239: Curiosity Killed the NPC

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ObnoxiousPotatoe:
Actually, if you're fast enough you can kill Mr. Burke before he shoots Simms.

REALLY? I have tried a buttload of times and never beat him to the punch in that situation.

malestrithe:
This why I hate Western RPG's in general: not enough choices with the character development. You can either be good, evil or a neutral is almost always cowardly. I cannot stand the tabula rasa approach they have to the characters: with few exceptions, the protagonist, you, in Western rpgs is always generic hooligan with no real personality attached to him. You can either be rude or angelic and that is it. I really want more choices than just the two.

As much as this will get me crucified by some, atleast in jrpg country, you get to control fully fleshed out characters through their quest to kill god. Having a personality is so much better than being generic.

Wait, really? Did you really just try to say that JRPG characters have more personality than characters whose actions you get to choose for yourself? You honestly think that getting railroaded down a specific path for every character in the game gives you more choices for character development?

Maybe the main characters in games like KotOR and Fallout have no personalities of their own by default, but that's so that you can offer up bits of your personality to fill in the blanks. You're not even given that option in most JRPGs. I don't get a stiffy out of hating on JRPGs or anything, but I've played FF7-10, Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2, and I really feel like any of those protagonists could have been switched around and they still would've been the same games. It's one thing to call a character that is effectively a blank slate "generic," but don't try and pretend like characters that are more or less interchangeable somehow aren't.

Okay, so maybe I'm missing the point of what was a rather eloquent look at gaming here... but man up! You're playing in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So your childhood buddy doesn't love you any more. Big deal. I'm all for character attachment, but don't whine about it when the game developers failed to implement the "I want to win without killing" and the "please give me only G rated plot hooks" choices into system.

You want cute and fluffy, clean cut morality in your games? Grab yourself a Wii, download the full back catalog of Mario games and knock yourself out.

I made my Continuity Save intentionally kill wrex in a paragon game, and I felt so horrible about it, and I had mangled my save up so much that I had to play through again to save him before I could move onto ME2.

I guess I just act as I feel like and end up being good. I wanted to be 'evil' in ME, but really couldn't do it. One of the 'evil' choices was to kill the people who were infected with that strange mindvirus rather than try to get past that are without shooting them. What? I may not be quite the hardcore gamer, but I play NetHack, man, if you challenge me to do a thing the harder way I'll fucking do it unless I hate the game. Then I decided to just let Shepherd be good the rest of the game.

(Every time a game lets me my character is a pale girl with short black hair. I like to think it's the same person. It's very easy to imagine the same girl from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 ended up being the criminal element in Saints' Row 2, but Fallout 3 and Mass Effect are two games that I'm having trouble inserting into a coherent timeline, even if I assume she's immortal.)

I'm kind of saddened that the game didn't explore the 'curiosity' factor more. In games like Fallout 3 I will definitively replay somewhat large portions just to see the other outcome. I think I've finished the Oasis quest around four times.

commasplice:
Wait, really? Did you really just try to say that JRPG characters have more personality than characters whose actions you get to choose for yourself? You honestly think that getting railroaded down a specific path for every character in the game gives you more choices for character development?

Maybe the main characters in games like KotOR and Fallout have no personalities of their own by default, but that's so that you can offer up bits of your personality to fill in the blanks. You're not even given that option in most JRPGs. I don't get a stiffy out of hating on JRPGs or anything, but I've played FF7-10, Kingdom Hearts 1 and Kingdom Hearts 2, and I really feel like any of those protagonists could have been switched around and they still would've been the same games. It's one thing to call a character that is effectively a blank slate "generic," but don't try and pretend like characters that are more or less interchangeable somehow aren't.

I never said anything about character development. All I said is they are more fleshed out than generic hero in Western RPG.

I noticed that you picked on the big names of JRPG land and not any of the other titles in it. It also tells me that you are judging the entire genre based on your limited pool of games. That is really sad because you have missed out on some improvements in the genre, like choice. Persona 3 and 4 have a linear storyline, and you get new plot developments every month, but what happens in between is up to you. Disgaea does not take itself seriously and the games are better for it.

