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[Spoiler] A Tale of Two Sympathies


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This comment is about a plot point that may not even be in the final version and I haven't finished (not sure I can) so the quest may end better than it starts. Reader discretion advised.

 

The islander story of a people traumatized by colonization seemed like a bold choice for a game especially with almost no allegorical camoflague. However particularly if you are a Cipher, and even a bit if you are not, ithere is a cheap they-sort-of-do-it-too twist. On top of that is seems like you're stuck with a choice of being an :excl: or being an :excl:. Just later.

 

It's hard to get a sense of a game with graphics missing (You have gained: A White Box with an X on It), incomplete music and without your companions but as it stands I am less excited. The water is wonderful, especially by the shore, but I'm dreading it a little if I'm honest.

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Are you datamining or something? If so, could you please be a bit more specific with the spoiler warning? I'd rather not stumble upon main-game stuff, especially if it's fragmented or incomplete.

 

You seem to be complaining that the spoiler reveals to much information and too little, and that you accidentally read a comment in the spoiler section, that had the word "spoiler" in the title, and an additional warning sentence describing exactly which kind of spoiler was going to be discussed.

 

Only a non-sentient program could post into this particular thread and have that particular reaction because, of course, they cannot actually read. So: are you being ironic and deeply meta with the data-mining reference or have I completely misunderstood what you are trying to say?

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I think he just doesn't know what you are talking about, just as I don't. Every quest in the beta is completable. 

I have over 30 hours in beta, completed it multipletimes with various characters, including Cipher, and I can't figure out whenever you talk about beta's critical path quest (calming the storm) or a stolen fruit one. 

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This comment is about a plot point that may not even be in the final version and I haven't finished (not sure I can) so the quest may end better than it starts. Reader discretion advised.

 

The islander story of a people traumatized by colonization seemed like a bold choice for a game especially with almost no allegorical camoflague. However particularly if you are a Cipher, and even a bit if you are not, ithere is a cheap they-sort-of-do-it-too twist. On top of that is seems like you're stuck with a choice of being an :excl: or being an :excl:. Just later.

 

It's hard to get a sense of a game with graphics missing (You have gained: A White Box with an X on It), incomplete music and without your companions but as it stands I am less excited. The water is wonderful, especially by the shore, but I'm dreading it a little if I'm honest.

 

Your post is extremely vague. I'm not sure if we can have a dicussion if we don't know what you're talking about.

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I mean the stolen fruit. I'm at the point when you as a Cipher ask an islander how they would feel if they were treated a certain way; a way they obviously know everything there is to know about.

 

The comment is about that specific plot point. The stretch to create a really horrible equivalence. Not whether the quest is compleatable in a technical sense. If you finished it and it ends better than it started that is what I really wanted to know.

 

 

I think he just doesn't know what you are talking about, just as I don't. Every quest in the beta is completable. 

I have over 30 hours in beta, completed it multipletimes with various characters, including Cipher, and I can't figure out whenever you talk about beta's critical path quest (calming the storm) or a stolen fruit one. 

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There is no way for a "good" ending of that quest. Actually, what bothers me is that you have to give the fruit back and the only choice is to accuse someone falsy "for the greater good" or to catch the real thief. 

What bothers me is why there is not option to leave the fruit with the guy who stole it and just leave things be.

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Can't speak to that at all. I haven't found the fruit so I can't appreciate why your character would leave the guy bound and being threatened with death for something he didn't do. Maybe he really is a horrible person or you are playing a character that doesn't care about that kind of thing.

 

But I realized as I was writing this I meant the Brood Mother quest. Not the fruit. You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that?

 

There is no way for a "good" ending of that quest. Actually, what bothers me is that you have to give the fruit back and the only choice is to accuse someone falsy "for the greater good" or to catch the real thief. 

What bothers me is why there is not option to leave the fruit with the guy who stole it and just leave things be.

