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DarkRider

We're Listening!! Tell Us What You'd Like to See in an RPG Game!

197 posts in this topic

 

I would also say that Skyrim's problem wasn't so much that the evil was childish, but that the story was too limited in choice.  After choosing to protect the good dragon, and the blades disowned me, I decided that I would kill the blades (filled with blind hatred as they were) to prevent unnecessary future wars and bloodshed between human (, mer,) and good dragons.  Of course, the game wouldn't let me because they were "essential."  Likewise, I would have liked to eliminate the corrupt leaders in every city, but the story lines simply wouldn't let me do that.  Options to attack with lines such as "You will now learn that I am your better" or "I will no longer allow your corrupt rule to continue!" would allow both the egocentric and altruist archetypes to be realized in the game.

Kia ora

 

I was put out as well with the lack options in Skyrim, having no choice walking into Riftern, (In realality if somebody got in your face like that he'd get his knecaps

smashed at least) there should have been a way to put the blades in their place, there should have been a way to end the civil war without a battle. granted not

many would have like it cause they wanted the fights, but it should have been there, there should have been a way to set who was Jarl or make Elisf queen with

conditions like kick out the Thalmar, a way to restore towns to their former state after the war, just more choices a

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I think we're all on the same page as far as what we are referring to as "evil." However, if you are free of traditional influence and the black and white meaning of the term like my agnostic self, then you might also note that the concept of evil has many gray areas. It's a matter of perception and cultural/societal meaning, dependent on learned definition and the long./lat. and direction of your moral compass.

 

What I mean is, If I cutting your heart from your chest and eating it in front of a stadium of people is evil as hell right?

 

Not necessarily. If I lived in ancient Tenochtitlan at the time it flourished, I would be hailed jubilantly for my righteous and holy act. 

 

 

 

Also I am sure we all know that the level of subtlety possible is so complete that the person who would simply be or eventually become "evil" may not even be aware of it. In fact in most of our historically notorious cases of "evil" people, those individuals often thought themselves saviors and paragons of unquestionable integrity. Maybe it's an interesting topic to consider if those incongrous extremes are the core behind our most universal understandings of the concept "evil."

 

 

Just something to think about.

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This is funny.  My first response to N1K088 for post 75 was an analysis of "what is evil" but I decided, ah, this philosophy stuff probably just grates on people, so I tossed what I had written

 

I know language barrier is an issue for us, but this particular issue is philosophical.  What is evil?  I'm not sure how to communicate the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity (although the words do have latin roots), but objectivity ran into a serious roadblock in the 20th century: transcending subjectivity.  For me, this forces the question: "what is evil?" (as in what does it mean) when we talk about evil.

along with another paragraph for something that directly addressed N1K088's points without bringing in the philosophy.  It's nice to know I'm not the only addict!  Subjectivity makes me dislike the cardinal alignment system: one town's chaos is another town's law. One person's evil is another's good.  One faction's "neutrality" is quite biased.  As rspano128 mentioned, people the masses consider atrocious often consider themselves as doing the work of a "higher good."

 

To me, values are better tracking variables than alignment.  If someone has a reputation of being unscrupulous, they're not going to ask them to retrieve the family heirloom, because they would likely have to pay someone else to get it from the person they hired or the like.  If someone has a reputation of keeping their word, a promise alone will suffice in place of collateral.  If you get a good variety of variables, you can create a far better opinion of a person than simply "good" or "evil."  "She'll keep her word, but if the details aren't specific, she'll do as little as possible so that she can technically claim she's keeping her word" (high promise, low details).  "He won't take or follow through on work if he finds out it'll hurt the commoners" (high commoner value).  A self serving lord seeking advancement would send a missive to an unscrupulous character that has built a reputation for being loyal to gold to do dirty work for him, but not to one that has a reputation for being upright.  There are so many things you can do to enhance realistic interactions by keeping track of personal values than just a single axis scale of "good vs evil".  Renegade and paragon are an example of beginning to think outside the box, but still very limited.

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I'm not sure I understand your intent.  "Predestination is an abomination" sounds like you don't want the game to tell you where to go.  There's the philosophical debate of predestination vs free will, but that doesn't seem to be the issue.  The reference to having quest adversaries is about having the game make plans that make your typical vanilla quest get complicated.  If you can be antithetical to an NPC, why can't an NPC be antithetical toward you, via your second point?  The adversary may or may not be willing to parlay and/or listen to reason (money).  The more diverse the outcomes could be, the better, but pitting an adversary for a quest opens up that diversity.  The anti-hero suggestion is not going to be about a main story line adversary in a game that isn't about a main story line.  I do believe having a main story line adversary is fairly standard formula, however.

 

Hi,

 

yes, I don`t want the game to "tell"(it`s railroading, another no-no) me where to go or what to do, just present different possibilities. It`s my decision which to choose. After I`ve made my decision the game can make "plans" as you put it. In these plans there may be opponents and allies for the player.

