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My problem with player sexual companions is that it means the character has no real character of their own; their personality and interests are sublimated to those of the PC. I'd rather a bisexual companion be bisexual because that's who they are, not because the player wants to sexxor them and happens to be one gender or another. That to my mind is treating the relationship as a reward to the player rather than a character based story arc that the player and the NPC are both a part of. YMMV, but I think it should be okay for the NPC to reject the player, and for the player to pursue a romantic relationship that is ill-advised (and will end badly).  The reward is the alternate character based content, not sex at the end of a dialogue string.

 

 

But that's not true unless you think Isabela, Fenris, Anders and Merrill had no character and interests? In which case maybe the issue is you equalizing their romance track with the rest of their character development. That said I agree about NPCs rejections though my personal preferences have always been for it to be based off choices made (because there's no reason Alistair should've slept with a slaving, homicidal maniac and yet he did with my femwarden.). If anything NPCs don't drop you nearly as often as they should because some of the player's choices blatantly contradict with their character arcs but its swept under the rug and ignored. I agree with you about the reward though but that's always been the reward sex scenes for me at least can be completely dropped. They tend to waste more resources than they're worth anyway. (looking at you ME:A where apparently the entire animation budget when to Jaal's and Cora's sex scenes).

 

(Wait unless you mean playersexual as someone who shows no interest in anyone *but* the player in which case that would need a very specific type of NPC for it to even work like a rescue romance or a childhood friend or something).

Edited by Ryz009

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I do think that Fenris, Anders and Merrill's character were hijacked for their romances because they weren't portrayed as natively bisexual (Isabella, as I recall, was established as bisexual; that said I honestly can't remember if Anders expressed anything one way or the other in DAO:A right now or not).  They were portrayed as being natively attracted to whoever the Champion was, which meant that an aspect of their character was left to the decision of the player, so that aspect was sublimated to the player rather than resulting from a character who is well fleshed out and whose own likes and interests align to how the player plays their character.  Just establish the character as bisexual if that's the route you want, as you find out more about them. 

 

I agree with you there should be more places to break a romance and it should be based on your actions.  It should be valid for an NPC to break up with you, for the romance to fail for more reasons than the player chose "nope not interested" in a dialogue tree, IMO.

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The problem with that as a comparison, IMO - and its a good point to make - is that isn't how its payed out in games (ie a soulmate kind of thing where the attraction is between to people regardless of anything else).  For example if NPC A and B were Single-Target Sexuality (thus appearing to the player to be player sexual), they should either come into conflict (because they both want the same thing) or they should agree to share a relationship (which, kind of happens I guess in the Jade Empire threesome, sorta).  But generally the game treats the players choice as an on-off switch for the NPC - ie they love the player if the Player wants them to and if the Player doesn't then they express no real romantic interest in the player beyond the first flirting to relationship decision point.  They can even express interest / pursue romances with other NPCs if they're not picked by the player, violating the single-target sexuality idea.

 

But I guess if a player sexual character was to work, it'd be as a single-target sexuality.

 

But it doesn't mean the characters will have no real character of their own. The devs certainly can make it that way (as with any other feature, really), but there is no law that states it is impossible to do it right (more or less, I guess).

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Pillars of Bugothas

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I do think that Fenris, Anders and Merrill's character were hijacked for their romances because they weren't portrayed as natively bisexual (Isabella, as I recall, was established as bisexual; that said I honestly can't remember if Anders expressed anything one way or the other in DAO:A right now or not).  They were portrayed as being natively attracted to whoever the Champion was, which meant that an aspect of their character was left to the decision of the player, so that aspect was sublimated to the player rather than resulting from a character who is well fleshed out and whose own likes and interests align to how the player plays their character.  Just establish the character as bisexual if that's the route you want, as you find out more about them. 

 

I agree with you there should be more places to break a romance and it should be based on your actions.  It should be valid for an NPC to break up with you, for the romance to fail for more reasons than the player chose "nope not interested" in a dialogue tree, IMO.

 

Pretty sure Gaider said he made Fenris' romance around his m/m version. Not to mention Fenris being more skittish around men is perfectly lore friendly. As for Merrill how isn't she portrayed as natively bisexual? She hardly shows interest in anyone because she's the naive virgin trope BW uses with Liara as well. Anders is the only one I could somewhat see because Karl only comes up if he's talking to a male character (which I really hated). Fenris always shows an attraction to Isabela and to be honest what male would he really have hit on in the group? Anders? He loathes him, Seb is straight and in the friendzone for Fenris, Varric is a no and Carver is a prat. Like a lot of my issue is how people seem to think if someone's not openly talking about who they're attracted to both genders they don't count as bisexual. There's a vast difference in something like Sky where his sexuality is literally hidden unless you do a certain path and someone like Fenris where his attraction to men doesn't come up because the only male he's attracted to is the protagonist. The only woman he shows interest in is Isabela (other than the PC) but he's not called Isabela sexual if you don't romance him.

