall in love with every other character "just because" is distracting and detracts from the overall narrative.

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Great post, well made points. If people want to mod in romances then by all means, mod away. I may even check one or two out.

 

But please developers, dont spend time and money on romances in game. Pillars of Eternity more than any game I have followed has demonstrated through blogs and interviews that every bell and whistle takes a whole lot of time and money. I would prefer that these resources go towards refining other, more vital features. Some of the companions feel like more backstory or interaction was planned but unable to be implemented in time. Given that, I would rather they pad the word count elsewhere.

Edited by boffmoffet
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I, personally, wouldn't mind if a romance has to get axed in favor of some other really cool content the developer wants to do. (Operative word being "cool". PoE has been good about not wasting my time with grindy sidequests compared to other games, but let's not drop the ball now.)

 

But OP has a point. Between the Bethesda "it happens yaaaay" in Skyrim and Fallout 4, and the Bioware wish fulfillment model of "here is your waifu/husbando, LOVE THEM", romance just isn't done right in video games. We need to be given reasons to love them other than the fact that they're DTF. And we need to see why they'd love our character. Doesn't need to be voiced. Doesn't need to be drawn or animated. Some of the best lines in PoE are just plain prose.

 

Another thing that stuck with me from OP's post: finding kindred spirits among your travelling companions. Even if it's a wholly platonic "best friends" connection, don't tell me I can't find a kindred spirit. On the playthrough I sunk the most time into, my Watcher had this whole theme of finding a place to call home and people to care about. The rest of this is under a spoiler tag because endings....

 

That Watcher actually ended the main campaign on a low note, because everyone just up and leaves in the epilogues! Everyone she'd come to care for! The only person who didn't leave her was Edér, and it wasn't because of any particular attachment to her, oh no. He just wanted to move into Dyrford, which just happened to be nearby.

 

So yeah. Even if it's not romantic in nature, I'd appreciate being able to have a deeper connection with my favorite companions.

 

TL;DR version:

  • Most romance in video games sucks.
  • Do romance right, or not at all.
  • Bromance is an acceptable compromise.
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Pillars of Eternity homebrew tabletop thread: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/84662-pillars-of-eternity-homebrew-wip/

 

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The supposition by the OP, that backers behind the game automatically agree with the main dev's personal opinion, disagree with do I.  Being a backer, I find it redonkulous for any game maker to deliberately leave out of the game a fundamental aspect that is wanted by a significant portion of the buyers of the games.  Being a 'backer' or not is irrelevant to this.  They still wish to 'sell' the game, and being a for profit company, it is lacking in common intelligence for Obsidian to leave romance options out of the game.

 

I 'backed' the game specifically because Obsidian games have had some awesome romance options in the past.  Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, et cetera are fabulous examples.

 

That the main dev dislikes romance options? I was perfectly good with, because ultimately it should be up to whether they want more or less profit.  A lot of what a main dev does is delegate responsibilities they cannot, and/or will not, perform to the best of their ability.  So the responsible choice for the main dev is to hire a writer or two who DO enjoy romance options in games.

 

Anyone making excuses for the developers and producers for failing to do their job is clearly confused, believe do I.

 

I recently played through Planescape: Torment, and while it's absolutely one of the best stories that I've played through in a video game, I really didn't enjoy its handling of romances. Annah (and to a lesser extent, Fall-from-Grace) falling for the player unprompted isn't organic story-building, it's an example of what Chris Avellone calls ego-stroking. Annah and Grace were designed to be a Betty and Veronica pair, a kind of harem for the player. I consciously resisted romance options because that's not the sort of thing I play CRPG's for, and that's still the outcome I got.

 

PS:T's handling of female characters in general is pretty terrible, actually. Morte, although a great character, sometimes comes a bit close to being that player around the table, the one who leers after all the female NPC's or makes female players feel uncomfortable. Giving that kind of a player a voice as an CNPC strikes me as a bad move. I stumbled across this design document from the very early stages of development yesterday. The document straight-up says, "Sure, you may be a fat dateless loser in real life, but in Last Rites [PS:T's name early on], you get the women and respect you'e always craved". Part of the headings in the game's vision statement is "babes, as in, "TRUCKLOADS OF". It says,

 

Tons of Total Babes: This game will have lots of babes that make the player go "wow." There will be fiendish babes, human babes, angelic babes, asian babes, and even undead babes. These babes will be present without nipple-age and will all regrettably behave within the TSR Code of Ethics.

The message is clear: this game isn't for girls. Heterosexual men only need apply. Fortunately, PoE is much better in that regard - does anyone really think the quality of the story would be improved if Sagani, Pallegina, or Grieving Mother wore skimpy rags instead of armour? But if romances were included in PoE 2, they'd have to be handled very carefully so as not to wander into that weird, ego-stroking, power-fantasy harem territory.