As I understand earlier posts, they suggest a single main adversary surfacing whenever player is involved in a mission. That`s what I mean by pre-destination here.

And we don`t know as of now if the devs are at all willing to chuck the whole MQ idea overboard.

 

Rgds, Haldir

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yes, I don`t want the game to "tell"(it`s railroading, another no-no) me where to go or what to do, just present different possibilities. It`s my decision which to choose. After I`ve made my decision the game can make "plans" as you put it. In these plans there may be opponents and allies for the player.

As I understand earlier posts, they suggest a single main adversary surfacing whenever player is involved in a mission. That`s what I mean by pre-destination here.

And we don`t know as of now if the devs are at all willing to chuck the whole MQ idea overboard.

I'm thinking of Fable which has several adversaries: Whisper, who is driven to be antithetical toward the hero by her competitive big brother, as well as a traitorous mentor, and the main bad guy who was there at the very beginning.  These are people who recur in the story and attempt to thwart him.  The player's choice involves some moral decisions, not whether or not to avoid the fights completely.  Fable is very story driven, and the player's choices define the moral tone of the story.  That sounds a lot like railroading, yet many people loved the game.

 

U:EoT is being sold as player driven, NOT story driven.  There is a setting, a background story, which no doubt some people are going to call the main quest, rush through it in the attempt to "win a role playing game", miss most of the game, and proceed to complain.  In the background, it is mentioned that there is an all consuming sickness spreading as your hero comes of age.  It is implied that you can help prevent this or usher in doom, but your personal story and choices are unwritten in fate.  You are correct that the suggestion was for a main story adversary, however, how should that be unlike any other quest in the game?  Why shouldn't there be a persistent adversary or several of them?  I don't feel a particular need for them, nor do I feel like they need to NOT be there.  If they are randomized, that creates a greater level of replay value.  With Fable, if you replay, you might pursue a different approach in the melee/ranged/magic powers, but the game is the exactly the same, outside of your specific moral choices and the ending narrative.  After two play-throughs, and saves right before the final battle to make different choices there, you pretty much have seen everything the game has to offer.  If U:EoT has different quests that go in different directions and different complications and different dungeons and different bestiaries (from some of the other conversations I've been involved in), the game will be different for every play-through.

 

How is any quest not a form of railroading?  The NPC is asking or demanding that (telling) you go some place specific and do something.  If there is a time limit attached, you may not get a lot of side tracking time.  If you don't do it, or mess it up, you fail the quest.  Games without time limits for quests allow you to keep the quest indefinitely until you fail or complete it, but the imperative remains unchanging: go to the specific place(s) and do the specified thing(s).  At what point do you feel railroaded?  When you can no longer progress without completing the specific main story quest? (Fable is a prime example of that, unless you resort to grinding.)  They've already said they're not going to do that.  Or do you feel railroaded at some other aspect of (lack of) choice?

 

At what point do you feel railroaded?  What "choice" needs to take place for you to not feel railroaded?

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The relativism about good and evil is a very interesting philosophical topic but I don't think is the correct place to talk about... I'm atheist, i don't like "absolute", i know that in some culture have a different concept of right/wrong (more difference and surpriseing if you also include animals)... it's the eternal conflict between nature and nurture because, yes, even the behaviur has a genetic roots; but we need to understand eachother so "simplification" is required (it is still hard for me :dizzy: ) and so I use the word "evil" as a common sense would do... for example (back in game) if the jarl's child says to me "another wanderer here to lick my father's boots" and I smash his face with a mace then I'll consider it "evil" even if someone in the world would say "well done dude, he deserved it"... Unfortunatly I don't know the English word that means what i've just said

 

In games I like the alignment system because it make things clear... for example in wharhammer fantasy (maybe 4th edition but I'm not sure) if you read the Chaos codex you learn that the chaos marauder consider perfectly normal to pillage imperial village because their gods ask it and because they don't have sufficient food so if you play a chaos cultist you have to act as a "good" guy by doing "bad things", so to me result more clear to say "I'm playing an evil character" even if my character think himself as a good guy

... I'm feeling that I have add more confusion :rofl:

 

In skyrim, maybe for the lack of choice,I don't exactly know, I feel the world not in danger, not harsh... so I would prefere a "hard" world not because I want to play a evil guy (in 1st playthrough I generaly play Robin-hood like character) but because I think add more atmosphere

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 One person's evil is another's good.  One faction's "neutrality" is quite biased.  As rspano128 mentioned, people the masses consider atrocious often consider themselves as doing the work of a "higher good."

 

To me, values are better tracking variables than alignment.  If someone has a reputation of being unscrupulous, they're not going to ask them to retrieve the family heirloom, because they would likely have to pay someone else to get it from the person they hired or the like.  If someone has a reputation of keeping their word, a promise alone will suffice in place of collateral.