 

Anders is really the only npc who's story changes based off your gender because of the removal of mentioning his relationship with Karl if you play a femHawke. Merrill's always pretty chaste, Fenris only flirts with Isabela (who flirts with him first), and Isabela is Isabela.

 

I also wish the players got more options to break up with an NPC as well (like when Morrigan tells my character he should sacrifice his family. What an automatic deal breaker).

Edited by Ryz009
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But it doesn't mean the characters will have no real character of their own. The devs certainly can make it that way (as with any other feature, really), but there is no law that states it is impossible to do it right (more or less, I guess).

 

So to my mind - rightly or wrongly - for an NPC character to be a true character in their own right, they have to actually have some consistent standard of behavior.  They can't have that if they're programmed to always like the player regardless of who the player is.  To my mind the playersexual NPC is part of the same problem of a good NPC having  a relationship with a known evil PC. You don't have a character, you have something that exists due to player's whim.  YMMV.

 

 

Pretty sure Gaider said he made Fenris' romance around his m/m version. Not to mention Fenris being more skittish around men is perfectly lore friendly. As for Merrill how isn't she portrayed as natively bisexual? She hardly shows interest in anyone because she's the naive virgin trope BW uses with Liara as well. Anders is the only one I could somewhat see because Karl only comes up if he's talking to a male character (which I really hated). Fenris always shows an attraction to Isabela and to be honest what male would he really have hit on in the group? Anders? He loathes him, Seb is straight and in the friendzone for Fenris, Varric is a no and Carver is a prat.

 

I also wish the players got more options to break up with an NPC as well (like when Morrigan tells my character he should sacrifice his family. What an automatic deal breaker).

 

I can't really say I followed DA2's development closely (bioware's changing boards was too much for me, so I just followed loosely the development), so you may be right about Fenris being built around the m/m romance. But to my mind, since you mention Fenris being attracted to Isabela - at no point in the game, if you show interest in Fenris, will he ever as a character choose Isabela over you (yes I know a real romance isn't written there, the principle remains, I think).  This means that Fenris' character is sublimated to the player's choice.  This makes him less of a character, to me.

 

Had he been written as bisexual natively, you could establish that he was attracted to the player and Isabela both and dealt with that as part of the romance, even including a point where - based on your actions - he chooses to not romance either of you or tries to start a romance with Isabela instead of you.  It'd be a deeper investment into his character.

 

But this is a subset problem, in general, because almost all characters are written as playersexual to greater or lesser degrees at the moment (unless they're NOT romance options).  One of the greatest things DA2 did IMO was to allow you to flirt - and fail - with Avelline, to be honest.  It made her character feel stronger to me than any of the others because it made her characterization consistent.

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But it doesn't mean the characters will have no real character of their own. The devs certainly can make it that way (as with any other feature, really), but there is no law that states it is impossible to do it right (more or less, I guess).

 

So to my mind - rightly or wrongly - for an NPC character to be a true character in their own right, they have to actually have some consistent standard of behavior.  They can't have that if they're programmed to always like the player regardless of who the player is.  To my mind the playersexual NPC is part of the same problem of a good NPC having  a relationship with a known evil PC. You don't have a character, you have something that exists due to player's whim.  YMMV.

 

 

Pretty sure Gaider said he made Fenris' romance around his m/m version. Not to mention Fenris being more skittish around men is perfectly lore friendly. As for Merrill how isn't she portrayed as natively bisexual? She hardly shows interest in anyone because she's the naive virgin trope BW uses with Liara as well. Anders is the only one I could somewhat see because Karl only comes up if he's talking to a male character (which I really hated). Fenris always shows an attraction to Isabela and to be honest what male would he really have hit on in the group? Anders? He loathes him, Seb is straight and in the friendzone for Fenris, Varric is a no and Carver is a prat.

 

I also wish the players got more options to break up with an NPC as well (like when Morrigan tells my character he should sacrifice his family. What an automatic deal breaker).

 

I can't really say I followed DA2's development closely (bioware's changing boards was too much for me, so I just followed loosely the development), so you may be right about Fenris being built around the m/m romance. But to my mind, since you mention Fenris being attracted to Isabela - at no point in the game, if you show interest in Fenris, will he ever as a character choose Isabela over you (yes I know a real romance isn't written there, the principle remains, I think).  This means that Fenris' character is sublimated to the player's choice.  This makes him less of a character, to me.

