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Also, no one is arguing that there shouldn't exist gay people in these kind of fantasy games, just that they should make sense and not be made just to pander to SJW, and should be represented in somewhat realistic ways and numbers (aka, if you have six companions and four are gay/bi you're doing it wrong).

 

 

...For a (not exactly outrageous) 10% ratio of gay/bi characters, you'd need a grand total of 40 straight NPCs in your game. I'm reasonably sure most games have that many in (at least implied) heterosexual relationships.

 

Is it likely that you'd be travelling with LITERALLY ALL TEH GAY in your corner of the world? Well, not particularly. Is it compatible with representing them in realistic numbers? Sure it is!

 

 

Having a setting where people purge other citizens just because of their deity, where people think that it's fine to kill others that have wronged you in some way and in general the mentality is, let's say, more in line with 16th century than modern times and then having its people being more open-minded than today's society about gays just because of political correctness doesn't really make much sense.

 

 

Luckily there are many, many examples of historical societies where homosexuality was more accepted than in 16th century Europe, so a game set in a weird and exotic island chain with a bunch of definitely not European-leaning cultures can elegantly sidestep this issue  :rolleyes:

 

I just really want to get to answers Hiravias' question: does Pellegina have a cloaca?

 

Well technically, "none of your ****ing business" is an answer (and one she readily gives).

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Having a setting where people purge other citizens just because of their deity, where people think that it's fine to kill others that have wronged you in some way and in general the mentality is, let's say, more in line with 16th century than modern times and then having its people being more open-minded than today's society about gays just because of political correctness doesn't really make much sense.

 

 

The funny thing is,

 

1) that in the past they may have had no concept of homosexuality as we understand it today, so they wouldn't think of it as existing (why should you, if you never leave you little village?). 

 

2) most Adventurers/mercenary groups consisted of people who would be considered at best outsiders and at worst bloodthirsty scum (and let's be honest, we are a group of bloodthirsty killers), so it wouldn't be that farfetched, that they would "accept" a homosexual person. But more in the way of "You like men? Well, more for me, you perverse bastard, you. You're alright, even if you'll burn in hell." Doesn't mean, that this is NICE, but people back then weren't all "torches and god is right" and all that. Stopping the hunger was more important ;).

Edited by Harry Easter
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They've just about announced companion relationships which may or may not touch upon romantic content and we already have debates on LGBT content and incloosiveness. Ah, if only it had been possible to see that coming from a mile away or two thousand...

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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So, in spite of haters and skeptics, relationships and romances seem to be in?  :yes: I hope devs will come up with something good and interesting.

Thanks to everyone who kept asking and nagging, now PoE2 can truly compete with BG2 on all fronts. Can't wait to see the game :)

Also, here's an interview about this confirming everything:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/pillars-of-eternity-2/pillars-of-eternity-2-companion-guide

Edited by Aramintai
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I don't want to put romance on a pedestal. Romance isn't special. It's just another facet of human interaction. It's common. It's basic. Almost everyone will engage in it, and likely on several different occasions. There's little that is more base than sexual attraction. Little that is more crude than being captivated by the symmetry of a face or the fullness of a bosom or the broadness of a shoulder. Even when we extend that attraction to personality, it remains chemistry: instincts and hormones drive almost the entire process of looking for, evaluating, and committing to a mate. Of all the loves in the world, romantic love might just be the weakest, or at least the most fickle - quickly gained, easily lost, and always with conditions.

 

Yet it is precisely because of the above, that there should be systematic agreement that actively avoiding themes related to romantic love can only weaken a development studio's ability to craft compelling characters, narratives, and interactions in the long-term. You can dance around the topic via side quests, elect to write only characters and stories for which romantic love would be inappropriate, concoct convoluted philosophies to justify your decision, but none of it can mask the artificial stiffness brought about by pretending that people don't want to bang each other bad. Romance is elemental, and universal; its exclusion cannot be justified, unless one's object is not to portray human nature but an ideological construct that has the face of humanity, but the heart of an alien.

 

Beyond this basic agreement, opinions will differ. An argument can be made that since all video games are a form of wish fulfillment, romance in video games should also be wish fulfillment, and so we should follow the example of the Japanese, and proudly indulge in our deepest and most shameless fantasies. Thus, all romantic interests should be shaped according to the most lovely of forms, imbued with the most endearing of personalities, and coupled with the most emotionally gratifying of plots. The logic being, since it's all desire manipulation in the first place, why not be the most manipulative you can be?