 

 

This is more or less exactly what I was trying to get at. While I agree with the overall mood/progression of the game as well as a central theme not having a chronological limit, I believe that some missions/quests/opportunities in the game should in fact require you to approach them in a certain way. It goes hand in hand with a quest-giver's behavior toward the player. Also I always found it ridiculous that an NPC asked me to save their brother or something from a cave of ferocious trolls, I accept the quest knowing that this is happening right now, then proceed to walk off and complete a month of game-time worth of other mission. I come back in a month and enter the cave- Wow! Little Ralphie  is still there, still hiding behind a rock hemmed in by trolls, as if as soon as I entered the cave the time-space continuum returned to its natural order! No. I say, after a day, I should return to find a corpse and some satisfied trolls, or a horribly full cook-pot. Or nothing. Maybe the boy had more initiative than you and managed to escape!

 

Think of the ramifications of that in regards to your reputation and future quest giving options. Those people associated with those siblings shouldn't expect you to follow through on your word. You killed the trolls though. So you're not entirely useless to them. Doubtless they will want to hire you as a guard against bandit raids. For example, the town was threatened by bandits of the possibility of a raid. You've found this out in passing at the tavern one evening. Everyone is in partial-denial but worried anyway. The innkeeper herself has seen too much go wrong in her time and her town to simply ignore it. What's the cost of some hired muscle compared to having her inn smashed up and her town raped and pillaged? When you talk to her, she recalls the delirious siblings that bustled into the inn a month back, telling their terrible tale and about the adventurer who wouldn't help them. You're not going to get the offer to protect the town in this instance. You might instead get offered a bounty offer for finding the bandits hideout, and bringing back proof to the garrison of a neighboring city or larger community (assume the village in question is a very minor one). In this way there is more depth and possibility, since you can decide to go about the world in a very dynamic way. You don't always have to approach every problem with murderous intent, but you can if you like. Hey, you might even approach the bandits and work with them, if you can talk to their captain before all the low level peons draw steel and try to cut you down in their eagerness to rise above the others.

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 -Nik088 : I smash his face with a mace then I'll consider it "evil" even if someone in the world would say "well done dude, he deserved it"... Unfortunatly I don't know the English word that means what i've just said

 

Callous, self-serving, ruthless, contemptuous, opportunistic, malcontent  - any of these or a combination of though their are tons of synonyms and contrary to my nature I wanted to be brief :P

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The relativism about good and evil is a very interesting philosophical topic but I don't think is the correct place to talk about... I'm atheist, i don't like "absolute", i know that in some culture have a different concept of right/wrong (more difference and surpriseing if you also include animals)... it's the eternal conflict between nature and nurture because, yes, even the behaviur has a genetic roots; but we need to understand eachother so "simplification" is required (it is still hard for me :dizzy: ) and so I use the word "evil" as a common sense would do... for example (back in game) if the jarl's child says to me "another wanderer here to lick my father's boots" and I smash his face with a mace then I'll consider it "evil" even if someone in the world would say "well done dude, he deserved it"... Unfortunatly I don't know the English word that means what i've just said

 

In games I like the alignment system because it make things clear... for example in wharhammer fantasy (maybe 4th edition but I'm not sure) if you read the Chaos codex you learn that the chaos marauder consider perfectly normal to pillage imperial village because their gods ask it and because they don't have sufficient food so if you play a chaos cultist you have to act as a "good" guy by doing "bad things", so to me result more clear to say "I'm playing an evil character" even if my character think himself as a good guy

... I'm feeling that I have add more confusion :rofl:

I think you're being clear enough, and demonstrating why the confusion exists: simplification.  To me, however, that simplification is more a motivator for fear and hatred: this religion calls that religion evil, this government calls that government evil, this faction calls that faction evil.  Many people like simple because it's easier to deal with.  To me, it's the opposite, because I notice the things left out in the simplification, and there are so many exclusions ("but this thing!" "but that thing!"), that outside of math (which cannot simplify away an additional value, only a complex form of the exact same value), the act of simplifying adds unnecessary complexity.

 

I do think addressing the issue can be of value in this conversation, as alignment/value systems are sometimes incorporated into RPGs.  In this conversation, we're exploring what we like and dislike about them.  Some people disliked the "moral grey areas" of Fallout New Vegas, but really that was a reality check.  Sure, the NCR is a better choice than the legion at face value, but that doesn't mean they don't have their own ugly aspects.  It would have been nice to have an option to "fix" the NCR, but at least the story gave the option of essentially creating your own faction. Many games take the moral high road, making an evil faction that is truly antithetical to the rest of society, such as Morrowind's House Dagoth, or Oblivion's Mythic Dawn, or Fallout New Vegas' Caesar's Legion.  Evil in the cardinal alignment system tends to be about egocentrism: how willing one is to benefit themself at the cost of others in a generic sense, and good is the converse concept of altruism: how willing one is to benefit others at the cost to themself.  The chaos marauders are evil because they raid people unable to defend themselves, and they're completely fine with that fact.  Smashing the Jarl's son's face in with your mace for back talking you would be evil because it is cruel and unnecessary, the instinctual reaction of a bruised ego. 