 

Had he been written as bisexual natively, you could establish that he was attracted to the player and Isabela both and dealt with that as part of the romance, even including a point where - based on your actions - he chooses to not romance either of you or tries to start a romance with Isabela instead of you.  It'd be a deeper investment into his character.

 

But this is a subset problem, in general, because almost all characters are written as playersexual to greater or lesser degrees at the moment (unless they're NOT romance options).  One of the greatest things DA2 did IMO was to allow you to flirt - and fail - with Avelline, to be honest.  It made her character feel stronger to me than any of the others because it made her characterization consistent.

 

 

Did you play the Fenris romance? Because you really come across as if you haven't played it. Saying Fenris is sublimated to the player's choice when he doesn't pick Isabela over the protagonist is ridiculous. The only thing he's doing with Isabela when his relationship with the player starts is her flirting with him and him awkwardly returning it. There's no principal to be made because him getting with Isabela is done after the window to romance him is closed. There's never a choice between Isabela or the player because he romances them at different points in the story. if you played the romance you'd know Fenris doesn't even sleep with Isabela until act 3. Well after his relationship with the player has been established.

 

Like what on earth are you even talking about? You'd been better off using Bull and Dorian instead of Fenris and Isabela for that kind of thing. Fenris relationship has no competitiveness with Isabela because his romance is structured in such a way that the two don't intersect (for good reason given Fenris' reaction to you sleeping with him).

 

Well Aveline was great but she was interested in Donnic (so much so that if you don't get them together she ends up bitter as hell).

Edited by Ryz009

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Well Aveline was great but she was interested in Donnic (so much so that if you don't get them together she ends up bitter as hell).

 

 

She turned me down before she ever discovered Donnic. I recall thinking that she was so much cooler than Hawke that she should have been the real hero of DA2.

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Well Aveline was great but she was interested in Donnic (so much so that if you don't get them together she ends up bitter as hell).

 

 

She turned me down before she ever discovered Donnic. I recall thinking that she was so much cooler than Hawke that she should have been the real hero of DA2.

 

 

Eh she's cool and all but I'd take snarky Hawke over her any day. That said rivaling her and getting that salt mine is beautiful.

 

That said I probably got the rejection dialogue too late. I only flirted with her once in act 2 on my hits on everything that moved Hawke XD

Edited by Ryz009

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Did you play the Fenris romance? Because you really come across as if you haven't played it. Saying Fenris is sublimated to the player's choice when he doesn't pick Isabela over the protagonist is ridiculous. The only thing he's doing with Isabela when his relationship with the player starts is her flirting with him and him awkwardly returning it. There's nothing no principal to be made because him getting with Isabela is done after the window to romance him is closed. There's never a choice between Isabela or the player because he romances them at different points in the story. if you played the romance you'd know Fenris doesn't even sleep with Isabela until act 3. Well after his relationship with the player has been established.

 

LIke what on earth are you even talking about? You'd been better off using Bull and Dorian instead of Fenris and Isabela for that kind of thing. Fenris relationship has no competitiveness with Isabela because his romance is structured in such a way that the two don't intersect (for good reason given Fenris' reaction to you sleeping with him).

 

Well Aveline was great but she was interested in Donnic (so much so that if you don't get them together she ends up bitter as hell).

 

I did play the Fenris romance (I played all of them because I liked DA2 an awful lot despite its flaws). That was a long time ago; I also wasn't trying to argue what happened so much as use Fenris-Isabela-Player to illustrate the problem I see rather than talk about what actually happened in the game specifically (other than going from memory that Fenris doesn't go after Isabela if the Player goes after Fenris).

 

But you are probably right in that the episodic nature of DA2 (jumping it time several times) makes any of the characters a poor example since so much of the development can be left to the time gaps. 

 

RE: Aveline what I liked was that you could try, even though it was obviously doomed.  I appreciated that they let the player fail rather than succeed in wooing her from Donnic. 

 

 

Well Aveline was great but she was interested in Donnic (so much so that if you don't get them together she ends up bitter as hell).

 

She turned me down before she ever discovered Donnic. I recall thinking that she was so much cooler than Hawke that she should have been the real hero of DA2.

 

 

I don't recall her turning me down so much as being oblivious whenever it was brought up.

