Lets Shatter Some Role Playing Illusions

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#1 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

Disclaimer: If you're a Hardcore RPG lover and blind defender then this is not for you.

So RPGs with with Interactive Dialogs are awsome right ? WRONG !!! Dialog System for the most part work well in RPGs, they're great for storytelling, great way of getting information or intructions from NPCs and great for keeping your fingers busy, which inturn reduces masterbati- you know what, scratch that last part.

Anyway what they are not great for is problem solving. Role Playing Elements and Dialog systems just don't mix thanks to alil feature of lazy game design called stat/skill checking. Heres an Example from Mass Effect, Shepard (you) is on the Normandy in the Captains cabin getting hot and heavy with the prettiest, finest, Bluest Asari chick from you picked up at club Eternity because the galaxy is not in danger right? Anyway, all of a sudden Yall get interupted By Massive explosive sounds and tremors coming the crew quaters, it turns out Jack "borrowed" Miranda's tampons without asking..... again, and are having another one of their Biotic Cat Fights. Allright, Dialog time: after hearing both sides of the of the story and exhausting the illusory "win win" or the "I don't care, I got Blue Tail waiting for me upstairs" dialog options you are presented with an ultimatium either side with Jack and tell Miranda that Sharing is Caring to which she'l respond by flipping you the bird and telling everyone you have herpies or Side with Miranda in the hopes she might come up stairs with you in the hopes of giving Shepard the Blue Berry and Vanilla swirl he/shes always fantasized about when nobody's looking...... But wait, its an RPG, the game will check if your Paragon/Renegade stats are high enough to present you with a third "Deus Ex Machina" Option that gets you out of hot water with absolutely no downsides. More importantly Shepard is the one who is actually resolving the issue instead of the player, its literally a "Push button to win" type scenario so the game is essentially playing itself. And if you don't pass the skill check then your stuck with a problem that you can do absolutely nothing to win.

Fallout, Planesape Torment and the upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition use different types of Systems but because they still depend on Skill Checking to resolve conflicts in dialog systems then they wind up in the same toilet hole Mass Effect is in.

And ya know whats funny: it doesn't have to be that way but "Nooooooo its an RPG and RPGs resolve everything with numbers other wise its not a 'True/Real RPG'" oh yeah ? Well whos the sucker now ? Hahaha !!! :D.

Still think Is a good game ? Still RPGs are awesome ?

But seriously guys, who can not see just how stupid that is ?

Heres the sauces :

forums.obsidian.net/topic/63307-a-dialogue-mechanic-worth-investigating/

and

www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3719/defining_dialogue_systems.php?print=1

And

wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=794&start=20

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#2 Posted by Treflis (13278 posts) -

I'm all for improving and bringing forth new ways of gameplay, but I do have to say this would be better if presented to actually developers rather then us Users/Gamers that very rarely had any part in the development in a game.

That said, sounds good in theory but practical..Well a Developer would be able to answer that better.

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#3 Edited by iHarlequin (1928 posts) -

That's a woe specific to BioWare and its recent games, and any companies that try to follow its models. While I like BioWare's games and enjoyed Mass Effect, I did so fully knowing it was more of a TPS with RPG elements than an RPG - and I agree with you that the whole Paragon/Renegade thing takes control from the player, rather than give it to them. Their quality in RPGs lies in the past.

Now, that it's something related to the genre? I disagree. Go play either of the Witcher games - not only are decisions more gray than white or black, they often have outcomes that offer you a real dilemma. Not only that, but you'll often feel the consequence of your actions hours after you do them. There still are some difficult decisions that have stuck with me since I played the games: whether to side with the freedom-fighters, but terrorist, Scoiatael; whether to give Iorveth his weapon or let him get screwed over; etc. They are definitely the jewels of RPGs this generation.

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#4 Posted by Planeforger (17283 posts) -

Why would hardcore RPG lovers be offended by your complaints against Bioware's crappy roleplaying mechanics? Games like KOTOR and Mass Effect punished players for roleplaying - if they didn't pick the blue/red option every time, they would be denied sweet force bonuses/equipment and optimal outcomes to situations. When you boil them down, the only meaningful choice you make in those two games is whether or not to be good or comically evill - and players make that choice before those games even begin.

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#5 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

actually, in the ME2 situation between miranda and jack, it is entirely the result of your choosing. if you play as a paragon or renegade, you'll have an option to "win" without pissing somebody off no matter what. ME1 forces you to level some distant statistic while ME2 only keeps you from jumping too far out of character.