As for me, I do not pretend anything when it comes to JRPG's. I state outright that the characters are better because the writers did not expect you to fill in the blanks. The characters in them have more personality by simply having one. Western developers use the sackboy approach and have you fill in the blanks. I appreciate the JRPG developers for actually finishing their work and not leaving you to do it for them.

You talk about having a choice in western rpgs. Sorry, but you do not have choice in those games. The choice you are given is an illusion. You are railroaded into following the good path or the evil path. The only real choice you have is you get to decide decide when the plot train starts rolling again. That is not unique because JRPGs allow you to do the same thing. You can spend as much time looking around the world, leveling up, doing side quests, tracking down the best items as well.

Besides, Western RPGs do not compel you into keeping your choices. You can always reset if the outcome is not to your liking. You are railroaded into less than seven choices for every dialog tree. How is that roleplaying if you do not keep the outcome that happens? Sure you are locked into one group of characters and one story in a JRPG, but atleast most JRPG's do not deceive you.

I've played D&D. I've done larping. I've experienced real choice in RPGs and Western RPGs do not give you one. You know, the Superhhuman Gambit SIDE quest from Fallout 3 requires you to choose a side: the Antagonizer or the Mechanist. Still not roleplaying if you only have two choices. I could have come up with several other ways to play out the same scenario in a RPG. Off the top of my head I could do it the following ways.

Hire a group of regulators to keep the rowdy's at bay.
Convince the Brotherhood of Steel to help.
Get Talon Company to do it for you.
Try to call a truce between the two.
Teach the people to defend themselves.
Blow up both lairs.
Kill the town's inhabitants.
Try and convince them the town does not need defending.

That is just me. I am pretty sure my rpg group could come up with more. Instead the illusion of choice dictates two paths. If we are given an illusion, I would rather pick the game that does not lie to you.

I play games based on old tabletop RPGs, & my characters are alway neutral. I once tried to be a villain, but my good actions reduced me character to neutral & my bad deeds also rose my hero to neutral. Nautral also describes my relationship with the main character; even though I get to pick their choices, I don;t feel in any way associated with them. I make it a point never to attack any NPC that doesn't attack me first (but I will steal anything not nailed to the ground).

The_root_of_all_evil:
Long time ago in a LARP, I created a character. He was originally meant to be a sufferer, a tortured genius whose bursts of inspiration were wonders to behold; but then something happened.

As the character grew from interaction with others, he became a misogynistic, hateful, spineless, crass, anti-social, sycophant. One of the things I can tell you about is that in order to make a deal, he stole babies from a local hospital after declaring them legally dead. Then he kicked one to death when it wouldn't stop crying.

Yeah. REALLY horrible guy. I had to get myself worked up to play him, and I could only keep the act for an hour or so.

BUT...everyone loved him. Not so much as a person, but as a car-crash. He would deliberately piss people off just by being there, and in the end it was just becoming too exhausting to play him and I killed him off.

Dunno what else I can say about him really. Just that sometimes it's not you who turn the character, but the character himself that wants to be turned.

I was born mid 90's What the heck is a LARP?

I think you put too much thought into a game... In games like mass effect or Kotor or fallout 3. I never reload unless I die and then I must do the exact same options until I get to the death point. It makes it more of a challenge to do the "Right" thing.

Ah, that first godawful bit of plot in Megaton.

I reloaded three times in order to kill the man in white before he killed Lucas.

Why? Because the first time I knew I didn't trust him, and was waiting for him to pull a gun - I wasn't disappointed, but I certainly was dumbfounded when four pistol rounds to the man's skull at point blank range were insufficient to kill him.

... The sheer idiocy of the moment burnt my mind. Four bullets to the face and he was merely injured, still standing, still FIRING...

So I reloaded until I found the means to actually deal a reasonable amount of damage in those seconds, and eventually blew his head into meaty fragments with three VATS hunting rifle rounds.

Then I continued the game, satisfied with the conclusion of that event, but infuriated once again with Bethesda's increasingly biased attitude toward linear paths, and their absolute failure to grasp realism and satisfaction in an RPG.

Fallout, like so very few games, got this right back in 97.. Death can come so very, very quickly if you piss off the wrong Deathclaw. And a single SMG burst could kill most men if you chose to target them.