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I did play the Fenris romance (I played all of them because I liked DA2 an awful lot despite its flaws). That was a long time ago; I also wasn't trying to argue what happened so much as use Fenris-Isabela-Player to illustrate the problem I see rather than talk about what actually happened in the game specifically (other than going from memory that Fenris doesn't go after Isabela if the Player goes after Fenris).

 

But you are probably right in that the episodic nature of DA2 (jumping it time several times) makes any of the characters a poor example since so much of the development can be left to the time gaps. 

 

RE: Aveline what I liked was that you could try, even though it was obviously doomed.  I appreciated that they let the player fail rather than succeed in wooing her from Donnic

 

 

Yeah my thing is using that as playersexual because he doesn't go for Isablea until after is odd because at there's no point int he game in which the player/Isabela are both options for Fenris. Fenris doesn't start a relationship with Isabea in act 2 because to be frank he wasn't in the mental space where he could have casual sex without turning super clingy like he does in Hawke's romance. It's not like Fenris and Isabela start a relationship then the PC drags him away.  It's the same thing with Bull and Dorian (with Bull having a reason to prioritize the PC considering he's a spy). I mean I guess there could be a love triangle but that doesn't happen even with the straight LIs unless the PC initiates it so trying to claim that's a playersexual flaw when it's merely a protagonist being a romance option flaw loses me. Leliana expresses attractiveness to Alistair (and even gets with him in a dlc where the player's dead) but you don't have to compete with the one of them for the other's affection. Plus I'm not inclined to fight with an NPC over an LI anyway stinks too much of second best.

 

Probably same thing will occur in deadfire regardless of sexuality if they're a player option.

 

Oh agreed. I also love how Vivienne always turns you down and her rejection changes based off how much she likes you. She's rather sweet about it if her approval is high and the shade she gives if her approval is low is beautiful.

Edited by Ryz009

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I'm probably explaining it poorly, but let me try it this way--

We know that at some point, Fenris can become interested in Isabela. Granted some of that development happens off-screen.  Now the player they can be the opposite of Isabela in personality, temperment, interests and still interest Fenris. So with respect to the Player, Fenris has no standards. He's playersexual.

 

This mean that Fenris doesn't really have a character based interest in the player, the player subsumes his character under their will. To be honest this can even be applied to the single sex and/or single race romances as well, its just got a gender/race based condition on it but the essence of the romance being solely the player's choice, not an element of character remains.

 

What I'd like to see would be an advancement of criteria; if a Fenris-like character has an established interest in an Isabela-like character in the game, this should be based on the interests and attractions of the Fenris-like character; then if the player also does or says things that match this interest, then the player also can meet the interest of the Fenris-like character. 

 

That doesn't necessarily mean gender for bisexual character, but perhaps expressing dialogue choices/worldview that are similar or consistant (to attract) or too dissimilar or inconsistant (to not attract).  That would make the Fenris-like character's pursuit/acceptance/continuation of a romance with the player seem to be more a part of his character and not the PC clicking the right dialogue option to go forward or deny the romance per their will.  It'd also (theoretically if implemented correctly) cut off the Fenris-like NPC from flirting with everyone, by narrowing down who they flirt with to a consistent personality design ("I know you just slaughtered all of the puppies in town, and I'm the puppy avenger, but since you've deigned to talk to me, I find you really hot right now >...")

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I'm probably explaining it poorly, but let me try it this way--

 

We know that at some point, Fenris can become interested in Isabela. Granted some of that development happens off-screen.  Now the player they can be the opposite of Isabela in personality, temperment, interests and still interest Fenris. So with respect to the Player, Fenris has no standards. He's playersexual.

 

This mean that Fenris doesn't really have a character based interest in the player, the player subsumes his character under their will. To be honest this can even be applied to the single sex and/or single race romances as well, its just got a gender/race based condition on it but the essence of the romance being solely the player's choice, not an element of character remains.

 

What I'd like to see would be an advancement of criteria; if a Fenris-like character has an established interest in an Isabela-like character in the game, this should be based on the interests and attractions of the Fenris-like character; then if the player also does or says things that match this interest, then the player also can meet the interest of the Fenris-like character. 

 

That doesn't necessarily mean gender for bisexual character, but perhaps expressing dialogue choices/worldview that are similar or consistant (to attract) or too dissimilar or inconsistant (to not attract).  That would make the Fenris-like character's pursuit/acceptance/continuation of a romance with the player seem to be more a part of his character and not the PC clicking the right dialogue option to go forward or deny the romance per their will.  It'd also (theoretically if implemented correctly) cut off the Fenris-like NPC from flirting with everyone, by narrowing down who they flirt with to a consistent personality design ("I know you just slaughtered all of the puppies in town, and I'm the puppy avenger, but since you've deigned to talk to me, I find you really hot right now <<charname>>...")