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#6 Posted by dvader654 (44751 posts) -

What did I just read... I liked it. :P

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#7 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

lol. You know whats funny ? You don't even need to think of a solution to this lil conundrum, Team Bondie and Bioware fixed came up with an alternitive while back, Team Bondie just didn't expand on it and Bioware has absolutely no idea they already fixed it.

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#8 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ Planeforger

They would be offended because they actually think this crap matters, when it actually doesn't.

Anyway ignore the content, what do you think of my writing style ? Will cracked have me ? :D

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#9 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

I don't understand the purpose of these threads of yours. You're not going to convince anyone that a game mechanic they like (stats) is "bad". Also, your examples are almost always from Mass Effect games, which, from what I understand (haven't played them, don't care), are pretty bad from a role-playing standpoint. The no-downside deus ex machina thing you talk about is an example of bad RPG design, not a proof that RPGs are bad. At the very least, you're gonna need better examples.

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#10 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

Its not a choice anymore, by adding these special skill check options that yield clearly better outcomes they effectively turned an ultimatum into a problem solving exercise, and I assure you in RPG's dialog systems, theres is only one solution and its as simple as pushing a button, in the case of Mass Effect 2's squad disputes and other scenarios that do a Skill Check to unlock a special option its not about choice, infact Mass Effect doesn't even let you choose, you have to commit to being either Paragon or Renegade, any attempt to alternate between the two (its not out of character to be nice about one thing and be an ass about another, thats perfectly normal behavior) will dilute your morality and you'l wind up with not enough of either Paragon or Renegade to pass a skill check, it also means you have to do some "dialog grindind" to get enough stats to pass the check despite these scenarios having nothing to do with each other, why do I have to do 12 different,unrelated side quests just to build up enough Renegade to tell Saren or TIM or Wrex or any other boss to go f#ck himself. What Kind of Interactive Deus Ex Machina is that !?

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#11 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ ReddestSkies

Oh I'm sorry I didn't know gamers wanted games that playthemselves. Simply say thats what they want and I'l leave it alone. :)

Also that scenario from Mass Effect in the OP is completely made up if you want to know how its bad for other games simply substitute the characers/locations/lore from Planescape in place of the Mass Effect stuff but if you insist I'l play along

Lets start with Planescape: Torment:

Heres the Walk Through for the entire game, www.gamefaqs.com/pc/187975-planescape-torment/faqs/7964 its chocfull of skill checks, pick a scenario where the conflict can be resolved in dialog and watch the RPG Elements (Skill Checking) ruin it. You don't even need to pay all that much attention to many of the scenarios, just build a character in the beginning whos soul purpose in the game is to have high enough stats to pass all the skill checks and you'l have access to all the Interactive Dialog Deus Ex Machinas the game has to offer.

Uhm.... Oh yes Fallout (any/all of them)

Exact same problem as Planesape, simply substitute all the crap from Planesape with the crap from Fallout, The Skill Check System will give you the exact same problem. The game will check you stats and if you don't qualify you don't get the solution, and if you qualify, the character resolves it for you, don't let the choice like structure of the interface fool you, ITS NOT A CHOICE, the outcome of passing the check will always be the better or more favourable than all the others, its the equivalent of me stopping you in the street and presenting you with the ultimatum of getting kicked in the crotch repeatedly or me offering you a cake if you can tell me a joke in Spanish. It may be structured like a choice/option but who the hell is going to deliberately pick option A if they have a Spanish Joke up their sleeve that will net them the vastly superior option B ? Who would pick a single squad members side in Mass Effect when they have enough Renegade/Paragon to pick both sides ? Who will choose combat/fetch quedt in Planescape/Fallout when they have enough Charisma/intelligence/wisdom or whatever arbitrary statistic the game has allows you you to help the NPC right there on the spot with no risk of dying or doing a long boring fetch quest ? Its not really a choice, its a poorly constrcted problemsolving exercise the has a Deus Ex Machina solution that pretty much solves itself. And thats every single RPG with optional Dialog resolution to a problem in existance. I'd love to be proven wrong though. :D

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#12 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

Its not a choice anymore, by adding these special skill check options that yield clearly better outcomes they effectively turned an ultimatum into a problem solving exercise, and I assure you in RPG's dialog systems, theres is only one solution and its as simple as pushing a button, in the case of Mass Effect 2's squad disputes and other scenarios that do a Skill Check to unlock a special option its not about choice, infact Mass Effect doesn't even let you choose, you have to commit to being either Paragon or Renegade, any attempt to alternate between the two (its not out of character to be nice about one thing and be an ass about another, thats perfectly normal behavior) will dilute your morality and you'l wind up with not enough of either Paragon or Renegade to pass a skill check, it also means you have to do some "dialog grindind" to get enough stats to pass the check despite these scenarios having nothing to do with each other, why do I have to do 12 different,unrelated side quests just to build up enough Renegade to tell Saren or TIM or Wrex or any other boss to go f#ck himself. What Kind of Interactive Deus Ex Machina is that !?

