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Default The cost of doing good in games

April 19th, 2013, 00:23
Wasn't sure if this should be off-topic or here as it is somewhat of a random question I just thought I would toss out here since I almost never seem to start any threads … but I was thinking lately about how the cost of doing good in most RPG's is so minimal as to have little impact on a player. It doesn't hurt in any way, it makes being good very easy.

From what I can recall of games I have played at worse doing a good deed may cost some coin, missing out on some item or perhaps less experience but nothing really painful. In other words it can trivialize being good.

It is not a huge issue for me by any means - I always play a good guy in games. I like being the hero. But I sometimes compare that to real life and it is so much easier to be good in a game

Would people be as good in a game if it cost more? Being evil tends to have a reputation as being the quick and easy way to wealth and power because it means only looking out for yourself and not having any real scruples towards others.

So what if being evil meant better gear, abilities, and levels while doing good would have some serious costs. For example, if the economy was really harsh it could mean that giving up a reward, or donating money to someone, could really make things hard for your character. What if it degraded your skills or experience? What if it cost some permanent damage to your attributes or skills?

Of course most gamers would not go for it, not sure I would either … hard to say. Just curious how others feel about the idea? I guess part of me would like there to be some meaningful sacrifice in being good sometimes. Not always of course - sometimes you can clearly go good and be rewarded. But what if I had to tithe most of my money to my god/goddess/guild? What if I had to deal with subpar weapons and armor? What if doing a quest meant losing out on valuable experience? Would I even want to do that?

For that matter I am not even sure how it could be implemented so that someone could finish the game even if far more crippled than a neutral or evil play style. More to the point would anyone play a game that was set up that way?

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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