 

He's not though. There's a clear reason why he falls for Hawke. He/she saved him. It's not healthy at all (which I love about it) and he admits he still has a slave mentality. It's a pretty messed up relationship in a way but it works for them. His romance with Isabela meanwhile is more based off two equals which is also why it starts later when he's emotionally on his feet and somewhat stable. However he feels extremely indebted to Hawke (even a rivalry Hawke) and relies on them for protection.

 

Again his interest is tied in with his characterization. It's why Hawke gets away with things the other characters don't with Fenris. Fenris is a *awful* example for you to use because his character perfectly justifies him clinging to Hawke regardless of friendship/rivalry. "He's still looking for someone to follow. I recognize that urge." You'd be better off using Merrill still getting with a rival Hawke who steals the dagger than Fenris.

 

Fenris really doesn't work for this scenario. Neither does Anders for similar reasons. I'm going to replace that with Merrill because even Anders has a reason for getting with a Templar supporting Hawke (he's insane, clingy and using Hawke for protection). Hawke's relationships are actually pretty messed up when you think about them (except friendship Merrill).

 

That said people often have more than one type of person they're attracted to. As long as the PC doesn't blatantly conflict with the NPCs views it shouldn't be an issue for a romance to start. As long as they have something in common as well. So I don't agree the PC should have to act exactly like another NPC they're interested in. Merely do things the companion approves of and don't do things the NPC blatantly disapproves of (like it shouldn't be minus approval it should be an automatic closing of the romance path to do certain things).

 

Merrill and  Isabela rivalrymances are questionable in their relationships with Hawke. Isabela cause she finds Hawke a complete bore (and says this several times) and unlike the others she has no problem walking away from someone, and Merrill because she's not quite as clingy and doesn't put up with Hawke's nonsense.

 

But if you mean NPCs being more selective about the player I agree that should be the case. Alistair marrying my slavery warden was absurd. That said of course we don't have to worry about them flirting with everyone because devs already have NPCs only hit on select people they'd just apply that to certain character types as well so we can agree on that.

 

But yeah Fenris and Anders not being overly selective about Hawke was character friendly for them. The things they would've dumped Hawke over weren't optional choices. You always look out for them regardless of friendship/rivalry status and the only way not to meet their requirements is literally not to do their quests in which case Fenris for one will ditch you if you refuse to do his act 2 quest and you can't skip Anders act 1 quest. Not to mention their romances can't be completed by skipping said quests.

Edited by Ryz009

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Amentep basically taking the words out of my mouth except for actually liking DA2. Enough power fantasy, give me conflict.

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I do think that Fenris, Anders and Merrill's character were hijacked for their romances because they weren't portrayed as natively bisexual (Isabella, as I recall, was established as bisexual; that said I honestly can't remember if Anders expressed anything one way or the other in DAO:A right now or not).  They were portrayed as being natively attracted to whoever the Champion was, which meant that an aspect of their character was left to the decision of the player, so that aspect was sublimated to the player rather than resulting from a character who is well fleshed out and whose own likes and interests align to how the player plays their character.  Just establish the character as bisexual if that's the route you want, as you find out more about them. 

 

I agree with you there should be more places to break a romance and it should be based on your actions.  It should be valid for an NPC to break up with you, for the romance to fail for more reasons than the player chose "nope not interested" in a dialogue tree, IMO.

I don't know about Merrill, but Anders shows clear interest in women in DA:A and it's strongly implied he was involved with that dude that got turned tranquil he tried to rescue in the Chantry. Regardless, I don't think it is necessary for a character to talk about their interest in both or any gender to be bi and not be considered player-sexual, especially in a world where being gay/bi isn't very accepted. I think the whole being attracted regardless of personality is something separate which is everywhere for some reason. Probably because they don't want to lock people out of content, idk. That is what I would consider the true player-sexual component. It would be nice if Deadfire addressed it but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't.

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the problems with romances is fundamental

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/50526-new-dragon-age-discussion-thread/?p=880294

 

same issues as a decade ago, and if we had access to older boards you would find almost identical posts from Gromnir contemporaneous with bg2 release. optional and tangential is the insurmountable flaws.

 

...

 

'course am gonna suggest the true death knell o' crpg romance for Gromnir were the numerous and ardent bethany hawke promancers.

 

*shudder*

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps fwiiw am recalling david gaider actual contributed to the thread we link above.  might need skip a few pages if you are curious 'bout rylock posts.  am also recalling josh as having made colorful observations in the linked thread 'bout what he thought o' crpg romances to date.  such comments will be worth reposting following deadfire if we don't see complete different level o' quality from what he were seeing in 2008.