 

Ultimately, the ideas that make us want to say good or evil are more descriptive than those moral judgments: cruel vs indifferent vs kind, egocentric vs sociocentric vs altruistic, vindictive vs letting go vs healing,   The high priest of Tenochtitlan is cruel, sociocentric, and healing - he believes he is healing his society (as well as the victims) by these acts of cruelty.  The traditional "utilitarian sacrifice" is cruel, altruistic (on the part of the sacrifice, at least), and healing - pain to the one in exchange for blessings to the many.  Some people have difficulty with both because of the cruelty involved, yet both are supposed to be for the good of others.  I find values to make a more accurate and complete description.

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This is more or less exactly what I was trying to get at. While I agree with the overall mood/progression of the game as well as a central theme not having a chronological limit, I believe that some missions/quests/opportunities in the game should in fact require you to approach them in a certain way. It goes hand in hand with a quest-giver's behavior toward the player. Also I always found it ridiculous that an NPC asked me to save their brother or something from a cave of ferocious trolls, I accept the quest knowing that this is happening right now, then proceed to walk off and complete a month of game-time worth of other mission. I come back in a month and enter the cave- Wow! Little Ralphie  is still there, still hiding behind a rock hemmed in by trolls, as if as soon as I entered the cave the time-space continuum returned to its natural order! No. I say, after a day, I should return to find a corpse and some satisfied trolls, or a horribly full cook-pot. Or nothing. Maybe the boy had more initiative than you and managed to escape!

Yeah, I really do like the idea of time limits for quests.  The whole "sequestered in time, waiting for your arrival" is pretty unrealistic.  Mmmm ... Ralphie flavored troll stew.  I wonder why Bethsoft got rid of the quest timers moving from Daggerfall to Morrowind.  Perhaps because some people felt railroaded by them?  Having the results of your actions weigh in on NPCs future decisions toward your character is wonderful depth and realism.  The desperation of the NPC (shorter quest expiration) would also be a factor in how far outside their preferred group they'd be willing to hire, allowing a character to get in with a group they might not be able to otherwise.  It's also much more complex to program.  The programmer has to develop an algorithm that encapsulates all of the tracked variables and clusters of things npcs would be interested in.  On a single character, this might not be apparent at all and there might seem to be few quests, but a second character with a different approach would see all different manner of NPC requests, and the depth would become apparent.

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Hi,

 

yes, I don`t want the game to "tell"(it`s railroading, another no-no) me where to go or what to do, just present different possibilities. It`s my decision which to choose. After I`ve made my decision the game can make "plans" as you put it. In these plans there may be opponents and allies for the player.

As I understand earlier posts, they suggest a single main adversary surfacing whenever player is involved in a mission. That`s what I mean by pre-destination here.

And we don`t know as of now if the devs are at all willing to chuck the whole MQ idea overboard.

 

Rgds, Haldir

 

For me entering Riften was a railroaded quest, that Ugly Orc walking up to you to start Dawnguard was a railroad quest. Quest that no matter whats is happening

break the game flow and interrupt something that in progress are railroad issues

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 (back in game) if the jarl's child says to me "another wanderer here to lick my father's boots" and I smash his face with a mace then I'll consider it "evil" even if someone in the world would say "well done dude, he deserved it"... Unfortunatly I don't know the English word that means what i've just said

 

To kick his ass or slap his wee face can be seen as "he deserved it", teaching him manners, wacking him in the face with a mace would be considered abuse.

 

This is govened by where one lives,  Here for example, there those who believe a smack on the butt is needed to keep a child inline at times and those who believe

that hitting a child at any time is abuse.

 

When I was at school, teachers used the cain to dish out punishment, now days they'er not allowed by law to hit kids at all, to rape a young girl is evil, so it

seems the line veries in cultures as to what is nasty/ugly, bad behaivor and what is evil.

 

I guess in a game it's the player that desides when his/her char slips from bad (steeling and the likes) into evil (blood lust murder, town trashing etc).

 

We have to keep in mind that no matter if we like it or not, when we read posts and reply we are guided by the way we are raised and our moral compass

is mostly automated by tought behavior pattens

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To add to that, I would say that if you are completely "till death do us part" to the traditional alignment system then go one step further to carry the torch on from classic PnP DnD players by dissecting good and evil with another variable, like "chaos and order." It's a balm for the people who must think in terms of good versus evil, and it leaves enough wiggle room for us people who find the concept more amorphous. 