for one, i'd argue that they aren't always better outcomes. they certainly are more convenient in that they have more gameplay bonuses, but i like the added drama of having imperfect outcomes. one of my favorite moments of the mass effect series is (ME2)

losing a squadmate in my first run of the final mission of ME2. i didn't get them loyal and that impacted their performance and they died. now, i currently know exactly what to do to get everybody out of the collector homeworld everytime, but it's just not the same. i felt like i was prepared going into the final mission, but i still lost somebody because the game checking my previous choices. in my recent plays through, i do everything right but i still secretly hope one of my characters dies so i have to deal with the consequences. what can i say?

as for the consistency of characters, i do agree that it's not a perfect system but bioware gets a lot of it right because of how they define paragon and renegade shepards. it's a little more than simply being an ass or not. renegade shep takes the point of view that sacrifices must be made to achieve the ultimate success and the ends will eventually justify the means while paragon shep is unwilling to treat people as means to an end. do a lot of the smaller decisions not quite have that same scope? yeah, but bioware ties that into the theme too as renegade shep is more aggressive and this is consistent with his/her larger morality of taking the most direct path to success. i think where bioware truly messed up is that both options can just as easily lead to saving the galaxy, which makes paragon feel superior. fewer people would think of renegade shep as simply an ass if his/her methods really did lead to more direct victory.

as for your specific examples, a couple FYI's: i just recently replayed ME1 and the wrex choices were not highlighted in red and blue, meaning any shepard could do what they want with him. also, i've played as a neutral shepard before (that's my default character that i play through all the ME's in my first time through) and was able to tell off saren.

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#13 Posted by wiouds (6233 posts) -

I like Love RPG but I hate the dialog and moral pick system. I want them out of RPG. That system have done more to hurt WRPG than anything else. You can have great RPG while linear stories.

The Dialog and moral system have nothing to do with a RPG.

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#14 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

I can't crack Open Spoilers for some reason, could you repost that section please ?

Anyway that scenario with Wrex on Virmire most definately did have colour coded choices, Mass Effect 1 uses charm and intimidation to persuade characters but heres the thing, the player doesn't do the actual persuading, Shepard does that part, the player simply selects the Colour coded option and Shepard will do the rest, she may even say something she couldn't have possibly known without talking to Wrex while he was still on the normandy, whether you converse with him or not prior has no bearing on that encounter, Shepard will still use said infomation to persuade Wrex even she completely ignored him up to that point, I don't know about you but I need special insight to persuade someone from shooting in the face like that, theres literally no such thing as a special ability you can train that will persuade anyone without any special insight unique to that specific scenario you're in.

also about choosing less favourable optiond in dialog, Do you realise that if the Special Choice unlocked by the skill check produces an equall or less than favourable outcome compared to the others it undermines All that hardwork you put into grinding to level up that skill to pass the Skill Check when you couldve used that time/xp/skill point on something else like your combat attributes, see ? If thats not a colossal mindfuck then I don't know what is. :D

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#15 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ wiouds

How does one Role Play if anything they do has zero effect on the story

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#16 Edited by wiouds (6233 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ wiouds

How does one Role Play if anything they do has zero effect on the story

I like to developing my character role in the game play as the games along using a detailed power up system. To put it more simple words I want role playing game play in my role playing game. If pretending to be the character is all that matter in a RPG then all games are RPG.

If story is the only thing that make something a RPG then you just drop everything from first edition of D&D and just have round robin story telling.

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#17 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ wiouds

Thats not what happens in RPGs with Flexible stories, you assume the role of that character and proceed to play anywhich way you want that the assumed character allows, its just context, think of it as a narrative version of the combat class concept. In Mass Effect you assume the Role of Commander Shepard, but once with in the role you may proceed to doing whatever you want within the confines of that Role in and out of combat. Atleast thats what I concluded from seeing a fuckton of threads of people arguing "True/Real" Role Playing, its not complete scripting or confinement with in a role its just contexual freedom. Lol sounds like an oxymoron !

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#18 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

I can't crack Open Spoilers for some reason, could you repost that section please ?