Fallout 3 is very much an Elder Scrolls game. They didn't learn from their inspiration.

Clarification edit: I did indeed save Simms, but sadly found there had been very little scripted reaction to this as it wasn't something Bethesda wanted us to do. The world seemed virtually.. without recognition of the event of saving an illustrious and important local figure's life in the process of saving the town. Bethesda are just too intent upon their own preconceived plot, and provide only the meat for the planned outcome.

Any creativity is punished by difficulty, and by the sterile lack of any world-reaction to your choice. Fallout knew there was more to it than 'good and evil'.

malestrithe:

I've played D&D. I've done larping. I've experienced real choice in RPGs and Western RPGs do not give you one. You know, the Superhhuman Gambit SIDE quest from Fallout 3 requires you to choose a side: the Antagonizer or the Mechanist. Still not roleplaying if you only have two choices. I could have come up with several other ways to play out the same scenario in a RPG. Off the top of my head I could do it the following ways.

Hire a group of regulators to keep the rowdy's at bay.
Convince the Brotherhood of Steel to help.
Get Talon Company to do it for you.
Try to call a truce between the two.
Teach the people to defend themselves.
Blow up both lairs.
Kill the town's inhabitants.
Try and convince them the town does not need defending.

That is just me. I am pretty sure my rpg group could come up with more. Instead the illusion of choice dictates two paths. If we are given an illusion, I would rather pick the game that does not lie to you.

I think you're pointing out more of a limitation of video game RPGs as opposed to tabletops: Developers can only implement so many decisions into a game (though games are getting better at at least pigeonholing you in to one decision or another via clever writing) while in a tabletop there can be an infinite amount of choices and situations that could result from them- so long as they are within reason, of course.

Western RPGs give you a "generic" blank slate character so that you can role-play your own personality and sense of morals, as much as the decisions may seem like an "illusion" as opposed to the JRPGs you mentioned that only give you one choice that you may or may not agree with.

J234:

I think you're pointing out more of a limitation of video game RPGs as opposed to tabletops: Developers can only implement so many decisions into a game (though games are getting better at at least pigeonholing you in to one decision or another via clever writing) while in a tabletop there can be an infinite amount of choices and situations that could result from them- so long as they are within reason, of course.

Western RPGs give you a "generic" blank slate character so that you can role-play your own personality and sense of morals, as much as the decisions may seem like an "illusion" as opposed to the JRPGs you mentioned that only give you one choice that you may or may not agree with.

It is an illusion of choice and not an "illusion." You do not get to do anything you want with any situation except to scroll down through the limited number of choices. You do not get to impose your personality and values onto a character at all. All you are doing is choosing the one that comes closest to your values. I am an extremely generous person, almost to a fault. I give a lot of things away without any expectations of compensation. I tend to walk away from battles a lot.

Western RPGS are lying to everyone with their illusion of choice. You are railroaded down three different paths and they get praised for it.

malestrithe - Might you be generalising too much here? I'd recommend distinguishing between the old and the new school of 'Western RPG'. Between the detailed, non-linear openworld adventures with optional plot involvement, such as Fallout and Baldur's Gate, and the modern 'choose your own adventure!' stories with the shiny graphics and the 'gritty moral ambiguity' (choose good or evil now!).

Fallout 1 & 2 were games where there were shades of gray and moral system that really worked. Those two games are probably the best RPG's ever made.

The situation with Simms worked out a lot differently for me. I talked to Burke and agreed to think about his proposition, then I talked to Simms to kind of get an idea of what he would do but without actually telling him what was up. Then I went back to Burke and shot him point blank in the face while he was still sitting in that chair and I stole his hat and sunglasses.

When I went to Paradise Falls I initially tried to talk my way in but I had tried to style my character similarly to myself and his speech skill was low. So I just ended up killing every slaver in the place.

I don't really think that makes my character a hero, but I did have good enough karma to get Fawkes on my side later on.

malestrithe:

I've played D&D. I've done larping. I've experienced real choice in RPGs and Western RPGs do not give you one. You know, the Superhhuman Gambit SIDE quest from Fallout 3 requires you to choose a side: the Antagonizer or the Mechanist. Still not roleplaying if you only have two choices. I could have come up with several other ways to play out the same scenario in a RPG. Off the top of my head I could do it the following ways.