Edited by hamskii

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Games like this usually have several romance options of both genders though, so that would have applied to Aloth and Eder too, the last Dragon age and Mass effect even had gay and lesbian romances - and neither had skimpy armor either (though technically nothing prevents you from putting Mahena's armor on Pallegina in PoE even now :w00t: ).

Edited by falchen

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While I enjoy romance options in my games greatly, I am also alright with games forgoing them entirely as a design decision.

 

But I will tell you this much: I am absolutely not interested in romance options in any role-playing game if you do not also include gay and bisexual options for the player.

 

We are WELL beyond the point of developers considering such an inclusion to be a "risk" not worth taking, and I am well beyond putting up with developers who obviously don't care about their non-straight fanbase and their role-playing desires.

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The supposition by the OP, that backers behind the game automatically agree with the main dev's personal opinion, disagree with do I. Being a backer, I find it redonkulous for any game maker to deliberately leave out of the game a fundamental aspect that is wanted by a significant portion of the buyers of the games. Being a 'backer' or not is irrelevant to this. They still wish to 'sell' the game, and being a for profit company, it is lacking in common intelligence for Obsidian to leave romance options out of the game.

 

I 'backed' the game specifically because Obsidian games have had some awesome romance options in the past. Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, et cetera are fabulous examples.

 

That the main dev dislikes romance options? I was perfectly good with, because ultimately it should be up to whether they want more or less profit. A lot of what a main dev does is delegate responsibilities they cannot, and/or will not, perform to the best of their ability. So the responsible choice for the main dev is to hire a writer or two who DO enjoy romance options in games.

 

Anyone making excuses for the developers and producers for failing to do their job is clearly confused, believe do I.

I recently played through Planescape: Torment, and while it's absolutely one of the best stories that I've played through in a video game, I really didn't enjoy its handling of romances. Annah (and to a lesser extent, Fall-from-Grace) falling for the player unprompted isn't organic story-building, it's an example of what Chris Avellone calls ego-stroking. Annah and Grace were designed to be a Betty and Veronica pair, a kind of harem for the player. I consciously resisted romance options because that's not the sort of thing I play CRPG's for, and that's still the outcome I got.

 

PS:T's handling of female characters in general is pretty terrible, actually. Morte, although a great character, sometimes comes a bit close to being that player around the table, the one who leers after all the female NPC's or makes female players feel uncomfortable. Giving that kind of a player a voice as an CNPC strikes me as a bad move. I stumbled across this design document from the very early stages of development yesterday. The document straight-up says, "Sure, you may be a fat dateless loser in real life, but in Last Rites [PS:T's name early on], you get the women and respect you'e always craved". Part of the headings in the game's vision statement is "babes, as in, "TRUCKLOADS OF". It says,

Tons of Total Babes: This game will have lots of babes that make the player go "wow." There will be fiendish babes, human babes, angelic babes, asian babes, and even undead babes. These babes will be present without nipple-age and will all regrettably behave within the TSR Code of Ethics.

The message is clear: this game isn't for girls. Heterosexual men only need apply. Fortunately, PoE is much better in that regard - does anyone really think the quality of the story would be improved if Sagani, Pallegina, or Grieving Mother wore skimpy rags instead of armour? But if romances were included in PoE 2, they'd have to be handled very carefully so as not to wander into that weird, ego-stroking, power-fantasy harem territory.

What a complete load of garbage and total bashing of Torment.

 

You are totally clueless.

 

Torment isnt my favorite game and ive only completed it once. But i didnt even know there was romances. So you are just lying through your teeth about it being prompted on the player.

 

Typical liberal facist feminist agenda propaganda nonsense. Glad to see you are really starting to losing hard in society. More and more see your sect for what it really is

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The supposition by the OP, that backers behind the game automatically agree with the main dev's personal opinion, disagree with do I. Being a backer, I find it redonkulous for any game maker to deliberately leave out of the game a fundamental aspect that is wanted by a significant portion of the buyers of the games. Being a 'backer' or not is irrelevant to this. They still wish to 'sell' the game, and being a for profit company, it is lacking in common intelligence for Obsidian to leave romance options out of the game.

 

I 'backed' the game specifically because Obsidian games have had some awesome romance options in the past. Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, et cetera are fabulous examples.

 

That the main dev dislikes romance options? I was perfectly good with, because ultimately it should be up to whether they want more or less profit. A lot of what a main dev does is delegate responsibilities they cannot, and/or will not, perform to the best of their ability. So the responsible choice for the main dev is to hire a writer or two who DO enjoy romance options in games.

 

Anyone making excuses for the developers and producers for failing to do their job is clearly confused, believe do I.

