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Game News Choices & Consequences in Dragon Age

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Vault Dweller, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Tags: BioWare; David Gaider; Dragon Age

    According to David Gaider, <a href=http://www.rpgcodex.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9683>who has recently seen the light</a>, <a href=http://www.bioware.com/games/dragon_age/>Dragon Age</a> would feature both <a href=http://forums.bioware.com/viewpost.html?topic=451264&post=3789713&forum=84&highlight=>choices AND consequences</a>, which is something our readers always like to hear. The choices are "reasonable", but at least they are there.
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    <blockquote>We do have a fair number of plots which work like that... the consequences of your actions aren't always easily determined, and some only show up later on down the line.
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    I would like to point out one thing, though, for those who are worried: we have self-appointed "advocates" amongst the design team who put on their particular hat when they play through a game and want to ensure that their style of play is accomodated. This ranges from the intelligent evil guy to the smart-*** rogue to, yes, the paladin-esque do-gooder.
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    What they tend to look for, individually, is not that they always have an easily-identified option created just for them, but rather that the character they play always have a <i>reasonable</i> course of action available. After all, someone playing evil doesn't like being forced into gainless altruism any more than someone playing good likes being forced into doing terrible or heartless things. When I do quests, there should be a path that someone who believes they are good could try... it may not be the easiest path (and, indeed, that's a solid definition between morality and immorality) but it should be available and rewarding.</blockquote>
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    Better late, then never, eh?
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  2. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    Evil character watchdog: "I had to take this main story quest to rescue the little girl, but I don't know--why should my character even bother?"
    Designer: "Hmm... alright, we'll add a dialog option to ask for a 500 GP reward. The NPC will go 'How can you ask for money, you fiend! But okay here you go.' and the rest of the quest goes on normally."
    Evil character watchdog: "Perfect! It's totally evil!"
     
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  3. Thydron Liturgist

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    its a step in the right direction at least,
    even if a running jump would be more appropriate :p
     
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  4. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    I would like to see your actions as well as your motives bear consequences further down the line. Fallout did this with Karma. Getting paid to do a do-gooder quest isn't exactly evil. Baldur's Gate had a poor idea of evil.
     
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  5. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    Haven't they just considered modified dialog options leading to the same response as accomplishing this in the past?

    "Please find this pot for me, I'll reward you."
    1. I'll do it because I'm a Paladin, LOL.
    2. I'll do it because I'm a Thief, LOL.
    3. I'll do it because I'm Evil, LOL.

    Real choices and consequences, Bioware style.
     
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  6. Sarvis Erudite

    Sarvis
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    There's not really much of a way to know the players motive though.
     
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  7. TheGreatGodPan Arbiter

    TheGreatGodPan
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    Which is why they don't like Bioware's take on morality.
     
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  8. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Exactly. It's too freaking simplistic if you don't mind me saying. Fallout and Arcanum handled morality by throwing motive into the mix. Karma was an added layer of complexity that gives the quests some semblence of real morality rather than some simple, deterministic equation-based morality that's about as fake as plastic.

    Few people in the world might not believe in Karma or Consequences in real life, but they play a big role in the decisionmaking processes of people. It allows you to fully roleplay your character. If you're role-playing a sociopathic evil or chaotic character (think Thomas Covenant), you wouldn't be afraid or care about the consequences, even if they do come to bite you in the ass later. You just deal with things as they happen, and that's a fun way to play the game. It's no fun when you know exactly what your rewards are going to be (a +2 sword for being a good guy and a discount to all items, vs 5000 gold and items costing more).

    That's not morality. That's economics.
     
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  9. jeansberg Liturgist

    jeansberg
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    You, sir, deserve a smiley. :lol:
     
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  10. kris Arcane

    kris
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    Or a evil character should consider choosing a mission that points towards doing a good deed and a good character shouldn't pick the "Kill the merchant" mission. As I see it, most missions in it's nature wouldn't have both a "good" and "evil" solution.

    Now the problem with evil missions in a more storybased game like the ones Bioware make is that they are not that feasible to make. The easy ones to put in are the "be a jerk", "press people to give you something" and "Kill the good guy" missions. Where someone that we would consider to have evil motives would probably think of more elaborate ways to do evil deeds. Like forcing someone to help you, Take over a profitable organisation, fool the policeforce into furthering your goals and so on.

    I would say we would need a really openended game for this, or a game where you are supposed to be evil and the "evil missions" are built into the game.

    Not that I care that much, since I can't play evil anyway. ;)
     
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  11. Ryuken Liturgist

    Ryuken
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    Gaider already stated his mind about such dialogues in a previous post on the official forums; they won't happen again in DA I believe because yes, they had some complaints about it.

    The evil way in BG-series definitely sucked idd, too bad because guys like Edwin and Korgan were pretty cool.
     
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  12. kris Arcane

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    another thing is how "evil" can be so different. Is it in the form of selfimprovement? greed? destruction? power? control? or something inbetween?

    so we end up with some missions with "evil" options and become the "I do evil deeds guy". :D
     
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  13. Greatatlantic Erudite

    Greatatlantic
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    How can evil be implemented? There is the obvious "side with the villain who promises a greater reward" route. But a much better way is the opportunity to be unpleasant along the way, such as tricking a quest giver to cut off his finger. Or the ability to demand a women to sleep with you to free her husband from slavery, or the ability to sell your husband into slavery. It doesn't have to be UB3R LEeT MeGA EVIL!!! It can be something as simple as NOT having to do a quest to make a village's life more convient.
     