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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@Elarie

No I think it's exactly the same thing. Not wanting to lock people out of content and wanting to make sure the player has a buffet of waifu and husbando tropes available to every possible taste. Bioware companions are usually pretty faithful implementations of tropes. This is because on the sometimes conflicting goals of "tell a good story" vs. "directly make the consumer happy" they err on the side of the latter.

Edited by The Sharmat

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To be honest when it comes to RPGs like Pillars I rather there be only like 2 or 1 LIs. I have visual novels for my gauntlet of romance options honestly. :p

 

(also before it even starts dating sims and visual novels are not the same. Some dating sims are visual novels but not all visual novels are dating sims.)

Edited by Ryz009

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clarification:  we actual checked and josh comments 'bout romance in the particular thread were 'bout possible romance contest submissions.  mr. sawyer's derisive comments 'bout the state o' crpg romance will need be mined elsewhere as they do exist, but not in the thread linked.  apologies.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I'm probably explaining it poorly, but let me try it this way--

 

We know that at some point, Fenris can become interested in Isabela. Granted some of that development happens off-screen.  Now the player they can be the opposite of Isabela in personality, temperment, interests and still interest Fenris. So with respect to the Player, Fenris has no standards. He's playersexual.

 

I don't see any problem in that. I can imagine that someone can fall in love with two very different people for very different reasons.

 

Fenris may very well like Isabela for some complete different reasons than the reasons for liking Hawke. And actually that makes it interesting to me. Because he doesn't have that one type. There are so many people who would reject someone because they are not their type that I find it refreshing to meet someone who'd be more open minded.

 

Also what do you think of people who simply refuse to label their sexuality? Is their character any less complete? What if someone simply doesn't want to call themselves bisexual or gay or hetero or asexual or whatever (independently from what their sexuality actually is). What if they simply don't want to label it? Does only make a fixed label, that they openly declare, their character worthy?

Edited by Fluffle
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I don't think not wanting to lock people out of content is a necessarily a good excuse; I'd say its an argument for having only a single relationship path if you don't have the resources to create a viable and interesting character whether the player romances the NPC or not; its like saying "We don't want to have an evil path, because it'll lock good path players out of content" instead of "we don't have an evil path because we don't have the resources to do it" and maybe only marginally better than "our evil path is the good path, but everyone is more frowny when you are evil".

 

 

 

I'm probably explaining it poorly, but let me try it this way--

We know that at some point, Fenris can become interested in Isabela. Granted some of that development happens off-screen.  Now the player they can be the opposite of Isabela in personality, temperment, interests and still interest Fenris. So with respect to the Player, Fenris has no standards. He's playersexual.

 

I don't see any problem in that. I can imagine that someone can fall in love with two very different people for very different reasons.

Fenris may very well like Isabela for some complete different reasons than the reasons for liking Hawke. And actually that makes it interesting to me. Because he doesn't have that one type. There are so many people who would reject someone because they are not their type that I find it refreshing to meet someone who'd be more open minded.

Also what do you think of people who simply refuse to label their sexuality? Is their character any less complete? What if someone simply doesn't want to call themselves bisexual or gay or hetero or asexual or whatever (independently from what their sexuality actually is). What if they simply don't want to label it? Does only make a fixed label, that they openly declare, their character worthy?

 

 

Yes people can have more than one type, my point is that an NPC liking the player regardless of who the player is or what the player does is having no type. The character is no longer a character but a sock puppet for the whims of the player.  And I find that to be an unfortunate thing.

 

Moving away from specific characters, because I seem to not be able to get across my point well that way, If NPC A likes NPC B because she's a free spirit, then liking the PC because he has expressed free-spiritedness can work.  Liking the PC because he helped free NPC A from slavery also works if you're going for the relationship blooming from that start.

 

It doesn't work as much if the PC is a slaver and NPC A ignores it; it violates the established NPC A liking free-spiritedness and it also violates the idea of the NPC falling for the PC for freeing them from bondage.  At that point NPC A isn't a character anymore because whatever has been established about NPC A is thrown aside in favor of having the player get the relationship dialogue from NPC A simply because the player wants it.

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Moving away from specific characters, because I seem to not be able to get across my point well that way, If NPC A likes NPC B because she's a free spirit, then liking the PC because he has expressed free-spiritedness can work.  Liking the PC because he helped free NPC A from slavery also works if you're going for the relationship blooming from that start.