Hire a group of regulators to keep the rowdy's at bay.
Convince the Brotherhood of Steel to help.
Get Talon Company to do it for you.
Try to call a truce between the two.
Teach the people to defend themselves.
Blow up both lairs.
Kill the town's inhabitants.
Try and convince them the town does not need defending.

Actually.. You can do four of those.

I think this article touches on the difference between "hero" and "protagonist." A hero, even a grim, dispassionate anti-hero, needs to be likeable in some way. But a protagonist (for me, anyhow) doesn't. My favourite self-defined character was in Mass Effect. I played him to be entirely antagonistic, which didn't mean always taking the reckless action, but instead always choosing the actions that would run counter to the person he was talking to. It made him a colossal prick, and completely unlikeable. But he was still the protagonist of the story, simply by being the lead character.

I had a blast playing as this total asshole, goading people just to get a rise out of them. At the time in the story when another character might well have found comfort in the embrace of one of his companions, my misanthrope fittingly sat alone.

i saved the sherriff by defusing the bomb and then telling the guy in the saloon so he left peacefully.

ObnoxiousPotatoe:
Actually, if you're fast enough you can kill Mr. Burke before he shoots Simms.

Yup. I do it everytime I play. The Sheriff thanks you and all is well.

malestrithe:

J234:

I think you're pointing out more of a limitation of video game RPGs as opposed to tabletops: Developers can only implement so many decisions into a game (though games are getting better at at least pigeonholing you in to one decision or another via clever writing) while in a tabletop there can be an infinite amount of choices and situations that could result from them- so long as they are within reason, of course.

Western RPGs give you a "generic" blank slate character so that you can role-play your own personality and sense of morals, as much as the decisions may seem like an "illusion" as opposed to the JRPGs you mentioned that only give you one choice that you may or may not agree with.

It is an illusion of choice and not an "illusion." You do not get to do anything you want with any situation except to scroll down through the limited number of choices. You do not get to impose your personality and values onto a character at all. All you are doing is choosing the one that comes closest to your values. I am an extremely generous person, almost to a fault. I give a lot of things away without any expectations of compensation. I tend to walk away from battles a lot.

Western RPGS are lying to everyone with their illusion of choice. You are railroaded down three different paths and they get praised for it.

Anytime you bring up this point to someone you should realize immediately that you are wasting your time.

These people have already convinced themselves that there is no railroad no matter how blatantly obvious it is (you will likely never kill an actual critical NPC in a Western RPG, they are impervious to death).

The only think Western RPGs really give you that Eastern ones don't is the ability to walk into extremely high level dangerous areas immediately. It is possible in some JRPGs but it usually requires some trickery, in WRPG's you need just point north and walk for 10 minutes.

I love both Genres but neither is an RPG because neither lets me be true to myself. The decisions in dialogue for every Bethesda game does not match what my guy would say. Sometimes they'll only give you negative or positive answers to move the story they want.

I like how front and center JRPG's are about it. They don't yank your chain with multiple dialogue options to the same outcome, the punch you in the asshole and tell you to stop crying like a little bitch. It is nice to get that kind of brutal honesty.

Hunde Des Krieg:

ObnoxiousPotatoe:
Actually, if you're fast enough you can kill Mr. Burke before he shoots Simms.

REALLY? I have tried a buttload of times and never beat him to the punch in that situation.

Bethesda always makes the situations they don't agree with harder to accomplish. A strong enough weapon or setting the difficulty slider to Easy will cause you to one hit him and save the Sheriff.

It is amongst the things that annoys me.

Just like if you kill the guy who owns that bar, the mutant that is the bartender takes it over. However they only have ONE of the outside signs change to accommodate this change. It looks very half assed like they thought of that as a possibility nine seconds before the game was released.

Also you can't kill your father.

Sorry...I just don't like how many characters in Bethesda games are imprevious to harm. Seriously...just give me an option that doesn't require modding that makes it possible for me to break the preconceived story. THEN perhaps I'll start believing there are actual choices :P.