Anyway that scenario with Wrex on Virmire most definately did have colour coded choices, Mass Effect 1 uses charm and intimidation to persuade characters but heres the thing, the player doesn't do the actual persuading, Shepard does that part, the player simply selects the Colour coded option and Shepard will do the rest, she may even say something she couldn't have possibly known without talking to Wrex while he was still on the normandy, whether you converse with him or not prior has no bearing on that encounter, Shepard will still use said infomation to persuade Wrex even she completely ignored him up to that point, I don't know about you but I need special insight to persuade someone from shooting in the face like that, theres literally no such thing as a special ability you can train that will persuade anyone without any special insight unique to that specific scenario you're in.

also about choosing less favourable optiond in dialog, Do you realise that if the Special Choice unlocked by the skill check produces an equall or less than favourable outcome compared to the others it undermines All that hardwork you put into grinding to level up that skill to pass the Skill Check when you couldve used that time/xp/skill point on something else like your combat attributes, see ? If thats not a colossal mindfuck then I don't know what is. :D

i'm still trying to spoiler tag this somehow, so tell me if it's still not working for you and i'll just send a PM over or something. hopefully it will clear up my position on choosing less favorable outcomes.

losing a squadmate in my first run of the final mission of ME2. i didn't get them loyal and that impacted their performance and they died. now, i currently know exactly what to do to get everybody out of the collector homeworld everytime, but it's just not the same. i felt like i was prepared going into the final mission, but i still lost somebody because the game checking my previous choices. in my recent plays through, i do everything right but i still secretly hope one of my characters dies so i have to deal with the consequences. what can i say?

here is a link of somebody playing ME with no coloring of the options for wrex. it's on the PS3 (the version i play), so maybe it's different across platforms but i doubt it. i guess it's also technically possible that it still does a skill check anyway, but the system always seems to work so that colored options have character requirements while plain white ones can be made by any shepard. also, i'm curious which parts of shepard's argument you feel he takes from (potential) conversations with wrex on the normandy. it seems to me that he's speaking to him as a krogan.

as for your point about shepard doing the persuading rather than the player: i suppose it's true but that happens all the time in video games because systems always end up being approximations of the real thing. i mean, i'm not much of a kickboxer but i beat people up all the time in virtua fighter.

just to be clear with you on my position about leveling, i totally agree that minimizing stats in RPG's is, all things being equal, the better design (which i think is the point you're making). however, there is also the power fantasy aspect and, to some extent, homage/nostalgia. so when the game is about shepard saving the galaxy or the dragonborn slaying dragons, those are power fantasies. this can tie in with leveling, which is often a power fantasy (you're defeating enemies not because you've mastered systems but because the games tells you you're better than they are). now, is shooting somebody in a skill-based shooter and getting all that positive feedback also generally a power fantasy? sure, but when a lot people say "i feel like playing an RPG," they are often referring to the specific mechanics rather than a broader idea and these mechanics have traditionally been linked to gaining levels.

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#19 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

Oh Yeah the Final Mission is totally awesome when somebody dies, its not a challenge anymore, the drama cause by things like that is just so emotional provocative, I enjoy that too, I just don't like the System Behind those consquences. The game is at its best when you don't realise the inner workings of how it works Its kind of like Meat or processed foods If you enjoy it, Don't ask how its made, because you really really realy don't want to know. Heav Rain's Ethan Mars expereinced a simular problem because the things he has to do to find as his Son are not Systemically challenging like Madison or Norman, they are philosophically challenging but it will only work if you care about the characters intrinsically, the Origami trials will begin to get Ethically and Philosophically more challenging for Ethan, this can extend towards the player if they are just as investested in Finding Shawn and empathize with the Ethans moral compass when undertaking these trials, its no longer about winning, the drama of failure yields more emotional impact when something goes wrong, they should have emphasized the emotional strain in Ethan's psyche by adding equal downsides for succeeding in these trial so that it was more of a conundrum instead of a challenge. The only thing getting in the way of this being perfect is Cages stupid writing, but it wasn't a problem I compensated for Cages flaws and was able to enter that instrinsic sweet spot and give my version of Heavy Rain the Drama it deserved for the Ultimate "Feels" ! haha ! :D

where were we ? Oh yeah Wrex on Virmire. I was very inexperienced in Role Playing at the Time on My PC and didn't understand why I couldn't save Wrex on Virmire, I played that section more than 10 times and the entire game itself more than 5 times before I exhausted all the options and gave up and Declared Bioware were assholes for making me play a section of the game I had no way of winning, I thought it was broken. Then on my 6th Playthrough I turned off the Auto Level Up Skill Point Distrobution and take a much closer look at Shepard and the Rest Of My Squads Attributes I notice Shepard was the only one with Charm and Intimidate in her Character Sheet, and put eventually put two and two together and discovered How the entire dialog system works and began to feel utter resentment and disgust towards the rest of the games dialog encounters, Except the Final Choice you have to make before leaving Virmire, The Kaidem/Ashly Ultimatum was fantastic because it was a genuinely difficult choice with no way out, and the out comes were different but equal and no matter what you choose, you will still feel like shit afterwards, and you know what......thats exactly how you're suppose to feel, and it shouldn't be any other way, theres not many games that can make you feel like that Interactively, for me it was only movies and books where I wanted them to make me feel that shitty because only they could get away with it. In up untill Mass Effect the games I played had to leech this concept from movies in the form of Cutscenes to get that effect and even if they succed all it did was piss me off I mean movies piss me off too bad in a good way it was the kind of pissed off that made me want more, but games just pissed me off in an annoying way.