 

It doesn't work as much if the PC is a slaver and NPC A ignores it; it violates the established NPC A liking free-spiritedness and it also violates the idea of the NPC falling for the PC for freeing them from bondage.  At that point NPC A isn't a character anymore because whatever has been established about NPC A is thrown aside in favor of having the player get the relationship dialogue from NPC A simply because the player wants it.

 

That's actually good and I think I can understand this. But now I would like to know in which way does this apply to Fenris?

 

It's been quite a long while since I last played Dragon Age 2. If Hawke is really pro slavery and Fenris falls for him nevertheless, then yes I would see your point.

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I don't think not wanting to lock people out of content is a necessarily a good excuse; I'd say its an argument for having only a single relationship path if you don't have the resources to create a viable and interesting character whether the player romances the NPC or not; its like saying "We don't want to have an evil path, because it'll lock good path players out of content" instead of "we don't have an evil path because we don't have the resources to do it" and maybe only marginally better than "our evil path is the good path, but everyone is more frowny when you are evil".

 

 

 

I'm probably explaining it poorly, but let me try it this way--

 

We know that at some point, Fenris can become interested in Isabela. Granted some of that development happens off-screen.  Now the player they can be the opposite of Isabela in personality, temperment, interests and still interest Fenris. So with respect to the Player, Fenris has no standards. He's playersexual.

 

I don't see any problem in that. I can imagine that someone can fall in love with two very different people for very different reasons.

 

Fenris may very well like Isabela for some complete different reasons than the reasons for liking Hawke. And actually that makes it interesting to me. Because he doesn't have that one type. There are so many people who would reject someone because they are not their type that I find it refreshing to meet someone who'd be more open minded.

 

Also what do you think of people who simply refuse to label their sexuality? Is their character any less complete? What if someone simply doesn't want to call themselves bisexual or gay or hetero or asexual or whatever (independently from what their sexuality actually is). What if they simply don't want to label it? Does only make a fixed label, that they openly declare, their character worthy?

 

 

Yes people can have more than one type, my point is that an NPC liking the player regardless of who the player is or what the player does is having no type. The character is no longer a character but a sock puppet for the whims of the player.  And I find that to be an unfortunate thing.

 

Moving away from specific characters, because I seem to not be able to get across my point well that way, If NPC A likes NPC B because she's a free spirit, then liking the PC because he has expressed free-spiritedness can work.  Liking the PC because he helped free NPC A from slavery also works if you're going for the relationship blooming from that start.

 

It doesn't work as much if the PC is a slaver and NPC A ignores it; it violates the established NPC A liking free-spiritedness and it also violates the idea of the NPC falling for the PC for freeing them from bondage.  At that point NPC A isn't a character anymore because whatever has been established about NPC A is thrown aside in favor of having the player get the relationship dialogue from NPC A simply because the player wants it.

 

But that's not really how attraction works though? I'm willing to stake my life on you being able to point to 3 people that are pretty different that you're currently attracted to. Most people's types aren't that structured. Now there's deal breakers (If you're a dog person someone who hates dogs is just no) of course but when it comes to who you're attracted to a lot of people have a good selection. Being rigid in who you're attracted to is a good way to end up with few to no options. Of course this doesn't mean you're going to throw yourself at anyone who even smiles at you. And I get your someone who's pro freedom would drop someone who's pro-slavery (of course there's context in which this would work like with Fenris or Anders but for the most part you should get dumped like a hot potato and they should attempt to attack you or leave the party). (Also for this we're ignoring that the PC often has set attributes that all versions of the PC meet. Even a custom character often has a predefined base to work with) and I do support that.

 

Deal breakers I get. Saying someone's not a free spirit therefore someone wouldn't be attracted to them is kind of miss for me though. Just because you like something about a partner doesn't mean you require it on all your partners. For the most part the things they have to have in common are usually solved through things like approval/disapproval. (provided the game doesn't allow you to bribe them with gifts).

 

 

 

Moving away from specific characters, because I seem to not be able to get across my point well that way, If NPC A likes NPC B because she's a free spirit, then liking the PC because he has expressed free-spiritedness can work.  Liking the PC because he helped free NPC A from slavery also works if you're going for the relationship blooming from that start.

 

It doesn't work as much if the PC is a slaver and NPC A ignores it; it violates the established NPC A liking free-spiritedness and it also violates the idea of the NPC falling for the PC for freeing them from bondage.  At that point NPC A isn't a character anymore because whatever has been established about NPC A is thrown aside in favor of having the player get the relationship dialogue from NPC A simply because the player wants it.