Haha, we'll the problem with video games now and days is that in RPGs they don't allow you to be intelligent and evil. Evil normally means stupid violent bastard. Normally the problem lies with the fact there is no way for your actions one implied to the situation to reappear again in a thoughtful manner. You can kill the guy or let him live. Sometimes you get a rare moment of brilliance where you can let the man live and you met him again. You tell him that he owes you, that he needs to poison his boss, you play on there doubt and their guilt.

Unless a game has some sort of sequel that connects the game to previous game in a manner like Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 2 you can't do actions like this. So, the most interesting way i find to play a person that is flawed is when you come to the Great Decision you pick the selfish or the cowardly action. You send the other person in the suicide mission. Why would anyone want to die? People are prone to weakness, that would be an example of one of my characters.

For Mr. Burke my character came to an immediate hate for the man. I was playing the good doctor, trained his whole life to make his father proud, but was abandoned anyways. Did matter it was his goal now to exceed his father to be the very best doctor. He killed the father of his only friend in self defense still he hated himself for it. He promised he would kill again, but there stood the man who wanted to kill this crappy town. My guy called him sick that he would never kill these people, the Mr. Burke attacked him and the good doctor blew Mr. Burke's brains all over the wall behind him.

The world require the doctor to kill those around him to survive, to save others he would kill hundreds, maybe thousands. How does that make him any better? It doesn't, his goals were selfish, but it didn't matter because he was a killer and that would never change.

The very nature of a game requires certain actions, but the player should not feel bad because it happened, they should not feel sorrow for what was done, or wipe away the evidence of their crime. The player should remember everything and be proud of their crimes, they should tell others of their exploits and regret nothing even if they hated the character that committed their actions because if they do it cheapens their characters motives and lessens the sacrifice of the NPC. Cowards, Monsters, Murders, and Killers are still people and no Hero is as without blame.

Shurikens and Lightning:

I was born mid 90's What the heck is a LARP?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_action_role-playing_game

I think you put too much thought into a game...

If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing :)

malestrithe:

I never said anything about character development.

You most certainly did. Go back to the original post that I quoted and read the first line over: "This why I hate Western RPG's in general: not enough choices with the character development. You can either be good, evil or a neutral is almost always cowardly."

malestrithe:
Western RPGS are lying to everyone with their illusion of choice. You are railroaded down three different paths and they get praised for it.

I'll concede that in the end, you do get railroaded to a certain extent, but like J234 said, that's really more a problem with the medium than it is a problem with the genre. Unless you have a moderator that can actually sit down with you and appropriately respond to every single choice you could possibly make in any given situation, you're going to get railroaded. That isn't a matter of JPRG v. WRPG; it's pen-and-paper v. electronics.

malestrithe:

You do not get to impose your personality and values onto a character at all. All you are doing is choosing the one that comes closest to your values.

I fail to see how that statement is any less true when you apply it to JRPGs.

theultimateend:

Anytime you bring up this point to someone you should realize immediately that you are wasting your time.

These people have already convinced themselves that there is no railroad no matter how blatantly obvious it is (you will likely never kill an actual critical NPC in a Western RPG, they are impervious to death).

The only think Western RPGs really give you that Eastern ones don't is the ability to walk into extremely high level dangerous areas immediately. It is possible in some JRPGs but it usually requires some trickery, in WRPG's you need just point north and walk for 10 minutes.

I love both Genres but neither is an RPG because neither lets me be true to myself. The decisions in dialogue for every Bethesda game does not match what my guy would say. Sometimes they'll only give you negative or positive answers to move the story they want.

I like how front and center JRPG's are about it. They don't yank your chain with multiple dialogue options to the same outcome, the punch you in the asshole and tell you to stop crying like a little bitch. It is nice to get that kind of brutal honesty.

Look, I acknowledged that there's a railroad, as did J234. That's not the problem I have with what malestrithe was saying. My problem is that he was acting as though, somehow, having a character written up for you gives you a better opportunity to role play as whatever you like than being given the "illusion of choice." Fact is that you get railroaded either way, so it's kind of ridiculous to bash one genre for it while praising another that is just as restrictive, if not more so.