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There is no way for a "good" ending of that quest. Actually, what bothers me is that you have to give the fruit back and the only choice is to accuse someone falsy "for the greater good" or to catch the real thief. 

 

What bothers me is why there is not option to leave the fruit with the guy who stole it and just leave things be.

 

Yes there is, on my playthrough while yes I needed to give the fruit back, I managed to get them to let the prisoner free and not reveal the identity of the thief. I consider that a pretty good ending, actually.

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You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that?

That's a bold statement. Being a victim of one thing does not absolve you of being the oppressor in another. *Especially* if you are perpetuating the same or similar offense.

 

Edited by Veevoir
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Can't speak to that at all. I haven't found the fruit so I can't appreciate why your character would leave the guy bound and being threatened with death for something he didn't do. Maybe he really is a horrible person or you are playing a character that doesn't care about that kind of thing.

 

But I realized as I was writing this I meant the Brood Mother quest. Not the fruit. You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that

 

 

Talking animals?

 

1) They talk.

 

2) They create and use tools and clothing.

 

3) They use sophisticated hunting methods involving traps.

 

4) They decorate themselves with crafted jewelry.

 

5) The broodmother literally begs you to rescue her children from imprisonment

 

They are not animals. They are a stone-age culture that is physiologically limited in it's ability to communicate with other species.

Edited by Katarack21
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Can't speak to that at all. I haven't found the fruit so I can't appreciate why your character would leave the guy bound and being threatened with death for something he didn't do. Maybe he really is a horrible person or you are playing a character that doesn't care about that kind of thing.

 

But I realized as I was writing this I meant the Brood Mother quest. Not the fruit. You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that

 

 

Talking animals?

 

1) They talk.

 

2) They create and use tools and clothing.

 

3) They use sophisticated hunting methods involving traps.

 

4) They decorate themselves with crafted jewelry.

 

5) The broodmother literally begs you to rescue her children from imprisonment

 

They are not animals. They are a stone-age culture that is physiologically limited in it's ability to communicate with other species.

 

So pretty much the same islanders are to Vallians :)

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Can't speak to that at all. I haven't found the fruit so I can't appreciate why your character would leave the guy bound and being threatened with death for something he didn't do. Maybe he really is a horrible person or you are playing a character that doesn't care about that kind of thing.

 

But I realized as I was writing this I meant the Brood Mother quest. Not the fruit. You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that

 

 

Talking animals?

 

1) They talk.

 

2) They create and use tools and clothing.

 

3) They use sophisticated hunting methods involving traps.

 

4) They decorate themselves with crafted jewelry.

 

5) The broodmother literally begs you to rescue her children from imprisonment

 

They are not animals. They are a stone-age culture that is physiologically limited in it's ability to communicate with other species.

 

So pretty much the same islanders are to Vallians :)

 

Exactly. Except as far as I know, the Vallians don't *eat* the Huana.

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Yes there is, on my playthrough while yes I needed to give the fruit back, I managed to get them to let the prisoner free and not reveal the identity of the thief. I consider that a pretty good ending, actually.

You are still taking away fruit which the farmer was saving to prevent starvation in the future.

 

But I realized as I was writing this I meant the Brood Mother quest. Not the fruit. You as a Cipher ask the woman islander how she would like it if she was treated the way they are treating the animals. They actually have been, as you have learned from others in the tribe.The setup of your character preaching to a victimized people about how they are treating talking animals is problematic in so many ways. It's like they started exploring the topic but then didn't want the victims to seem that sympathetic and went so wrong. Is there a good ending for that?

 

In PoE obvious answers aren’t always the right ones. This one won’t change her mind as it was Lagufaeth’s that sparkled her hatred toward them, so this line of argumentation won’t convince her. There are couple other ways to change her mind, and if that won’t work there is always stealth + lockoicking or pickpocketing.