o And that character persuation thing doesn't happen as much in LA, Noire, specifcally in the Person of interest interviewing "minigame" in LA Noire your Interactions with NPCs is simple.....and genius. You may not choose what phelps says but you retain autonomy because the game leaves clues behind that the player can use to make their decisions phelps doesn't interfere with this process in anyway, clues can be circumstantial evidence, damn good, or slight remarks made by Phelps and other NPCs but the games real Coupe de Grace is catching some on a lie, its not just a matter of picking the accusation dialog and Phelps doing the heavy lifting, oh no no no no no no, you need to prove that its a lie by picking the correct item in your evidence log the directly contradicts the NPC's statement, its rudementary and simplistic but I assure its real investigative, its not just some cheap fake placeholder ability designed to similate the idea, in Mass Effect you don't charm or intimidate, the game its just a simulation, nothing is actually happening in that process but in LA Noire the act of investigative police work is actually implimented in the game instead of simulated and mimicks real life Investigations (although imperfectly simple but) authenticaly. Thats some f#cking Rosetta Stone discovery type of Epicness right there and it went right over peoples heads like it never happened, that sh!t was revolutionary. So why are we not using that system instead ?

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#20 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

Oh yeah, in regards to your virtua fighter example: thats an action oriented experience it pretty much has to be executed in an impractical manner in video games unless you are willing to strap on some wii motion controllers and get your fight on in a more believable way. But know you its not all that different, the cognitive process you execute in a fighting game may be the same as the cognitive process a real fighter has in a real fight, things like controllers or real fists are just executional hardware, or conduit devices connecting you cognitive process to the science of fighting, keeping that in mnd, its my theory that real fighters skill will be evident with in a fighting game and vice versa, a good fighting gamers skills will be evident in real fighting.

This is not the case with RPGs because attributes like charm, intimidation, charisma, intelligence, attunement, percepion aren't implimented mechanicaly/practically, they are simulated poorly out of thin air, they are just place holders to differentiate one arbitrary ability from another, I don't even have to no what the hell Attunement is to be able to use it in Darksouls, same with Charisma in Fallout and the same with Paragon/Renegade (charm/intimidate) in Mass Effect, they are all just lazy versions of the same thing, number crunching.

oh and Power Fantasy design philosophies are for panzies with an inferiority complex ! ;)

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#21 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18544 posts) -

So Bioware is indicative of dialogue systems? Have you not played Deus Ex Human Revolution? there is literally no "good/ evil" stat in the game... You always get to choose what you want, and there are not stats, either, just upgrades and player skill.

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#22 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu:

so i looked up the details to justify our different experiences with wrex and this is what i found. you will have the same dialogue options on screen no matter what. if you did wrex's personal quest (like i always did and apparently so did that player in the video i linked before), those options will be in plain white for any shepard to choose. if you didn't do the personal quest, you'll have to pass a paragon/renegade check. much like survival in the last mission of ME2, it really comes down to your actions. that's why the wrex situation or losing somebody in the final mission of ME2 affects me more than the decision later on virmire with the bomb. losing somebody is the result of my own failure rather the game presenting me with a lose/lose scenario. i'm responsible for those characters dieing.

still, my favorite approach to party member death is probably in the fire emblem games. in bioware games, party members can die but they die in scripted events that are seemingly as dangerous (or even less so) than the normal combat scenarios. that's generally not the case in fire emblem. party members die in normal combat situations just like enemies do. fragile characters die because you didn't protect them properly and front line fighters die because you put too much defensive responsibility on them. death feels a lot more natural.

as for LA noire, i think the reason we don't see that much really comes down to the power fantasy aspect and so many games focusing on combat. that dialogue system is more complex than bioware's and the situations for implementing clues are also a lot more work. frankly, i think the biggest reason why we don't see even that level of complexity is because developers only have so much time and so many resources before games are no longer financially viable to make and they will generally prioritize time towards combat. plus LA noire had the benefit of some really good performance capture technology as hints for the player and it's prohibitively expensive for bioware games because they have so much dialogue already. i mean, team bondi ran into budget problems with multiple MASSIVE publishers and even then they had problems with how much content they could produce (which is why characters aren't quite as reactive to your decisions as you might expect them to be).