I am enjoying fallout 3, most of my characters are squeaky clean friendly types who wear masses of power armor and defend the little man. But now I have made a new charecter who is more morally grey. She doesn't kill those that don't attack her, but she enjoys killing enemies a little too much. She is a pale, ghastly looking thing with a massive claw grafted onto her arm. She mauls enemies to death then savagely eats their corpses. When confronted with a plea for help she will either walk on by or demand rewards no matter how hard up the victim is.

In many ways it is difficult to accept this charecter but in others it is very fun to roleplay.

I hate good/bad meters. They are terrible. Normally its almost comical in how black and white the choices are. The Mass effect meters were not so bad as they were not strictly "good" and "bad". CLoser to "by the book" or "any thing for a win".

I was pleased there were no good or bad meter in Dragon age. Most people are not all good or all bad unless they are in cartoons or comics.

Most of my experience comes from ME and KoToR, but I'll have a go at this topic.

I play good characters most of the time, and go to great lengths to maintain that air of sainthood. I give money to the needy, I always negotiate, I act like some sort of Messianic monk most of the time.

I tend to get quite involved with my characters, but I also don't reload the save point if I've made a bad choice. When I play an RPG I often feel like reloading an old save would be cheating, because in the real world you don't always know the outcomes of your actions, and you can't reload (this attitude is perfectly demonstrated for me in the conclusion to ME2)

I replay the games with more knowledge than before, but I still try and stick to what I think is the 'right' thing to do, and if I screw up then I roleplay a little and decide that my character really is remorseful for the mistake, and I do better on the next decision.

When I played Fallout 3, I saved the Sheriff. It did take a couple of tries (the Sheriff dies way too quick in that scene) but I was able to shoot the gun out of his hand and take him down.

Once the fight was over, the Sheriff had a bit of dialogue wherein he chastised himself for turning his back on an armed man he knew was his enemy, and thanked me for saving his life.

Well, I was never a fan of the negative karma I got for shooting the guy that made Ultrajet in fallout 3. I saved the wasteland from the use of an even more potent drug and ended it then and there. I could have payed a blind eye, but no. I killed him and it took away karma. I don't want to get into the "who's worse, the druggie of the drug dealer" but I still feel like it should have at least had negative effect on my karma...

commasplice:

malestrithe:

I never said anything about character development.

You most certainly did. Go back to the original post that I quoted and read the first line over: "This why I hate Western RPG's in general: not enough choices with the character development. You can either be good, evil or a neutral is almost always cowardly."

malestrithe:
Western RPGS are lying to everyone with their illusion of choice. You are railroaded down three different paths and they get praised for it.

I'll concede that in the end, you do get railroaded to a certain extent, but like J234 said, that's really more a problem with the medium than it is a problem with the genre. Unless you have a moderator that can actually sit down with you and appropriately respond to every single choice you could possibly make in any given situation, you're going to get railroaded. That isn't a matter of JPRG v. WRPG; it's pen-and-paper v. electronics.

malestrithe:

You do not get to impose your personality and values onto a character at all. All you are doing is choosing the one that comes closest to your values.

I fail to see how that statement is any less true when you apply it to JRPGs.

theultimateend:

Anytime you bring up this point to someone you should realize immediately that you are wasting your time.

These people have already convinced themselves that there is no railroad no matter how blatantly obvious it is (you will likely never kill an actual critical NPC in a Western RPG, they are impervious to death).

The only think Western RPGs really give you that Eastern ones don't is the ability to walk into extremely high level dangerous areas immediately. It is possible in some JRPGs but it usually requires some trickery, in WRPG's you need just point north and walk for 10 minutes.

I love both Genres but neither is an RPG because neither lets me be true to myself. The decisions in dialogue for every Bethesda game does not match what my guy would say. Sometimes they'll only give you negative or positive answers to move the story they want.

I like how front and center JRPG's are about it. They don't yank your chain with multiple dialogue options to the same outcome, the punch you in the asshole and tell you to stop crying like a little bitch. It is nice to get that kind of brutal honesty.

Look, I acknowledged that there's a railroad, as did J234. That's not the problem I have with what malestrithe was saying. My problem is that he was acting as though, somehow, having a character written up for you gives you a better opportunity to role play as whatever you like than being given the "illusion of choice." Fact is that you get railroaded either way, so it's kind of ridiculous to bash one genre for it while praising another that is just as restrictive, if not more so.