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The problem isn't that we shouldn't think what is happening to the animals is better than what's happening to the natives, it's that the animals and their treatment was created in the first place. The devs *chose* to make quest equating the oppression of a native population -- something with real-world (and still-ongoing) parallels -- to something both fantastical and infinitely smaller in scale. It is very explicitly both-sidesing *colonialism* of all things, and that deserves to be called out. Especially when colonialism is as central to a game's conceit as it is in Deadfire.

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The problem isn't that we shouldn't think what is happening to the animals is better than what's happening to the natives, it's that the animals and their treatment was created in the first place. The devs *chose* to make quest equating the oppression of a native population -- something with real-world (and still-ongoing) parallels -- to something both fantastical and infinitely smaller in scale. It is very explicitly both-sidesing *colonialism* of all things, and that deserves to be called out. Especially when colonialism is as central to a game's conceit as it is in Deadfire.

 

The devs have *explicitly* made it clear several times now that the Huana are not the "good guys" in this game. Their is no "side with the good gentle natives who are being terribly exploited by the evil colonialists" storyline here. If that's what you're expecting, then you *will* be disappointed.

 

The Vaillians are not evil oppressors. The Huana are not an exploited group of innocents. Things are much more complex then that, as they often are in the real world.

 

The game is basically being built around "bothsidsing" in the sense that *both sides have good and bad aspects to them* and *both sides do good and evil things*.

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The problem isn't that we shouldn't think what is happening to the animals is better than what's happening to the natives, it's that the animals and their treatment was created in the first place. The devs *chose* to make quest equating the oppression of a native population -- something with real-world (and still-ongoing) parallels -- to something both fantastical and infinitely smaller in scale. It is very explicitly both-sidesing *colonialism* of all things, and that deserves to be called out. Especially when colonialism is as central to a game's conceit as it is in Deadfire.

But , as mentioned in this thread - there is no oppression of animals -  but oppression of a primitive native culture by other less primitive native culture that in turn gets oppressed by colonialism..

 

>It is very explicitly both-sidesing *colonialism* of all things, and that deserves to be called out.

How? Group X oppressing group Y, colonialism - those things are as old as human history. What I see in this thread is calling out for it to be more black and white because otherwise it does not condemn colonialism strong enough. And that would be baad, because anytime a medium includes something we know to be bad - it must teach a strong and clear lesson on oh boy how bad it is!

 

While in reality - game reflects our (humanity) experiences, it doesn't necessarily has to be a strong commentary on RL or be a part of historical identity politics.

 

 

Edited by Veevoir
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Not bold, exactly my point. In this created situation of all the things the islanders could possibly be doing they have been given a similiar offense.

 

That's a bold statement. Being a victim of one thing does not absolve you of being the oppressor in another. *Especially* if you are perpetuating the same or similar offense.



 

 

 

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Thank you. That is what I'm saying.

 

The problem isn't that we shouldn't think what is happening to the animals is better than what's happening to the natives, it's that the animals and their treatment was created in the first place. The devs *chose* to make quest equating the oppression of a native population -- something with real-world (and still-ongoing) parallels -- to something both fantastical and infinitely smaller in scale. It is very explicitly both-sidesing *colonialism* of all things, and that deserves to be called out. Especially when colonialism is as central to a game's conceit as it is in Deadfire.

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You are all proving my other point.

 

Humans are animals too and many animals mourn, demonstrably nurture their young (certainly protect them) and even gather things they find attractive; this is just the fantastic leap beyond that. We can have an interesting discussion about what that implies about what the relationship to humans and animals should be, including whether or not you should eat them, but that's not what's happening here.

 

The apparent technological imbalances and specifics of the abuse, as you character lays out in detail, leads you as the player inexorably to the conclusion that these animals are the equivalent of the islanders specificially, and the islanders are not merely hypocritical crybabies but savage quasi-cannibals. That is a nauseating unforced error.

 

And your morally undefined character struts off the boat from nowhere and tries to set them straight to no avail. Really?

 

 

 

 

 

Talking animals?

1) They talk.