 

If you are not familiar with the reference, here's a very simple outline and the link from which I pulled it: 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alignment_(Dungeons_&_Dragons)

 

 

 

  • Lawful Good: Civilization and order.
  • Good: Freedom and kindness.
  • Unaligned: Having no alignment; not taking a stand.
  • Evil: Tyranny and hatred.
  • Chaotic Evil: Entropy and destruction.

 

LG-  "Down with machiavelli, down with laissez faire, order and good must be protected at all costs, for the good of all. We will regulate and guide our people to the lawful path and we will not sacrifice our honor and traditions at any cost." - The religious or patriotic fanatic, the holy roller, the unwavering hand of justice.

NG- "I do what is right, becuase the laws of men twisted and blinding. I don't want to stir trouble with the law, but I know it is right in my heart and I will follow it in the least destructive manner as possible" - The altruist, the benefactor, the peaceful protestor.

CG- "I'll do the right thing, the moral thing. But I'm gonna do it in my own way, when I think it is right, and you better not be in my way, if you want to act for goodness as well, or you'll become part of the problem." - The revolutionist, the cynic, renegade hero. Your typical 1980's action move protagonist often fits this bill.

LN- "I really don't care what you do, but if you break the law, I'm bringing the hammer down on you. You'll be tried and punished accordingly. No equivocations." - The judge, the executioner, but not necessarily the jury. (  :2guns:Bad Judge Dredd reference sorry.)

TN- "I simply am. There is balance in all things. Your petty squabbles are amusing, but meaningless. Equillibrium in the world will restore itself, eventually, and your entire existance is but a brief rise in the tide, waiting to drain away." - The naturalist, the druid, the pantheist.

CN- "We must have change. Stagnation is an abomination and all of this is temporary. I know what has to happen in my soul, and I'm going to find a way to help that along." - The anarchist, catalyst, Raz Argoul from Batman: Batman Begins

LE- "I am the iron hand. The universe works in a specific way, and I will master it. Crush it under heel. You, hero, exist to further me. If you challenge me you will be flayed. If you are loyal to me, I may reward you in ways your inferior mind cannot fathom." -  The "dominator", the despot, the loyal hitman. (__________ Insert lawyer jokes here.)

NE- "Hello and congratulations! I've closed my eyes and randomly opened a section of the phone directory yesterday, and guess what? Your name has been chosen! Wonderful news. I'm going to dedicate all of my effort into making your life hell. The new central themes of your life will be suffering and fear. I have my methods of doing this, but I doubt you will like them all too much. You may not even see it coming. After all did you think this letter would come with your monthly bills? (Yes I timed it to coincide with your mortgage on purpose.) P.S. Lets not waste any time. Meet me at your girlfriend's house. She seems to be getting impatient. Oh, and would you bring me a couple plain cheese slices of pizza? If it's not too much trouble of course." Phone clicks. -   Malefactor, serial killer

CE- BLAARRGFGGGGFFGGG! Running at you with a maniacal scream and a pointy sliver of glass. Behind me lies a group or random travelers that  seemed to have crossed my path. They all have "colombian neckties" and I've carved  a random children's lullaby into their corpses.  - Destroyer, demon, creature of complete selfish desire or low intelligence.

 

 

Sprinkle of salt: Despite the analogies I've written above I am not saying that I think this particular system should be utilized, or that it covers all the angles. As people who are familiar with PnP will likely tell you, boundaries of these alignments can become blurred and tangled. A classic example is possibility that someone who is generally lawful good does something that is lawful evil without even knowing it. That doesn't necessarily make that person evil. The line can be crossed. It's how that person reacts that can change the way that they are.

_____________________

Just as an aside, another interesting appearance of this kind of system is in the game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, of all places. In "Konquest" mode you actually get to follow a path of a warrior who eventually becomes a new character of the fighting game (or a returned old one, I don't remember), in an RPG fashion. You travel the worlds, moving from one plane to another as you criss-cross the paths of the other Mortal Kombat characters. Most of the characters actually represent an alignment type more than they do a fighting style. Each fight took you to a plane that represented an alignment. Like Kitana, which represented Neutral Good, a benevolent looking world in peace and apparent harmony. Her personality seems to strive for that. On the flip side, there is Havik and Kabal (If I remember correctly) that represent pure chaos. The world reflected it, and random dangers popped up, and the fighters acted accordingly if you sat there and watched the way they moved.

