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Games where it's not easy being good

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Zombra, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    By which I mean games that make it hard to be virtuous.

    Inspired by the recent Pacifism in games thread, I want to hear about games that give substantial, measurable penalties for doing the right thing.

    It's generally very easy (and profitable) in gaming to be a good guy. BioShock is a very good example of morality done completely the wrong way. You're told that killing the "little sisters" will be to your advantage, but you can choose to save them instead. Then if you do save them, the game rewards you with a literal giftwrapped box filled with upgrade points ... even more than you would have got from killing them. I've talked before about what a huge disappointment it is to get a big obvious bonus for doing the right thing, and having stuff taken away when you're being bad.

    In this sense, I feel like most games don't give players real freedom of choice. You can be nice and rich, or nasty and poor. Why would anyone choose to be nasty?

    So I'd like to hear about games, if there are any out there, where the good guy options are made unappealing by lack of material profit, where doing the right thing comes with a cost.

    Note, I'm not talking about unintended "outside the box" behaviors, like games Damned Registrations points out where you can do the goody two shoes quest, save the world and get the reward, then kill the unarmed quest giver for another 3xp muhahahaha. That's just a side effect of open design. I'm talking about situations with clear design intent to materially reward unscrupulous behavior and make being a good guy come with a real cost.

    The only one I can think of is one of the Fable games (2?), where if you resist giving in to the bad guys you permanently lose xp. Not a great game, but I thought this particular bit was really provocative as it made standing up for yourself a real decision.

    Any others?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  2. Wyatt_Derp Liturgist

    Wyatt_Derp
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    Rimworld

    While it doesn't really have a morality scale built into it, the game does offer some hefty rewards for doing things the bloody way. You can gift things to your neighbors and patch up stranded people in the wilderness for good relations and karma, but it's just so much easier to make the game into a big murder festival. Stealing, looting, killing and burning, they're all on the menu. Do you want to spend 6 months bribing your neighbors into making a trade caravan with you, or do you just send over 4 heavily armed colonists to kill them all and take their shit? Endless possibilities for the virtuous, but even more for the moral relativists.

    I don't mind games that have a morality thread running through them, but the really fun ones are tabula rasa.
     
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  3. Catacombs Liturgist Patron

    Catacombs
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    Make the Codex Great Again!
    Dwarf Fortress: Even if you build the best laid-out fortress imaginable, some
    dumb motherfucker will die in a room, no one will pick up the body because they
    can't handle their dead friend, miasma will spread, causing someone to be
    awaken the ticking time bomb that was a werewolf gene and go a killing rampage
    throughout your fortress.

    Losing is fun(?)
     
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  4. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Good try, but I'm not talking about games where it's hard to survive. Maybe I should have said games where it's hard to be virtuous. Edited OP.
     
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  5. Valky Arcane Manlet

    Valky
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    Monster Girl Quest challenges my ability to remain virtuous.
     
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  6. Viata Arcane

    Viata
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    It challenged my ability of wanting to win every battle on the first try. :shredder:
     
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  7. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    In the Icewind Dales if you initiate all conversations with a paladin your character will automatically turn down all quest rewards.

    Bit of an edge-case, but in Dishonored you get all these different tools for killing people but being good involves using none of them and instead just choking people out.
     
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  8. Tehdagah Arcane

    Tehdagah
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    Any hentai game
     
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  9. Mexi Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mexi
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    Dragon Age: Origins. Doing good acts nets you nothing, and IIRC, if you turn down a reward, you lose out on a specialization or some character upgrade for being too humble. I think you gain more by stealing, pick-pocketing, lying, and killing instead. I've not played in forever, but I remember trying to be good and getting nothing in return when I was. I mean you get appreciation points, but it's oftentimes only if a certain character is even chosen to follow you at that moment.

    I could be wrong since I've not played since... 2011, maybe.
     
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  10. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Deus Ex Mankind Divided's prison DLC had not only a pacifist option but also a no augmentations option. In the story of the DLC, getting your augments back required one of two relatively "evil" options, so being the good guy meant going without, which was a much harder experience.

    I also find it impossible to play Mass Effect 1-3 as a goody-goody because the renegade path is a thousand times better written, but I don't think that counts.
     
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  11. Alphons Learned

    Alphons
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    Definitely Fallout: Resurrection.

    In one of the first side quests you're asked to find guy's son. You find his body in a nearby cave where he was trying to hide stolen necklace.
    When you report to father he asks you to stealthfully return the necklace to it's owner so his son isn't remembered as a thief.
    If you succeed you get couple caps and some karma. If you refuse, you still have a necklace worth couple hundred caps.

    There're several other instances where good choices are harder and not worth as much:

    -helping Frederyk and his caravan company puts you into three hard firefights (last one against PA user). On the other hand helping his competitors involves a theft, Speech option and murdering brahmins

    -helping ghouls in Sedit requires you to spend couple thousand caps or investing into sneak and lockpicks, later on you fight against entire Mexican gang. Mexicans pay way more and you just need some TNT to blow up ghouls (or poison sheriff and kill ghouls normally once new sheriff takes away their police protection)

    -killing a pedophile locks you out of his high-end weapon store (if you don't have Traps his stock shelf will blow up when interacted with). Helping him with his problem on the other hand gives you a nice discount.