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#23 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

Maybe the PC Version is different, or maybe it was a bug, I don't know, I just know I kept running to the same result, Wrex dies by my hand or by Ashleys. The PC version also had a bug that makes galaxy map dissapear so after becoming a spector I was stuck in the Citadel.

anyway that scenario in Mass Effect 2 of crew members dying because you didn't take the necessary doomsday precautions like upgrading the ship and getting the crew everything they need, using the right squad member in the right place but the loyalty deaths fall apart once figure out the system behind it, yes their death are on you but its not because you overlooked something, its because grind your Morality hard enough for make them Loyal. That sucks. Your right about the Ashley/Kaiden (Ashden ? Kashley ?) Ultimatum though, but thats only because the gaming (or simply playing games in general) has conditioned to look at every conflict as a challenge that you can win or lose, and that is not true. But if its necessary to have a solution to an Ultimatum then they can take Another page from LA Noire and allow you two "deduce" the solution instead of just grinding hard to pass a skill check and then just giving it to you on silver platter like with Wrex, Saren, the Squad Disputes, Morinth, TIM, that krogan Patriarch on Omega and basicly every other scenerio with a skill check. in LA Noire the game doesn't allow the cases to overlap or interfere with eachother once you close a case, everything about it is closed, theres no loose end attribute that aggregates and carries over to the next case.

And you know whats really funny, Mass Effect 2 actually did borrow LA Noire's Invetigatory System for one of your squad mate's special request missions and it worked rather well. Remember Morinth ? Notice any simularities between that Scenario and the ones in LA Noire ?

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#24 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ turtlethetaffer

Yeah, I just find out about it today, I probed the concept alil bit and found a few inconsistancies in the Social Enhancer (CASIE) but for the most part it was solid, definately not as stupid as Bioware's prefered method.

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#25 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

Maybe the PC Version is different, or maybe it was a bug, I don't know, I just know I kept running to the same result, Wrex dies by my hand or by Ashleys. The PC version also had a bug that makes galaxy map dissapear so after becoming a spector I was stuck in the Citadel.

anyway that scenario in Mass Effect 2 of crew members dying because you didn't take the necessary doomsday precautions like upgrading the ship and getting the crew everything they need, using the right squad member in the right place but the loyalty deaths fall apart once figure out the system behind it, yes their death are on you but its not because you overlooked something, its because grind your Morality hard enough for make them Loyal. That sucks. Your right about the Ashley/Kaiden (Ashden ? Kashley ?) Ultimatum though, but thats only because the gaming (or simply playing games in general) has conditioned to look at every conflict as a challenge that you can win or lose, and that is not true. But if its necessary to have a solution to an Ultimatum then they can take Another page from LA Noire and allow you two "deduce" the solution instead of just grinding hard to pass a skill check and then just giving it to you on silver platter like with Wrex, Saren, the Squad Disputes, Morinth, TIM, that krogan Patriarch on Omega and basicly every other scenerio with a skill check. in LA Noire the game doesn't allow the cases to overlap or interfere with eachother once you close a case, everything about it is closed, theres no loose end attribute that aggregates and carries over to the next case.

And you know whats really funny, Mass Effect 2 actually did borrow LA Noire's Invetigatory System for one of your squad mate's special request missions and it worked rather well. Remember Morinth ? Notice any simularities between that Scenario and the ones in LA Noire ?

squadmate loyalty rarely has anything to do with you paragon or renegade score. for all but one of them, you can do the quest and have that squadmate ready or you can skip it and have their performance suffer. the one anomaly is a DLC character whose loyalty relies on a dialogue choice without any character requirements, so paragon/renegade score is irrelevant. you may end up losing the loyalty of one squadmate in a dispute with another, but the final mission is designed so that you can get away with having a few unloyal people on the team and not dieing (for a lot of my characters, i wouldn't go through with zaeed's loyalty quest but i still had everybody survive because i knew not to use him).

the morinth quest is one of the high points of the dialogue wheel (and for the record, bioware had side quest in KotOR where you solve a murder mystery through the dialogue system and logic), but i don't think it was quite as good as an LA noire case where you have to really explore an area to gather clues, talk to different people and decide who is giving correct information based on hints in their behavior.

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#26 Edited by bussinrounds (2823 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ wiouds

How does one Role Play if anything they do has zero effect on the story

I love how the term 'roleplaying' automatically = 'story'.