Oh well then no arguments.

I like them both :P.

I try not to reload games because I made a decision that didn't match what I wanted the character to be. Because, when I try to tell myself it would have been different if I was really the character, I was the character, I controlled his actions, I made his decisions. To say that things would have ended differently would have been lying to myself. Instead, I try to learn more about who I really I am from my actions in morality games, to reveal how I would act if I was given such vast power over others. I never hate my character in a morality game. It would be the same as hating myself.

Kuchinawa212:
Well, I was never a fan of the negative karma I got for shooting the guy that made Ultrajet in fallout 3. I saved the wasteland from the use of an even more potent drug and ended it then and there. I could have payed a blind eye, but no. I killed him and it took away karma. I don't want to get into the "who's worse, the druggie of the drug dealer" but I still feel like it should have at least had negative effect on my karma...

I know what you mean. One thing I always felt was lacking from Fallout 3 were quests that were less black and white when it came to doing good and bad. I wish there were more times where your decisions would fall into the gray area in between. Where you would make the choice that sounded just but would have adverse consequences where your choice ended up doing bad too, and vice versa. This is why I really liked "The Pitt." You find out some things near the end that make you question the choices you may have made. My character is a mostly good character. I genuinely have a hard time making an evil character because that's just how I am. I accept this. But, I still want more instances where right and wrong are not so clear cut, just because you have to think more about the effect of your actions. Another game that disappointed me in this area was Bioshock, specifically the ending. I mean, come on. Three endings, and two were exactly the same except for the tone of the narrator's voice.

fallout 3 is the only sandbox rpg that i own (at the moment), my character seems generally a very good person, all the followers ive tried to recruit have told me my kharma is too high; i quite like my character.

i still got the sheriff killed, even though i knew it was coming and went and leveled up before trying the megaton quest, he was killed with the first shot.

ObnoxiousPotatoe:
Actually, if you're fast enough you can kill Mr. Burke before he shoots Simms.

I tried 3 times with a shotgun until I could save Simms.

As for the game, I understand, and that is why I can never make my character evil, because I want to portray a hero, not just play a game, and the hero is portraying what you see in yourself (Provided you play it seriously, and not just murder everyone).

In other news, my brother started playing it.

Flying Dagger:
I preferred the Mass Effect take on morality, then say fallout 3 or KOTOR, I don't want to always be good, so i'll make the choices I feel need making, if that means dooming a species out of existence then so be it, for the safety of all. it shouldn't negate the good things i have done, and vice versa.

No, if you cause a species to go extinct, especially if it was for the sake of not being too nice, your previous goodness goes right down the crapper in real life, too.

But on to the point at hand: I find it kind of hard to sympathize with the author. It wasn't his character being the coward, it was him. He is the one who chickened out of a situation he had already won, and refused to try to do it better just to preserve his hit point count. He tries to talk about living with his character's decision, when it was his refusal to "live" with that very decision the first time that put him in that situation.

How can you say: "I hated him for being a coward" when it was your own cowardice that made him so?

SAMAS:

Flying Dagger:
I preferred the Mass Effect take on morality, then say fallout 3 or KOTOR, I don't want to always be good, so i'll make the choices I feel need making, if that means dooming a species out of existence then so be it, for the safety of all. it shouldn't negate the good things i have done, and vice versa.

No, if you cause a species to go extinct, especially if it was for the sake of not being too nice, your previous goodness goes right down the crapper in real life, too.

I haven't checked my "real life morality" bar yet.
In real life with the media as it is, you could cure cancer one day, but if you accidently run over a child the next day you'll still be a villain.

Though in the eyes of any rational person it makes sense that if you do good, then bad, you shouldn't be judged the same as someone who has made only neutral choices, you should be judged by the merits of both.

And if you are taking issue over animal rights i can only tell you that if you are the sort of person who gives to the RSPCA and not the NSPCC then you disgust me, as we live the twisted times where a society for protecting animals has more funding then one that protects children, so don't get me started on that bullshit.