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Also, I realize how difficult the programming becomes at these levels of complexity, and I am only tossing ideas out there. Some level of these distinctions we'll just have to make in our good old-fashioned imagination. Haha, imagine that. :P

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Also, I realize how difficult the programming becomes at these levels of complexity, and I am only tossing ideas out there. Some level of these distinctions we'll just have to make in our good old-fashioned imagination. Haha, imagine that. :P

 

Theres nothing wrong with having the chance to enter into dialog about complexe paths that take the player into levels of complexity, either good, evil,

and or shades there of, what I find hard to handle is paths that have no choice's or give you no choice. If you player a "Lawful Good" char then walking

into Riften and having a "Go Steel this or else" quest forced into you list that your not wanting or going to do is just off. At least with the DarkBrother hood

you have a choice (all be it not a nice one and you get a murder stat) you can top Astrid and be done with it. a bit "Damed if you do Damed if you don't" tho,

still not ideal for "Lawful Good"

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Kia ora

 

We should have been able to set the Blades straight to BTW. where does the whole servitors telling 

the lord an master whats what come from. They say they serve the Dragonborn then proceed to tell

him whats what ad set him an ultimatum, answering you King/Lord back got you hung, drawn and

quartered as I understand it 

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To add to that, I would say that if you are completely "till death do us part" to the traditional alignment system then go one step further to carry the torch on from classic PnP DnD players by dissecting good and evil with another variable, like "chaos and order." It's a balm for the people who must think in terms of good versus evil, and it leaves enough wiggle room for us people who find the concept more amorphous.

That alignment system at one point was called by Dungeons and Dragons, the "cardinal alignment system" (which I've referred to a few times) because of the cross it forms with the axis of good vs evil, and law vs chaos.  And the system is poor because both axes are subjective.  Take an assassin tasked with killing a monarch of a prosperous kingdom.  The assassin is clearly chaotic, as killing the monarch would sew rampant chaos in the ranks, and evil, as his actions will hurt an entire kingdom for what is apparently his own personal gain. 

 

But then enter where the assassin came from: a neighboring kingdom that has sent emissaries to make peace to stop this kingdom's expansion requests a volunteer to do something risking their own life that would save the neighboring kingdom and all other lesser lands nearby from being dominated, and this assassin has taken the task because it will end wars having millions of lives of bloodshed before they even begin, all at the cost of a single life - the prosperous monarch's.  The assassin is clearly lawful, doing this only to promote order in the world and abide the laws of his own kingdom, and good, sparing millions of lives at the cost of one single life, and possibly his own in the process. 

 

How can someone be lawful good and chaotic evil at the same time? Easy.  Just have two conflicting viewpoints.  It's overly simplified, and that creates distortions.  Every 9 box alignment graphic I've seen with Game of Thrones characters has something wrong with it, some reason why one of the character should not be in the box they've been labeled under.

 

Ultima IV is a game that is like no other.  It was a game made in reaction to all the parents asking why the previous games were "made to teach violence, and 'daemon'ic influence", and so its goal was to teach virtue.  There were 8 virtues that were some combination of some number of the 3 principles: Truth, Love, and Courage. And the game measured how well you performed these 8 values.  Only by attaining a high score in all 8 were you worthy of being the avatar.  The subsequent games kept the virtues and principles, but they added other story material to the game, as some people were confused by what was required of them in Ultima IV (like compassion required that you not kill enemies trying to flee from you), and there was no tangible evil to overcome, as the sole aim was to embody the 8 virtues.  I'm not asking for a game like Ultima IV at all, but I am pointing out that it kept track of eight ethical values instead of one or two, allowing for a greater depth in description.  Honesty vs Deceit, Compassion vs Cruelty, Valor vs Cowardice, Justice vs "Wrong" (injustice), Sacrifice vs Greed, Honor vs Shame, Humility vs Pride, and well, Spirituality vs "Hythloth".  I suppose we could call that a lack of spirituality, which would quite important in a world where communing at shrines has tangible results.  8 values tell a much more complex and complete story than 2.

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For me entering Riften was a railroaded quest, that Ugly Orc walking up to you to start Dawnguard was a railroad quest. Quest that no matter whats is happening

break the game flow and interrupt something that in progress are railroad issues

I really like that description.  It communicates what specifically takes place that bothers you.  When you have no chance to avoid the encounter, you feel railroaded.  I would say there are some cases that SHOULD force your involvement in an encounter.  I wouldn't classify the Riften thieves guild intro one of them.  However, if a dragon (or anything major, really) is attacking a settlement, I would say that the dragon really should come first before vendor transactions and miscellaneous quests. In Fable, the NPCs with quests whistle or wave to get your attention, rather than run up to you and take control of your game, however I felt very railroaded in Fable because you pretty much HAD to do the main quest line to progress, even though the quest givers were not intrusive.  So there are two different aspects of railroading that we dislike as a group.  The forced main quest line has been addressed in the project description, which is great.

 

If an emissary or challenger walks up to you and forces a conversation, I wouldn't see that as being a bad thing as long as it wasn't interrupting combat or the like.  Would you?  A hit squad/assassin would simply walk up and attack, so that's wouldn't interrupt combat, just make it get a lot more interesting.  Also, what makes the Riften scenario undesirable?  For me, not every character I made would want to even get involved with the thieves guild shenanigans you get sucked into, but there's no choice about this in the main story.  That kind of lends itself toward the other issue, though.

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This one is in response to the original question.