"Roleplaying" just means you're just playing according to your character. Playing as a thief ? Sneak around, steal stuff....

As much as I do like certain story driven RPGs like PST, Fallout 1/2, Bloodlines...You can also just give me a game with good combat, mechanics and a thin justification for going deeper into the dungeon or wherever and you can keep your "roleplaying".

The rpgs that have good enough story elements to stand on their own are few and far between anyway. You should check out adventure games if 'story' is all you care about.

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#27 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ bussinrounds

LMAO ! :D You think story is all I care about ? Nope, I'm definately a Ludo-man (gameplay) always have and all always will be, my threads and oppinions about oppinion about gameplay always fade away into obscurity so I decided to penetrate Role Playing from a more narrative perspective, seems like story is what people are into these days, results are highly informative !

From a gameplay perdpective though, Mass Effect Trilogy is definately botched Role Playing in that department, especially the 1st game , it wasn't even Role Playing, it was Arbitrary Hoop Jumping, its design was complex for the sake of being complex to give the illusion of Role Playing. Same applies to pretty much the entire JRPG Genre.

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#28 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

It does, doesn't it ? I noticed a correlation between squad disputes and Death in the Final Mission, If I side with Miranda in Jack and Mirandas squad dispute then Jack dies, Same with Talia and Legion, the one I don't favour dies, I figured the only way to save them was to solve these disputes with no downsides and the only way to do that is to pass the skill check..... Its been a while since I played it I don't remember all the details exactly.

I thought the Morinth Side Quest was Fantastic ! I wish the entire game was designed like that, I mean It cant be that hard right? ........ Right guys ?.......... Hello ? Lol

Anyway thats all I really wanted, and didn't Kotor have skill checks ?

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#29 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

It does, doesn't it ? I noticed a correlation between squad disputes and Death in the Final Mission, If I side with Miranda in Jack and Mirandas squad dispute then Jack dies, Same with Talia and Legion, the one I don't favour dies, I figured the only way to save them was to solve these disputes with no downsides and the only way to do that is to pass the skill check..... Its been a while since I played it I don't remember all the details exactly.

I thought the Morinth Side Quest was Fantastic ! I wish the entire game was designed like that, I mean It cant be that hard right? ........ Right guys ?.......... Hello ? Lol

Anyway thats all I really wanted, and didn't Kotor have skill checks ?

again, you can have a few squadmates that aren't loyal and still make sure everybody survives. you can completely work around it if you know how to manage everything. the tali/legion dispute is so late in the game that you have to really try to avoid paragon/renegade points to not be able to settle it anyway :P

it's been a while since i played KotOR, but it probably has charisma checks or something. my point there was that bioware probably didn't look at LA noire and say "gee we should do that!" they had likely been playing around with dialogue system ideas for a while, but their focus on other areas like combat meant that those ideas had been limited to sparse pace-changers rather than any complete overhauls. it's disappointing too because it's not like all their modern games have the most fine tuned combat anyway. like the balancing of dragon age origins was off and ME3 had some pretty terrible level design.

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#30 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

I failed that Tali/Legion one because I kept alternating between Paragon and Renegade, I'm human, I tailor my solutions case be case, sometimes its better to go Blue and Somerimes its better to go red. But once you are aware of the skill checks its no longer a choice, you pick a side and commit to it or else no more special choices for you. Now I know nothing about Bioware but I'm pretty sure they didn't design moral dilemas only for the player to ignore them. Its counterintuitive to the result they were looking for.

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#31 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

that's how i play my main character in the mass effect series (and in most bioware games, really). i pick what i think is right or how i feel without deciding beforehand that my character will be one side or the other. personally, i've never lacked the points to escape that situation because legion comes so late but i'm sure it's possible. anyway, the advantage in staying neutral is that you don't have to always be aggressive and you can keep some ideals but not necessarily all the ones paragon shep has.

still, i think it's interesting that you phrase getting out of picking a side between tali and legion as "ignoring a moral dilemma." if you can't settle both characters with a special paragon or renegade choice, you're actually in more of a position to confront the moral dilemma. you can't ignore it because you have to choose one side or the other based on which character you like or who you think is in the right.

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#32 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

The Choice are with out a doubt difficult or atleast intentended be perceived that way, thats why I call them moral dilemas, But once you are aware of the skill checks they become easy, the illusion of choice is gone. And the special option doesn't put the player in the position to confront the moral dilema, that honor goes to Shepard, you push the button and she does the Heavy Lifting. Look the main point I've trying to get across in this thread is that Skill Checks Break the entire choice/dialogue structure in any RPG, I was curious to see what other people thought of it once they realised how stupid it is.