Flying Dagger:

SAMAS:

Flying Dagger:
I preferred the Mass Effect take on morality, then say fallout 3 or KOTOR, I don't want to always be good, so i'll make the choices I feel need making, if that means dooming a species out of existence then so be it, for the safety of all. it shouldn't negate the good things i have done, and vice versa.

No, if you cause a species to go extinct, especially if it was for the sake of not being too nice, your previous goodness goes right down the crapper in real life, too.

I haven't checked my "real life morality" bar yet.
In real life with the media as it is, you could cure cancer one day, but if you accidently run over a child the next day you'll still be a villain.

Though in the eyes of any rational person it makes sense that if you do good, then bad, you shouldn't be judged the same as someone who has made only neutral choices, you should be judged by the merits of both.

Should being the operative word. Realistically, many people will brand you guilty just from the accusation (certain factors like present fame, physical appearance, and wealth notwithstanding). Look what it did to Michael Jackson. It took his death for many people to talk positively about him again.

And if you are taking issue over animal rights i can only tell you that if you are the sort of person who gives to the RSPCA and not the NSPCC then you disgust me, as we live the twisted times where a society for protecting animals has more funding then one that protects children, so don't get me started on that bullshit.

Um... How did the R/ASPCA get involved in this?

And what if I gave to both? (Actually, I'm more likely to give to Goodwill, Clothing Donation, or the Salvation Army anyway)

SAMAS:

Should being the operative word. Realistically, many people will brand you guilty just from the accusation (certain factors like present fame, physical appearance, and wealth notwithstanding). Look what it did to Michael Jackson. It took his death for many people to talk positively about him again.

And what if I gave to both? (Actually, I'm more likely to give to Goodwill, Clothing Donation, or the Salvation Army anyway)

I can only really say what i want from a game, i feel a game is better if it recognises that the person who walked the middle path gained benefits from both camps, whereas the one who hasn't walked anywhere has gained nothing.
Like in fall out 3, where if you were a dick, people in the slaver camp would give you stuff, but if you were good, people in megaton gave you stuff. Yet if you were neutral, nothing you did would be recognised at that level. even though mostly the stuff is awful and you don't want it, it's nice to be acknowledged, one way or another.
Mass effect did a nice thing where whilst you couldn't lower how evil you'd been in the past, it didn't effectively punish you for deciding to go good after halfway through. I'm currently about 2/3 good 1/3 bad on it, but instead of just having a bar showing 1/3 along the way to jesus, i have two bars each showing my progress, allowing for a more fully developped character.

The RSPCA element was if you were getting pissed off at me on a "cruelty to animals" reason for getting rid of a species. I personally think priorities need to be put in order, and it needs to be at least at the point where the opportunity cost of helping one child is in the region of 250 animals.

Well, it's like this.

One of the problems I have with RPG video games in general is that they tend to make being a villain or anti-hero annoying rather than cool for the most part. In playing Renegade in Mass Effect for example, the actions I wind up taking for points make my character a jerk off rather than a ruthless and brutal "get the job done no matter what the cost" type. Even in Fallout 3 it tends to be about extremes. While there is a neutral "option" in general you either wind up being a complete White Knight or a cackling, colorless blood soaked Psychopath.

I guess while this is accurate to villainy to some extent, notice that fiction is full of awesome villains that have even spawned their own stories due to popularity. Comics are infamous for this where characters like "Harley Quinn" went from a bit character in a cartoon show, to a regular in the Batman comics main continuity, and even carrying her own comic series for a while. The same happened with Wildstorm's "DV8" and we even saw villain titles like "The Thunderbolts" launched that seem to be going strong today. Venom, Carnage, Sabertooth... there are dozens.

In general in Video Game RPGs I just don't feel that cool playing the bad guy. The comic book analogy isn't perfect to the genere most games cover, but still... they usually tend to make being a brutal thug boring.

I am not the first person to say it, but games, especially those made by companies like Bioware, need to come up with some more flexibility.

I mean in Mass Effect for example it would be nice to be able to play a "mission first" type who is who doesn't go out of his way to save people when it could compromise the bottom line (ie heroism isn't worth the potential price) without also having to act like a rude, racist jerk all the time when off mission. However if I don't play entirely renegade I won't have enough points to unlock the needed dialogue options to do some nessicary things later on.

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