 

Z axis travel.  I was reminiscing about my Daggerfall experience, and one thing the Elder Scrolls lost between chapters 2 and 3 was climbing!  I loved that you could climb walls!  One time, I hex edited the starting questionnaire of Daggerfall to give myself super jumping height (jumping to the tops of tall city buildings was hilarious for me - less hilarious was that I would jump so high, I took damage every time I landed), which of course chapter 3 had the jump spell, which was really neat.  And, of course, levitation and feather falling had their places.

 

Also, as a caveat, I don't expect every single thing I list to be in this game.  Some of them are inspired ideas, and others are some things I really enjoyed in other games.  If the game feels like it could be straight out of a table top RPG (not specifically any existing one), and used the D&D alignment system and no Z axis travel, I'd still be quite content.  Ideally, it would be great to have all the wants if they could be incorporated and fit the vision for the project.  But I recognize programming overhead, balancing needs, and creative vision all have to be dealt with, so not everything we want would fit.

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I'm thinking of Fable which has several adversaries: Whisper, who is driven to be antithetical toward the hero by her competitive big brother, as well as a traitorous mentor, and the main bad guy who was there at the very beginning.  These are people who recur in the story and attempt to thwart him.  The player's choice involves some moral decisions, not whether or not to avoid the fights completely.  Fable is very story driven, and the player's choices define the moral tone of the story.  That sounds a lot like railroading, yet many people loved the game.

 

U:EoT is being sold as player driven, NOT story driven.  There is a setting, a background story, which no doubt some people are going to call the main quest, rush through it in the attempt to "win a role playing game", miss most of the game, and proceed to complain.  In the background, it is mentioned that there is an all consuming sickness spreading as your hero comes of age.  It is implied that you can help prevent this or usher in doom, but your personal story and choices are unwritten in fate.  You are correct that the suggestion was for a main story adversary, however, how should that be unlike any other quest in the game?  Why shouldn't there be a persistent adversary or several of them?  I don't feel a particular need for them, nor do I feel like they need to NOT be there.  If they are randomized, that creates a greater level of replay value.  With Fable, if you replay, you might pursue a different approach in the melee/ranged/magic powers, but the game is the exactly the same, outside of your specific moral choices and the ending narrative.  After two play-throughs, and saves right before the final battle to make different choices there, you pretty much have seen everything the game has to offer.  If U:EoT has different quests that go in different directions and different complications and different dungeons and different bestiaries (from some of the other conversations I've been involved in), the game will be different for every play-through.

 

How is any quest not a form of railroading?  The NPC is asking or demanding that (telling) you go some place specific and do something.  If there is a time limit attached, you may not get a lot of side tracking time.  If you don't do it, or mess it up, you fail the quest.  Games without time limits for quests allow you to keep the quest indefinitely until you fail or complete it, but the imperative remains unchanging: go to the specific place(s) and do the specified thing(s).  At what point do you feel railroaded?  When you can no longer progress without completing the specific main story quest? (Fable is a prime example of that, unless you resort to grinding.)  They've already said they're not going to do that.  Or do you feel railroaded at some other aspect of (lack of) choice?

 

At what point do you feel railroaded?  What "choice" needs to take place for you to not feel railroaded?

Hi JadedRPGplayer,

 

sry for quoting your long post in full, not that it`s bad in any way, but I do hope it makes my answer understandable.

 

1. AFAIU there`s a main problem affecting the gameworld, this sickeness. The player may try to oppose it or support it. What if the player doesn`t care at all, at least to start with? The sickness is doing its thing, the player his, the NPC:s theirs. Some NPC:s may well take a stance vs this sickness, some may don`t care, just like the player.

What`s the use of a main adversary then? I`m not saying that the player may not inherit enemies/friends according to, say, the relations his family has in the world, but they should not be identical in all playthroughs.

Will the "complacent" player char be locked out from some missions in such a case? Not illogical if the missions be dependent on some "alignment" or "membership" but limiting. I`d like being able to do things as a neutral char or rather a "freelancer". A good example of  negative "railroading" is start of Fallout NV where a new char can chosse several paths, but survive only one AFAIU.

 

2. Re your statement that quests are by definition "railroading" it is both right and wrong. After accepting a quest you are of course "railroaded" to locations and persons, good old fashioned police investigation may be said to be a practical example of necessary "railroading".

But having quests thrown at you without a possibility to refuse them, because they are prerequisite for completion of an event chain is bad "railroading". Refuse and fail completion or even better, refuse and find an alternate way to proceed through the event chain. KiwiHawk I think has given good examples on that issue in this thread.

 

Rgds, Haldir

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About Z-axis travel.