 

Yet a counter argument is that the more you indulge, the cheaper it feels. Harems of otherworldly beautiful women - or men, or both - throwing themselves at the player character over his or her pedestrian wit and all around mediocrity, feels... Wrong. Not believable. Like Agent Smith said, it breaks the Matrix. In this thread, Tigrane is Agent Smith, and his argument is worth repeating - how can you not cringe at the basic setup of most games that attempt this style of self-indulging romance? From a Western sensibility, or at least an Anglo-American one, it summons more bile than sugar. Maybe for a guilty pleasure, it can work, but for a more respectable company or game, it doesn't seem fitting.

 

So then, how do you make a respectable romance? What, even, should be the goal? Presumably it still has to revolve around wish fulfillment, but of a more sophisticated kind. For the player to want to interact romantically with the character, the character must still hold a degree of attraction. But perhaps that attraction is not strictly carnal. Perhaps it could involve curiosity, by virtue of novelty - "how might one love an air elemental? or can love continue after one partner has been permanently polymorphed?" Perhaps it could subvert the cliche - "you profess your love, but are REJECTED"; though that might hit too close to home. Or maybe all it needs is a reasonably attractive character with believable standards for the time and circumstance, sufficiently developed and competently written. Not such an easy task, given the history of failures, but perhaps, ultimately, achievable.

Edited by Azarkon
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There are doors

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So then, how do you make a respectable romance? 

I think first and foremost writers should not look at what the fans want for inspiration, but make something of their own. Because you can never please everyone and trying to do so results in ****ty romances like in late BioWare games. It's like in every SJW movie nowadays  - there always must be a black character, a gay character, a cripple and a fat guy. Screw that, making something great should not conform to the masses. So, if devs are reading this - do what you want with companion relationships, make your own version of what you think fits the game. I'd be content even if it's a minor thing like in PS:T.

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So then, how do you make a respectable romance?

 

 

- Don't let it end with the sex.

 

- Turn it into work. Relationships are work and people are **** at it. Some times you ask yourself, why you should stay with the other person, but if it feels right, you will know why. 

Edited by Harry Easter
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I can take or leave romances like some of the ones in Bioware games are legit interesting to play through but others just feel like fan service. The problem is bioware is now in a position where they have to make fan service for every different kind of person out there which is not possible so they always end up annoying a bunch of their fans whatever they do. 

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I think first and foremost writers should not look at what the fans want for inspiration, but make something of their own. Because you can never please everyone and trying to do so results in ****ty romances like in late BioWare games. It's like in every SJW movie nowadays  - there always must be a black character, a gay character, a cripple and a fat guy. Screw that, making something great should not conform to the masses. So, if devs are reading this - do what you want with companion relationships, make your own version of what you think fits the game. I'd be content even if it's a minor thing like in PS:T.

 

I fully agree with you. If it makes sense for a character to develop a romantic relationship with the PC, then they should go for it. Also, if at the end the romance feels like it adds more to the player's experience with the character and makes the player feel more close to the character, then I don't see a logical reason why it wouldn't be a good idea to include it. However, adding romance to a character for no better reason than that there is a demand for it, would be just an example of bad writing.

 

Same could be said about homosexual content. If the only reason they would add it is that they fear a potential backslash from "vocal groups", then that will only lead to a worse overall experience.

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Micamo, 10% or less of the population is estimated to not be heterosexual. There's a kind of bizarre tendency in RPGs and some genre fiction to portray this as the 'lived experience' of a large portion of people or even a majority (see certain Bioware titles).

 

Which BioWare titles have non-heterosexual characters in the majority?

 

(Spoilers: it's none of them.)

 

In Dragon Age II they were all bisexual.

Also, Inquisition had two gays and two bisexual. The straight characters were four, just like the non-straight (three of those were only available for females PCs, though). 

That's not a correct representation of sexual orientations, since more than 95% of the world population is straight. I'll also add that having a setting based on medieval Europe where people think it's ok to kill others because of their faith or social class but somehow everyone is more open-minded than contemporary real world people about being sexual orientation/identity is also ****ty fanfiction-tier writing.