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#33 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu

well, the choice to go full paragon or renegade is its own meta-choice for the various smaller decisions throughout the game. you don't have the freedom to shift stances that a neutral character has, but you can get out of more situations. even then, choosing to align completely to one side doesn't mean that your ending will be "ideal." you'll be able to talk some people down, but paragon and renegade sheps will each lose people because of those paragon/renegade decisions.

anyway, i do agree that a system without skill checks would, all things being equal, be better. however, the problem is the scope that sort of dialogue system would have to have and how combat seems to be the primary concern to developers making power fantasies. like you look at LA noire which is based on logic rather than skill checks. it has less dialogue than most RPG's with dialogue systems, it could barely muster up the funding to get even that done, and it has the luxury only having to account for logic. RPG's with dialogue systems aren't just trying to make something that plays well from moment to moment. they're trying to make systems that allow for the player to express their character's role too.

still, i don't think this problem entirely excuses them. if their goal is to make better games, they shouldn't be afraid to make only the amount of content that they can flesh out. i just don't know that gamers will support a 5 hour RPG based around research and logic puzzles in a dialogue system.

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#34 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ LoG-Sacrament

Puzzle like logic can work well outside of interogations. Infact I maintain Cole Phelps method of communication can work for just about any verbal interaction between people, From intimidation to comfort, Mass Effect 2's Morinth Mission proves that, one just has to be willing to start small.

And if people are willing to put up with those flaws of RPGs then they can handle 5 hour RPGs with a much more effective systems........ Unless people don't want a better system. Which I've always suspected was the case for quite sometime. Infact I'm pretty sure they prefer the broken system, I'd speculate why but.......you know people on the internet are.

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#35 Posted by wiouds (6233 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

Puzzle like logic can work well outside of interogations. Infact I maintain Cole Phelps method of communication can work for just about any verbal interaction between people, From intimidation to comfort, Mass Effect 2's Morinth Mission proves that, one just has to be willing to start small.

And if people are willing to put up with those flaws of RPGs then they can handle 5 hour RPGs with a much more effective systems........ Unless people don't want a better system. Which I've always suspected was the case for quite sometime. Infact I'm pretty sure they prefer the broken system, I'd speculate why but.......you know people on the internet are.

Just because you think it sounds better does not mean that it is better.

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#36 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ wiouds

Obviously you don't understand, otherwise you'd realise the LA Noire system is far superior to any RPG with skill checks. Its logic, but then again It wouldn't surprize me if you disagreed with logic, Its you're birth right as Man to ignore the facts, and I stand by that. :D !

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#37 Edited by wiouds (6233 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ wiouds

Obviously you don't understand, otherwise you'd realise the LA Noire system is far superior to any RPG with skill checks. Its logic, but then again It wouldn't surprize me if you disagreed with logic, Its you're birth right as Man to ignore the facts, and I stand by that. :D !

Worse part of the game. It did nothing really new compare to other dialog system and most of the time I try to skip it. It had more or less logic than other dialog system out there.

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#38 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ LoG-Sacrament

Puzzle like logic can work well outside of interogations. Infact I maintain Cole Phelps method of communication can work for just about any verbal interaction between people, From intimidation to comfort, Mass Effect 2's Morinth Mission proves that, one just has to be willing to start small.

And if people are willing to put up with those flaws of RPGs then they can handle 5 hour RPGs with a much more effective systems........ Unless people don't want a better system. Which I've always suspected was the case for quite sometime. Infact I'm pretty sure they prefer the broken system, I'd speculate why but.......you know people on the internet are.

ME2's morinth mission actually does use skill checks, even in the nightclub phase, so it's not some pure example of how it can be done. you can pass that phase without skill checks, but you can pass a lot of dialogue options in the ME series without skill checks.

anyway, i'd like to see somebody try, but i suspect it won't happen for a long time. bethesda and bioware make the most popular RPG's right now and they still rely on skill checks and leveling up. the smaller studios that are more able to take bigger risks are limited by the same technological barriers that gave rise to skill checks and stats.

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#39 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ wiouds

Its the best one I know of. To hell with new and inovative bullsh!t, it works just fine and thats all that matters. Its logic is sound, feel free to think of a better one.

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#40 Edited by wiouds (6233 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@ wiouds

Its the best one I know of. To hell with new and inovative bullsh!t, it works just fine and thats all that matters. Its logic is sound, feel free to think of a better one.

It is not better or worse that other systems. It just fit your taste better than others. I found it dull compare to others.

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#41 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

@ wiouds

Than just say that next time. Theres no shame in not liking something. I just happened to dislike something that is broken and like something that works. Lol you gona hold that against me ?