 

That's actually good and I think I can understand this. But now I would like to know in which way does this apply to Fenris?

 

It's been quite a long while since I last played Dragon Age 2. If Hawke is really pro slavery and Fenris falls for him nevertheless, then yes I would see your point.

 

 

The funny thing is Isabela actually was a slaver. :p

Edited by Ryz009
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Actually Dragon Age 2 does try to consider that you can fall in love with people who you'd normally not like. With the "rivalmance system". You can be pro mage and Fenris can still fall in love with you.

Because being pro mage would be only one aspect about Hawke. Fenris might like Hawke very well for other reasons.

 

In the end Fenris can even choose to fight beside Hake to protect the mages. I don't think that this makes his character weak or spineless at all. I love it how Fenris can transition from a mage hater to someone who fights to protect them.

 

And in my eyes, it takes a lot of character if you manage to turn from hatred to offering protection to those you used to hate.

 

Romance systems will probably always suffer from some flaws and especially oversimplification. But I really appreciated the rivalmance feature in Dragon Age 2 for what it tried to do.

It showed that you can become friends and even lovers despite differences.

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Or what if they had the romance angle but kept the big conflict. Wait no, that's dumb. Doomed romance as a theme could never work in a story.

 

Back to being a therapist that fixes my companions' personality until they reward me with sex. We'll bang, ok.

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Moving away from specific characters, because I seem to not be able to get across my point well that way, If NPC A likes NPC B because she's a free spirit, then liking the PC because he has expressed free-spiritedness can work.  Liking the PC because he helped free NPC A from slavery also works if you're going for the relationship blooming from that start.

 

It doesn't work as much if the PC is a slaver and NPC A ignores it; it violates the established NPC A liking free-spiritedness and it also violates the idea of the NPC falling for the PC for freeing them from bondage.  At that point NPC A isn't a character anymore because whatever has been established about NPC A is thrown aside in favor of having the player get the relationship dialogue from NPC A simply because the player wants it.

 

That's actually good and I think I can understand this. But now I would like to know in which way does this apply to Fenris?

 

It's been quite a long while since I last played Dragon Age 2. If Hawke is really pro slavery and Fenris falls for him nevertheless, then yes I would see your point.

 

 

It doesn't apply to Fenris, I was trying to make a general example using characters that existed and the analogy went splat like trying to toss pizza dough does when you're trying to toss pizza dough the first time.

 

So to sum up, I was trying to talk in general terms, not about Fenris-Isabela-Hawke specifically as they existed in DA2.  And I'm crap at explaining things.

 

But that's not really how attraction works though? I'm willing to stake my life on you being able to point to 3 people that are pretty different that you're currently attracted to. Most people's types aren't that structured. Now there's deal breakers (If you're a dog person someone who hates dogs is just no) of course but when it comes to who you're attracted to a lot of people have a good selection. Being rigid in who you're attracted to is a good way to end up with few to no options. Of course this doesn't mean you're going to throw yourself at anyone who even smiles at you. And I get your someone who's pro freedom would drop someone who's pro-slavery (of course there's context in which this would work like with Fenris or Anders but for the most part you should get dumped like a hot potato and they should attempt to attack you or leave the party). (Also for this we're ignoring that the PC often has set attributes that all versions of the PC meet. Even a custom character often has a predefined base to work with) and I do support that.

 

Deal breakers I get. Saying someone's not a free spirit therefore someone wouldn't be attracted to them is kind of miss for me though. Just because you like something about a partner doesn't mean you require it on all your partners. For the most part the things they have to have in common are usually solved through things like approval/disapproval. (provided the game doesn't allow you to bribe them with gifts).

 

So my analogy is more about relationships being a two way street.  I may be attracted to A, B, and C.  But A is attracted to 1 and 2, B is attracted to 3 & 4, and C is attracted to 5 and me.  Then the only possible relationship I'm getting at that time at least and maybe if things work out, is with C.

 

But with video games, if the PC is attracted to A, B, and C then A, B, and C rarely have a choice as whether they are attracted to the PC from a character standpoint outside some rather broad gatekeepers (gender and race, sometimes).  They lack definition in that part of their character that can create a rather large disconnect between who they say they are on the page and how they actually act.

 

Let me use this as another example.  PC has begun a romance with NPC42.  NPC42 keeps dying in combat and has to be resurrected (or gets knocked out and awakened after combat depending on your system).  Why is NPC42 still following the PC, much less in a romance with them?  Currently the way romances are handled NPC42 would never break the romance off because the PC kept putting them in vulnerable, unprotected positions in combat.  But shouldn't they?

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