See here's your mistake you seem to think that Dragon Age is based off medieval Europe when it's really not. Neither is Pillars of Eternity. Medieval Europe didn't have magic, gender equality, other races, monsters and literal gods. Both game series have no interest whatsoever in simulation of the real world largely because they take place in their own fictional one. Even if we take that extremely dubious 95% number at face value, you've offered no compelling reason why it should be on Eora.

 

PoE isn't based on medieval Europe, it is based on Age of Discovery era Europe. Very closely and explicitly. And the reason not to include weirdly inflated number of gay characters is because this isn't a cringeworthy tumblr slash fiction. Nobody has a problem with a realistic treatment of the subject, but every time romance is brought up a certain group of people demand that this topic be given grossly undue focus.

Edited by SunBroSolaire
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I've always found late BioWare games a joke when it comes to romances because of ridiculous condensation of LGBT characters in a character roster. I mean, really,  make a dozen random selections of the same amount of people in real life and chances of getting even one LGBT among them are still pretty slim. So in the game it feels like I'm in a zoo seeing rare creatures all in one place. Also, I wonder, has anyone at BioWare made any statistical reports as to how many gamers actually played through LGBT romances? Are they really popular or there are just some few very vocal fans?

Edited by Aramintai
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I've always found late BioWare games a joke when it comes to romances because of ridiculous condensation of LGBT characters in a character roster. I mean, really,  make a dozen random selections of the same amount of people in real life and chances of getting even one LGBT among them are still pretty slim. So in the game it feels like I'm in a zoo seeing rare creatures all in one place. Also, I wonder, has anyone at BioWare made any statistical reports as to how many gamers actually played through LGBT romances? Are they really popular or there are just some few very vocal fans?

 

Who did you expect to meet in a grand fantasy adventure? Farmer McFarmerson, John Doe and Postman Pat? I'd take Zevran - the ridiculously handsome elven assassin - any day. 

 

Furthermore, gay people may not be as rare as you think. Most of them do not wear badges.

 

Bah! No fun!

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I've always found late BioWare games a joke when it comes to romances because of ridiculous condensation of LGBT characters in a character roster. I mean, really,  make a dozen random selections of the same amount of people in real life and chances of getting even one LGBT among them are still pretty slim. So in the game it feels like I'm in a zoo seeing rare creatures all in one place. Also, I wonder, has anyone at BioWare made any statistical reports as to how many gamers actually played through LGBT romances? Are they really popular or there are just some few very vocal fans?

 

As far as I know most people don't play any of the romances, tho that info is a bit old I think. Still they seem to focus a sizeable portion of their marketing on this feature and it does generate plenty of hype from fans which is gonna help sell the game to a wider audience. 

 

I don't really take issue with there being a lot of lgbt people in the games tho, we may be a minority but there are still plenty of us about. I dislike the idea that there has to be like at least one gay guy, one lesbian and two bisexuals in every game or whatever purely for the purposes of romance. That just seems silly to me. 

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If they truly focused on Renaissance Europe for Pillars 1, then half the people could easily be gay or at least bisexual; so it was in the 15th-16th centuries in Florence, for example. :p

 

I guess it's meant to give every player a chance to find a romance he/she might like. I agree that not each and every companion should be bisexual, but a couple of gay characters are more than welcomed. Was Maneha lesbian in PoE1? I think so. Was there a male gay companion? I don't know, maybe Aloth?

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Edér, I am using WhatsApp!

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I guess it's meant to give every player a chance to find a romance he/she might like.

That's exactly the problem. As soon as you open the romance can of worms, everyone wants fan service and special pandering.

Edited by SunBroSolaire
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So then, how do you make a respectable romance? What, even, should be the goal? Presumably it still has to revolve around wish fulfillment, but of a more sophisticated kind.

 

I disagree; making the romance an explicit wish fulfillment is leading down the path of creating a feel good mini-game at the expense of your NPC. I think what needs to happen is that the game needs to allow the player to make a choice and have the game react to the consequences of that choice.