2) They create and use tools and clothing.

3) They use sophisticated hunting methods involving traps.


 

 

4) They decorate themselves with crafted jewelry.
 

5) The broodmother literally begs you to rescue her children from imprisonment

They are not animals. They are a stone-age culture that is physiologically limited in it's ability to communicate with other species.

 

So pretty much the same islanders are to Vallians :)

 

Exactly. Except as far as I know, the Vallians don't *eat* the Huana.

 

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You are all proving my other point.

 

Humans are animals too and many animals mourn, demonstrably nurture their young (certainly protect them) and even gather things they find attractive; this is just the fantastic leap beyond that.

ekhm... humans are mammals but they are not animals. The fact you have written this post should be enough of a proof.

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You are both right.  Definition of Animal (1 and 3 include humans, 2 does not):

noun

1.
any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
2.
any such living thing other than a human being.
3.
a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.
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You are both right.  Definition of Animal (1 and 3 include humans, 2 does not):

noun

1.
any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
2.
any such living thing other than a human being.
3.
a mammal, as opposed to a fish, bird, etc.

 

Exactly right. However, in the colloquial sense of "animal" as opposed to "person", the lagufeth are people, not animals. They are not "talking animals", they are sentient beings with a developed culture. They don't "decorate themselves with found items", they *craft jewelry*. They don't just nurture they're young; they *ask a member of an opposing species to rescue their young from imprisonment*. They don't just communicate; they *use language*. They don't just gather food; they *hunt using crafted traps*.

 

They are a *culture*. They are a primitive stone-age tribal culture, and yes they are being oppressed by the Huana. Once again, I feel it needs to be pointed out that the Huana *are not the good guys*. There are no hard-and-fast "good guys". The Huana are realistically depicted as being capable of the same evil as any other Kith.

 

I much prefer that over some ridiculous "noble savage" stereotype where the good and innocent tribe of peaceful loving indigenous people is being destroyed by the evil outsider colonialists.

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What you are describing is accurate to the quest, and it is deeply messed up. Colonialism is not some far-distant problem of the past, fair game for making light of; it's a centuries-long, worldwide system of oppression and mass scale violence that has caused the robbery, torture, genocide, enslavement, disenfranchisement, and destruction of culture of millions upon millions of people. It not only has repercussions lasting to today, it is *currently ongoing*. Insisting that the Huana, who explicitly and unavoidably parallel these real-world victims, are morally equivalent to their colonizers *necessarily* implies the same is true in the real world. This is, indisputably, unacceptable. Therefore, any example of it that crops up deserves to be called out and condemned.

This in literally no way means simplifying the narrative! It in fact means the exact opposite: moral equivalence on this subject is by far the easier, and more common, way of handling it. The choice is not between noble savages and evil cannibals; both are ****ty, hyper-simplified, cliched tropes. The goal is to have *nuance*, to depict a culture that is intrinsically valuable even with its warts, that can be worthy of critique without its oppression ever being condoned. To demand instead that they be depicted as the same as their colonizers, rather than unique from them, is to advocate for the narrative to be simplified, not complicated.

 

Edited to add: I want to be clear that I don't expect this game to be full of gross equivalencies like I'm describing.  I think this quest is a pretty glaring misstep, and the game could only be improved by its removal, but it's ultimately just one smallish piece of side content in a massive, many-authored game.  Certainly the devs are playing with fire by setting the game where they did, as this quest proves, but that doesn't mean it can't turn out excellent, or even that if it screws up in places that that'll necessarily ruin the whole; I'm a huge fan of messy art, and I think it's worth seeing some stumbles along the way to tackling a difficult subject when the potential outcome is so promising.  Obsidian is full of talented people, and they are aware of what they've taken on. But the pitfalls are there, and very real, and no amount of good faith on a creator's part will make falling into them not worth loudly calling out and criticizing. This stuff is just too important.

Edited by snphillips0@gmail.com
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