    -Rebirth base can be easily infiltrated with a disguise. Once inside you can easily trigger self- destruction and escape without a problem unless you're an autistic hero and decide to both release the prisoners and trigger the evacuation of their captors
     
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  12. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Uhh... Thief?
     
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  13. Undead Phoenix Arcane

    Undead Phoenix
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    Crusader Kings.


    You'll never gain land. All your children will hate you for not favouring them. All your 'children' were actually fathered by the lustful dwarf you employed as a doctor. Your demense is doomed to fracture because you didn't remove problematic claimants and factions.
     
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  14. HansDampf Arcane

    HansDampf
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    Pathologic 2. You are planning your daily route through town to treat all your patients. But you are exhausted and have to get food and take a nap first. After that you may not have enough time to treat everyone. And that one woman who is living at the other end of the town far away from everybody else on your list? Really inconvenient and time-consuming to visit her. Is she really that important? Would be nice to save the extra time. On your way you see someone on the street getting assaulted by two muggers. You have a gun and could help. But bullets are really expensive. You'd rather save them in case you need to defend yourself. Your only other weapon is a scalpel which needs to be in top condition later that day to harvest some organs in order to research a potential cure for the plague. Better not ruin it in a fight. And the muggers are carrying knives themselves, so it's too risky to fight them bare-handed. Fighting them would only waste more precious time anyway. There are more important matters to attend to, like getting your daily food coupons before they are distributed among the poor.
     
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  15. Fr0gic Literate

    Fr0gic
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    This War of Mine. This game could be really hard going. All the good stuff we enjoy, like shooting people or clubbing them to death? These violent acts have really profound effect on your characters. They get depressed and talk about how guilty they feel.
     
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  16. Mark Richard Arcane

    Mark Richard
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    Here's an example of a quest from Legends of Eisenwald:

    You need a lord's favour and are ordered to kidnap the attractive daughter of a local blacksmith. The lord had told the blacksmith if he failed to produce a masterwork weapon well beyond his abilities to craft, his daughter would be taken as payment instead, which was obviously the lord's intention from the beginning. So the choices are to deliver the daughter or buy a suitable replacement sword and claim the blacksmith made it. The sword costs a fortune, and the reward for saving the blacksmith's daughter is his gratitude. Try cashing that at the bank.

    Also there's nothing to stop the lord from going to the blacksmith next week and pulling the same crap again. Selflessly assisting the peasantry is considered to be out of character in this game. You're not nudged into being outright malicious, but these people are clearly lesser disposable creatures who serve at your pleasure. That's just the way things are in medieval times.
     
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  17. Serious_Business Best Poster on the Codex

    Serious_Business
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    You know why, baby. I always choose to be nasty and poor. Because being virtuous is unaesthetic and tedious, of course. The lyrical man desires to be in the margins, and lives off the lyrics of what is beyond and incomprehensible. This is where the erotic possibilities of experience reside. To him the beautiful primes the good. And so, as Commander Shepperd, my task it to hit people as hard as I can, in the face - of course - for entirely obscure motives, known only to obscure forces that thrive off the disreputable. The more it is nonsense, the more the explosive energy thrives. A true surrealist would tell you that the freest act you can do is bring a gun in a crowd and shoot indiscriminately. I would add that one must do it just like they press the button for the renegade option.

    Think about it, though. There is no other reward to being nasty than being nasty. As such, it truly is the definition of virtue : virtue is an act that you do in itself, for itself. And so, we must become nasty for its own ends, for the ends of Evil. This is why I corrupt the young and herald the decline of the West. It's happening right now, baby. It's happening very fast
     
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  18. Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd Arcane Patron

    Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd
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    Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Postal 2
     
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  19. Viata Arcane

    Viata
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    In Dishonored, it's easier to go full ghost and kill no one, though. That "teleport" thing makes the game way too easy and killing people takes more time than just avoiding them.
     
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  20. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    If you play in speedrun fashion, sure. If you want to find items, read notes, do side-objectives and stuff like that... without being caught... then killing makes it a lot easier to be stealthy.
     
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  21. Beastro Arcane

    Beastro
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    This is undermined by the fact that you just have to unlock the specialization once to keep it across all playthroughs, so you can pick the evil option, get the specialization and then reload.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  22. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Unreal World.

    Playing a cannibalist is very easy as you can find a lone wood walker and predate her (easier than him). Since the game assume humans are starting out friendly neutral to each other in the wilderness. This is ten times easier than hunt a reindeer in the wild~ A lot of players choose to do this in the beginning stage because at that time hunting can be quite hard and time consuming while being hungry.

    Playing a robber make the game easy as you can find a lone wood walker, well equipped, kill him (since they are mostly male) and take his stuffs. This from the starting time to late stage where you can do this to foreign traders armed to the teeth.

    Playing a village raider can make the building base easy since you can kill a small settlement (farm), and get all the houses left (plus the usual loot). Now you can either live there, or dismantle them and rebuild it into your own design. This can reduce the time to at least 500%, since chopping trees, turning them into boards, and transport them all back to base take an awful long time.
     
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  23. Mexi Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mexi
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    Save-scumming undermines everything, though. I think I only got the specialization from the secret character because I thought refusing awards gets you a better award later. Completely forgot, though, maybe I did save-scum too. I have no idea. I just know that I was thinking to myself that being good means shit when I played it.
     
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  24. Ivan Arcane

    Ivan
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    Pathologic :negative:
     
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  25. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Realms of Arkania HD
     
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