 

How I'd approach making a respectable romance -

  1. Romance should not lock out the player from having an interesting traveling companion if they don't pursue the romance and should not lock players out of essential elements (ie items, xp)
  2. The NPC's goals and interests should not be subsumed for a romance
  3. A pursued romance shouldn't fail only because the PC ends it; the NPC should be able to end it as well
  4. Each romance shouldn't end in the same place
  5. It is okay to have the PC make a choice to pursue a romance with a character that will never end well
  6. The game should react to the romance in a way that makes the romance meaningful as a choice/consequence regardless of the ultimate disposition of the romance
  7. All rules are mutable with the right idea and good writing.
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I REALLY CANNOT BELIEVE HOW THIS THREAD WENT FROM BEGGING FOR ROMANCE TO FIGHTING OVER LGBT RATIOS AND ACCEPTIBLE FREQUENCIES IN 1 DAY AFTER A VALENTINE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THESE ROMANCES.

 

 

WTF PEOPLE LOL.

HAHAHA

 

Does this really come as a surprise?

 

This is what happens when you introduce romance. 

Edited by Baramos
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I disagree; making the romance an explicit wish fulfillment is leading down the path of creating a feel good mini-game at the expense of your NPC. I think what needs to happen is that the game needs to allow the player to make a choice and have the game react to the consequences of that choice.

 

Yeah, wish fulfillment is pretty much the killer of good narratives. There already seem to be people celebrating that they'll "get to smooch Aloth" or something and I'm just scratching my head all confused cause those sorts of specifics haven't been confirmed anywhere? What if Aloth only wants to smooch someone other than the Watcher? :p I'm sure there's going to be plenty of entitled whining if any of the relationships don't pan out the way people are fantasizing.

 

Hopefully they'll make the system complex enough that it wont be easy to game. The concept of "Romance Guides" is pretty inherently silly, and mostly just seemed to ruin character roleplay immersion in Bioware games, where it wasn't unusual to see people talking about "How they imagined it actually went down" because the things needed to be said and done to keep the "romance" in play didn't jive with their vision for the character.

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I REALLY CANNOT BELIEVE HOW THIS THREAD WENT FROM BEGGING FOR ROMANCE TO FIGHTING OVER LGBT RATIOS AND ACCEPTIBLE FREQUENCIES IN 1 DAY AFTER A VALENTINE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THESE ROMANCES.

 

 

WTF PEOPLE LOL.

HAHAHA

 

Well, its frequently the response of players who do not wish to engage in this optional part of the game. Usually closely followed by "its stealing zotz from other parts of the game". Just wait and let it play out. :lol:

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I guess it's meant to give every player a chance to find a romance he/she might like. I agree that not each and every companion should be bisexual, but a couple of gay characters are more than welcomed. Was Maneha lesbian in PoE1? I think so. Was there a male gay companion? I don't know, maybe Aloth?

Maneha and Iselmyr were both into Pallegina. I don't know about any male companions being gay, but I felt like Edér had a bit of a crush on Iselmyr, which is a very non-standard pairing to say the least.

 

That is what I want, really. I don't care if a character is gay, straight, bisexual obsessively sexually oppressive against Xuarips, whatever as long as they are that way because it fits the character, not because the players need some fanservice. If you want feel-good minigames and pandering, go play a BioWare game - and if that's what you want, then it's not really an issue of representation either, is it? That's just "I want to get my jollies off too", and since hopefully that's not the point of PoE relationships there shouldn't be any issues.

 

Representation is a bit weird in PoE anyway - I think PoE has a lot more representation of pretty much everything, even if you don't immediately notice. In a lot of video games or media, it's easy it is to assume someone who doesn't state they're gay is straight. I felt PoE did a good job establishing this isn't true, even if not neccesarily every character wants to bone everyone else. Even if you ignore the many non-standard couples you can run into, PoE still tries to deal with it. I really like how PoE sortof got into themes of gender without getting overtly political.

 

I mean, look at Pallegina's legal gender status and the idea of female souls Awakening into male bodies, or one of the villains murdering his wife for being "defective" after an effectively stillborn child, etc. are all storylines with parts and statements that you could take with you regarding the stigmas of infertility and womanhood, transgendered people, etc. but they're also stories that fit elegantly in this fantasy universe that has magic and shapeshifting monsters and tangible souls. I feel like those are much more elegant fantasy stories about gender roles and representation than, say, forcing a transgender woman into a game where you find a belt of gender changing within the first act (lookin' at you Beamdog). The only downside is that the extreme left is too stupid to notice and they'll bitch and whine regardless (**** you tumblr), but that balances out with the fact that... the extreme right is too dumb to notice too and they won't (**** you 4chan).

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