I recently played through Planescape: Torment, and while it's absolutely one of the best stories that I've played through in a video game, I really didn't enjoy its handling of romances. Annah (and to a lesser extent, Fall-from-Grace) falling for the player unprompted isn't organic story-building, it's an example of what Chris Avellone calls ego-stroking. Annah and Grace were designed to be a Betty and Veronica pair, a kind of harem for the player. I consciously resisted romance options because that's not the sort of thing I play CRPG's for, and that's still the outcome I got.

 

PS:T's handling of female characters in general is pretty terrible, actually. Morte, although a great character, sometimes comes a bit close to being that player around the table, the one who leers after all the female NPC's or makes female players feel uncomfortable. Giving that kind of a player a voice as an CNPC strikes me as a bad move. I stumbled across this design document from the very early stages of development yesterday. The document straight-up says, "Sure, you may be a fat dateless loser in real life, but in Last Rites [PS:T's name early on], you get the women and respect you'e always craved". Part of the headings in the game's vision statement is "babes, as in, "TRUCKLOADS OF". It says,

Tons of Total Babes: This game will have lots of babes that make the player go "wow." There will be fiendish babes, human babes, angelic babes, asian babes, and even undead babes. These babes will be present without nipple-age and will all regrettably behave within the TSR Code of Ethics.

The message is clear: this game isn't for girls. Heterosexual men only need apply. Fortunately, PoE is much better in that regard - does anyone really think the quality of the story would be improved if Sagani, Pallegina, or Grieving Mother wore skimpy rags instead of armour? But if romances were included in PoE 2, they'd have to be handled very carefully so as not to wander into that weird, ego-stroking, power-fantasy harem territory.

 

What a complete load of garbage and total bashing of Torment.

 

You are totally clueless.

 

Torment isnt my favorite game and ive only completed it once. But i didnt even know there was romances. So you are just lying through your teeth about it being prompted on the player.

 

Typical liberal facist feminist agenda propaganda nonsense. Glad to see you are really starting to losing hard in society. More and more see your sect for what it really is

 

Way to make your side of the argument look reasonable. I think you mean fascist, by the way, but personally I can't see the connection between disliking how romances are handled in a particular video game and radical authoritarian nationalism.

 

For future reference:

 

Qf7c3a1.png

Edited by hamskii
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This thread lacks panache. Bruce where art thou?

Still around and still a fan of Romance  :wub:

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Ahhh has it been a few days already? It cant be avoided I suppose, let me get my romance thread typing gloves on.....

 

Romances in isometric RPGs? No  :down: Why is this brought up constantly? In new threads as well, when like 12 already exist.

 

I get that quite a few people like romances in their RPG, but of all the games to suggest it for, Pillars is the most ludicrous. Let a develop tell a nice depressing tale of soul sickness and false gods without having some railroaded Bioware romance eating up development time and money. 

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Ahhh has it been a few days already? It cant be avoided I suppose, let me get my romance thread typing gloves on.....

 

Romances in isometric RPGs? No  :down: Why is this brought up constantly? In new threads as well, when like 12 already exist.

 

I get that quite a few people like romances in their RPG, but of all the games to suggest it for, Pillars is the most ludicrous. Let a develop tell a nice depressing tale of soul sickness and false gods without having some railroaded Bioware romance eating up development time and money. 

 

Romance works fine in a Isometric game ? BG: TOB

 

Why wouldnt it work in a Isometric game ?

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Fair enough to ask for clarification on that point.

 

Isometric RPGs are more often then not, open world in one way or another. Main objectives are given and can be followed at the players discretion, leaving the main story beats and character developments pacing up to the player. When romances are written to activate or evolve slowly over the games course(bg2), one can never be sure the events will activate and the context and timing is usually horrible.

 

PC: "Just finished that dangerous drow ambush, time to enter a deadly dragons lair folks!" 

Aerie: "Sunsets and tears! I love you and miss my wings!"

PC: "Damnit Aerie!"

 

This is the my main reason for criticizing romances within the context of the format. Romances should not be a glossed over timed event. They need to be thematically tied into the main source material (main quest) or they dont work. To write 2-3 romances is quite a lot of time and money if you want to do it well.

 

I also worry that romances causes writers to railroad certain traits into an NPC just to make them compatible with romance. I would not want Sagani considerable for romance, they might not have written her a family. I dont want to romance GM, they might have made her less aloof or mysterious. I would not want Josh to write Pallegina as potential romantic partner because while she is passionate, she channels her passion into dedication to proving herself to her brotherhood and serving her country as best she can. No one who is a Bioware fan can deny that the success of the romance features altered the very way they plan and write their companions. So for me romance has become one of those features like 3D camera or full audio that seem like a natural evolution for the genre but ultimately undermined the quality of the products, leading us to dissatisfaction and the desire to fund Pillars of Eternity, a deliberate regressive exercise. Asking for romance is asking for a repeat in that history. 

 

So yeah, timing and the undermining of quality writing. I hope I expressed those correctly.

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