 I think that consider the z-axis is one of the most important think even if the vanilla game don't allow you to use it to move... because this game will allow modding!! =D So if there is no fly/climb/grapping hook ( :crybaby:) someone will surely make a mod to allow it (as happened for skyrim) and the mod will be a "game breaker" (because will ease too much) or useless... in both case that's will be a shame because climb, fly and use rope-arrow is fun :icecream:

 

About raillroading quest

 I was a heavy P/P rpg player (unfortunatly now i have no so much time :confused:) and as master and player I think that the ability of a master is to "guide" the pc through the story he has planned without let the players feel that they are driven... that is realy hard when you play with your friend, I think it is impossible to do in a pc-game... so I think (if I had understood right the meaning of "raillroading" XD ) is to add multiple choice to every quest and use a morale/fame system (see below <.<)

 

About morale things

@Jaded: I like your idea of adding differnt ethical marker... It can be very usefull not only for roleplay but also in game mecanics... example:

  • Scaled indicator: "Compassion vs Cruelty" to 0 from 100 default value 50 and 0 means you are very cruel... multiply for each you cover most infinity "archetype"
  • Used in character creation: by tweak every single you can customize a lot your starting backround
  • Used in png: now every single npg can be different for example if a vampire has a higt compassion, honesty and so on will no more attack you on sight but he will talk and maybe let you know why he is a vampire, same for other "monster" for example a knight with hight sacrifice, valor and a bit of pride decide to sacrifice his body to became the eternal guardian of some tool that must be sealed and so this zombie/ghost/skeleton will attack you only if you attack him or try to pass him.
  • Used for quest "deliver": in another post I suggest a gods related quest... with this system is easy to make! For example if there is a possibility to became the herald of compassion god you recieve his/her call only if you meet some "ethical requirement" like 100 in compassion vs cruelty but you can be a deciever and a thief (like steal to people that have too much to help the other)

Also can be added a fame system (what people think about you) so for example (skyrim) if people see me like a vampire hunter because I've helped Morthal against vampire, dawnguard should actively try to recruit me, vice versa if I was able to help vampire the Dawnguard should try to catch me

 

Anyway fame and ethic should be modified during game via character choice

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 8 values tell a much more complex and complete story than 2. - JadedRPGPlayer

 

Yeah, fair enough. I am on the side of the pendulum swinging for less simplification of values, and from what you said I've got an urge to play Ultima series. I actually really like the idea of focusing on specific virtues as that also gives a person specific direction. It can still be difficult to decipher what is virtuous and what is not from time to time, but in a coming of age or rise of a legend story that has always been a traditional theme. Not so much doing what is heroic and virtuous so much as the journey to that point. 

 

 

____________

:offtopic:     

 

 

example a knight with hight sacrifice, valor and a bit of pride decide to sacrifice his body to became the eternal guardian of some tool that must be sealed and so this zombie/ghost/skeleton will attack you only if you attack him or try to pass him.- Nik088

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690

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Hi JadedRPGplayer,

1. AFAIU there`s a main problem affecting the gameworld, this sickeness. The player may try to oppose it or support it. What if the player doesn`t care at all, at least to start with? The sickness is doing its thing, the player his, the NPC:s theirs. Some NPC:s may well take a stance vs this sickness, some may don`t care, just like the player.

What`s the use of a main adversary then? I`m not saying that the player may not inherit enemies/friends according to, say, the relations his family has in the world, but they should not be identical in all playthroughs.

Will the "complacent" player char be locked out from some missions in such a case? Not illogical if the missions be dependent on some "alignment" or "membership" but limiting. I`d like being able to do things as a neutral char or rather a "freelancer". A good example of  negative "railroading" is start of Fallout NV where a new char can chosse several paths, but survive only one AFAIU.

I agree, having the same adversary every time you play becomes boring.  Your adversaries should be based upon your actions: if you are a criminal, bounty hunters and folk heroes will come after you.  If you are a noble person that keeps thwarting some politician's plans, he might send thugs or assassins after you.  Or the brother of the thieves den leader you killed last month comes to avenge his brother.  The list can be endless, and I would think players would prefer they be resulting from actions the character did (or didn't do, as in the case of the guy who let the kid get eaten by trolls by not completing the quest in a timely manner), rather than a character like Whisper, who is your jealous opponent the story railroads you into beating time and again, no matter what choice you make.

 

2. Re your statement that quests are by definition "railroading" it is both right and wrong. After accepting a quest you are of course "railroaded" to locations and persons, good old fashioned police investigation may be said to be a practical example of necessary "railroading".

But having quests thrown at you without a possibility to refuse them, because they are prerequisite for completion of an event chain is bad "railroading". Refuse and fail completion or even better, refuse and find an alternate way to proceed through the event chain. KiwiHawk I think has given good examples on that issue in this thread.

Given an earlier conversation about immersion, I'm inclined to pull away from talking about what the definition of railroading should be, instead focusing on exploring what people dislike about games that makes them feel a way they associate to that word.  The ability to refuse or avoid any given quest, or find an alternate approach to quest chain progression sounds like what you want to see.  I definitely would have appreciated that with the Riften issue.  Anything else you feel should be added?

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