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  14. Sarvis Erudite

    Sarvis
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    Yeah, sure... but when I suggest it it's idiotic to want to do something like that. :roll:
     
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  15. EEVIAC Erudite

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    Bioware have already come up with a really neat moral axis in Jade Empire (Open Palm/Closed Fist.) The implementation was pretty crappy (they turned it into good vs evil,) but its still a good idea.
     
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  16. TheGreatGodPan Arbiter

    TheGreatGodPan
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    Who was it that said if you want to come across as evil in Bioware games you just act like a Republican?
     
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  17. littleboy Liturgist

    littleboy
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    well that would pretty much classify as evil in my book
     
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  18. Sarvis Erudite

    Sarvis
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    It works in real life... :P
     
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  19. Drakron Arcane

    Drakron
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    The problem is good/evil quests sould be uncommon/rare, for example you have a bounty quest and as a Paladin would do it to uphold the law a evil character would do it for the reward.

    The problem with the rescue the little girl is the reward ends up the same, characters might have diferent motivations but as the evil character gets 500 gp because he asked the Paladin also gets 500 gp without asking.

    Another issue is that all quests end up being the same, they sould be diferent paths as you take one side you cannot take any other side (like Morrowind Great Houses), that sould be implemeted and most of the time its not, I remenber BG2 that had two options that lead to the exact same thing, it only real impact was the attack you got in Spellhold and if you could get futher assistence in Bodhi Lair.

    I am all for deeper dialogue that futher exposes character motivations.
     
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  20. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    Evil is always best if you can change the ending, that is why town endings are great when you get acknowledged for making this evil.

    It is also better if you can join the main villain or decide to one-up him. Stories with a generic destructive force that both good and evil heroes are "compelled" to defeat get annoying.

    Even Arcanum let you join up and destroy the world, ending up being the last person on Earth, awesome ending with skulls everywhere; something that destructive is usually never offered.

    But I'll support Bioware if they keep expanding on improvements they are going to make, they will have to be straight forward to get around their failures of the past.
     
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  21. Section8 Erudite

    Section8
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    Woo, an opportunity to gush over Fallout.

    First of all, let me say that the very notion of "storyline quests" shits me up the wall. Chances are, if every character is being forced along the same path, something has got to give. The best you can hope for is a bit of variance in how the quests are approached, but even so, it usually comes down to something trivial like a choice of whether or not to spare a bested foe. Divergent paths aren't much better, since they railroad into being purely good or purely evil.

    That's where Fallout shines, by giving you a goal, and a gameworld with a swag of likely destinations, all of which have an overarching morality play and various subplots. It allows for much more grey and actual moralising on the behalf of the character as opposed to good path/evil path.

    For instance, I can be champion of right and good, rescue Tandi, help Killian, kill Decker, but then... I can massacre the Blades, believing I'm doing good, and likewise I can slaughter the horrible monsters of Necropolis to keep up my glorious shining knight image up.

    It still has the cliche of "something so bad that all characters want to stop it" in the muties, but you can also join up with them for a slightly less grandiose ending.

    Back on topic a little, it's good to see Bioware taking steps to overcome their previous shortcomings, I just hope there's a "moral ambiguity" watchdog that pushes a few quests that aren't obviously good or bad on the surface, and a "morally misled" watchdog that pushes quests where bad things are done in the name of good and what not.
     
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  22. triCritical Erudite

    triCritical
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    Its all for nothing if they keep the same quest format of KotOR. You know instead if just rescuing the girl.

    1) You get in good with the rival gang.
    2) You do a bunch of quest for them.
    3) You steal the magic engine.
    4) You then need to win the race.
    5) You still get scammed.
    6) You end up having to rescue the girl the right way.

    Ambiguous morality IMO could have been necessarily achieved with MCA's dialogue options in the sequal, don't know for sure, since I won't play that POS console port engine. But the reality was the game itself did not really allow for anything other then dialogue oriented decisions, on whether I am good or bad. Couple this with stupid aformentioned quest gameplay, and the worst combat since FOT (just kidding), and its a pretty crappy recipe.

    I am just kidding about FOT, its not JA2, or SS but its MUCH better then the tripe Bio has released. It was just that whole RT mode. :(
     
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  23. Stark Liturgist

    Stark
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    that last bit is abit lame. refusing to do a quest now makes me evil?

    So it's true i can roleplay as evil in MW now. just refuse to do all the fed-ex quests.
     
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  24. Stark Liturgist

    Stark
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    the quest does not need to end there. Allow a dialog option where the player lets the now freed husband know the wife slept with player.

    Depending on how the player handles the situation, it allows further oppurtunity to roleplay. for example the husband disown the wife in a fit of anger, or the husband, in mad jealousy, attacks you and you then forced to kill him, leaving the poor widow all alone. Hmm...

    now this is fun to play as evil.

    Strange to read this. it is usually being "good" that is the easiest in Bioware games. The good guy may refuse reward for doing a quest, yet in the end he is rewarded with something even better (+2 sword from farmer inherited from grandfather, etc). I felt as if I am playing a 3 year old game where the good guy is consistently rewarded, and the reward is generally better than being the bad guy.

    as for quest that allow roleplay evil by demanding that 500gp extra... that 500gp may be useful if money is scarcer (hence make it tempting to play evil). unfortunately that is not true in Bioware games.
     
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  25. dunduks Liturgist

    dunduks
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    Evil should be more rewarding in games. Like if there is a big bad guy (TM) that one should defeat, why don't make it possible for the player to kill the guy (if he's goody two shoes), join the bad guy (one of the evil options), or best yet, let player kill the bad guy and take his place becoming the new bad guy. There are mutitudes of ways in tackling these kinds of problems, yet only few of game developers want/dare to use them :?
     
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