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Default What makes characters attractive to the player?

April 25th, 2011, 18:18
What Sammy said .

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April 27th, 2011, 00:55
I'm so totally stat-driven. I don't care at all how the characters look. I'd rather have an ugly sword +3 than a beautiful sword +2.
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April 27th, 2011, 05:41
For me, it's their personality and story. Something deep and interesting. Distinctive look also helps. For example, Vivi from FF IX. I've been to Distant worlds concert in Sydney opera house recently (my fiance is big FF fan). When they were performing Vamo' Alla Flemenco, Vivi's appearance really caught my eyes. From there on, I looked up his story on wiki and such, it was really sad and interesting. Now I'm trying to find a copy of FF IX to play :X

Other examples are from BG2; Anomen is classic example for me

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April 27th, 2011, 08:00
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Now I'm trying to find a copy of FF IX to play :X
Have you played any of the other FF games? Most fans either loved or hated FF IX. I hated it. The characters reminded me of a Disney movie. I have fond memories of FF IV-VII though. Especially IV&VI.

I used to like JRPGs a lot more before I started playing games like Baldur's Gate.


Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Other examples are from BG2; Anomen is classic example for me
Ugh… I love BG2, but Anomen was a whiny little bitch.
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April 27th, 2011, 08:53
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post

Think about how Sammy and Jaz play Morrowind. Their equipment choices are based on looks. Crazy! I'm too much of a spreadsheet gamer to lose my optimized gear arrangement because the color's wrong,…
I'm not a spreadsheet gamer but wouldn't sacrifice efficiency for look, but I remember have done one exception, few wearing stuff in Drakensang, some hat/helm but also few other stuff. But that was a careful balance between a more funny look and not lost much on efficiency.

About the attractive characters, I suppose there's multiple aspects and some are very dependent of the player. I mean some traits would make a character attractive for some players and the same traits would make it unattractive for some other players.
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April 27th, 2011, 09:53
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Have you played any of the other FF games? Most fans either loved or hated FF IX. I hated it. The characters reminded me of a Disney movie. I have fond memories of FF IV-VII though. Especially IV&VI.

I used to like JRPGs a lot more before I started playing games like Baldur's Gate.
Nope. Never played a single FF game in my life I know, my fiance warned me about FF IX. He hated it too. But I just really want to see Vivi's story first hand.

He recommended me to play FF VII, VIII (his favourite) or FF X. I know a little about FF X. It does sound quite sad and interesting. Might go through them all one day. For now though, really want to give FF IX a try.

Ugh… I love BG2, but Anomen was a whiny little bitch.
I like him

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April 27th, 2011, 10:04
I liked FF IX a lot, but I also like Disney, and Kingdom Hearts. Vivi's story was so sad ;(. FF IX made me shed some tears, anyway.

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April 27th, 2011, 10:17
The nice thing about the FF games IMHO is that they are all very unique… and it is guaranteed to be an interesting experience each time. That also means some of them are going to piss some fans off…… obviously…
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April 27th, 2011, 10:23
Obviously, a highly subjective thing.

Personally, I really enjoy plausible characters - even if I can't fully relate to them. As long as their motives make some kind of sense in the end, I can appreciate most characters for that alone.

I don't like "over-the-top" characters unless there's an obvious humor element. Characters like HK-47 in KotOR worked well, because it was about humor and not meant to be taken really seriously. Also, it was a droid.

I despise characters that are there to stand out and make an impression right away. This reminds me of modern TV-shows where they have to "sell it" in 5 minutes. Most intelligent beings have nuances and they have positives and negatives. A good example would be the dwarf character in Dragon Age 2 - that just SCREAMED for attention. Bioware have gotten steadily worse in that way, but they were never really good at creating fully realised characters.

Bioware's idea of a hero is one with supreme morality except for that one time when he accidentally got drunk and sad a few bad things to his parents. It's my firm belief that pretty much all human beings are balanced in terms of their good sides and bad sides - but based on what their experiences have been.

There is no such thing as a "true hero" - unless his conditioning allowed for that to happen, and even then - there will be significant downsides. As a race, we simply don't have the resources to do everything right in all ways.

Naturally, I like characters that push the "norm" as long as the writing supports it. I like how Geralt is a plausible hero - because he's modified in a way that works within the low-fantasy setting. The writer(s) obviously made a great effort to establish how his abilities were enhanced and at what cost.

As you can imagine, I absolutely despise JRPGs for their characters. Little school-girls with huge eyes and LEGO hair - begging to be raped by demons - just don't do it for me. I guess I'm not into that particular fetish. I've played maybe 20-30 JPRGs for anything from a few minutes to a few hours - and without exception, it's the characters that take me out of the games first. The whole thing just doesn't make sense to me, and I can't relate to any of it.

To me, there's nothing easier than to write the extreme. Writing about Gods and Demons and the destruction of worlds is what I consider incredibly boring. It's all "out the ear" writing and you can do it as a 10 year old.

No, I much prefer writing that has its core in reality - and with the maturity to understand how intelligent beings operate and what their motives are.

I CAN enjoy black/white universes like Tolkien, if it remains consistent and is otherwise loyal to its own world. If characters all behave according to that specific universe for very specific and well-detailed reasons - I can accept that it's not really like my own world. It just has to make sense, is all.
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April 27th, 2011, 16:15
I stated elsewhere that I want games for

- being fun
- entertainment
- being a means for pure escapism (meaning that I REALLY don't want to have real-life themes in my games)

and thus I clearly prefer "good vs. evil" with clear borders.

For entertainment. For fun. For relaxing.

I have more than evnough shades of grey in my real life.

And that's why I also prefer characters to be either that or the other way.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 27th, 2011, 16:35
Well, you can add a fourth….. I use games for exercising my brain… that's why most recent games don't work.
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April 27th, 2011, 22:37
Okay, that's possible, too … Personally, I'd rather use TBS games for that …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 28th, 2011, 05:01
I like characters with their own agendas, that don't necessarily correlate with the main story of a game. One of my main complaints with Dragon Age (not the exception by any means) was that characters would join the party and stay for the entire adventure, outside of extreme parameters. To me, that took some personality away from the characters.

I guess I prefer worlds and characters with shades of grey as opposed to black and white.
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April 29th, 2011, 03:36
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
Wow, you actually remember this? How flattering .

While I enjoy well-written predefined characters (like in JRPGs… just like GG said), I get most out of creating my own from scratch - and I'm not talking about stats here. I play around with visuals a lot (the more options the better), and once I made a character I think I might like, his or her backstory starts to emerge in my mind; this in turn is what makes me decide on my char's path in the game, on their actions, reactions and, of course, the equipment they use.
I'm somewhat the same way. Even in DDO, which is basically nothing but hp, dps, and "hjeal me naow!", my characters for the most part start to develop a personality in my head. In one case, Mirys the Half-Elven Favored Soul, she has even started to get written into part of my own game. This is a character and name created specifically for DDO, and the concept I built around her class and prestige line, "Angel of Vengeance".

Ijii the Bard also has a developed personality, though the name was taken from a freeware platformer. Accordingly, my Paladin Rachail lacks one, as I've grown to dislike the pure melee type in DDO. Oddly, while Aerii has seen much more play than anyone else in my roster, she only has a bit more development than Rachail.

A number of NPCs from my game also migrated from older CRPGs such as Phantasie III and Bard's Tale, where they managed to grow on me years ago and remain with me in some fashion. They were characters I created and built, and despite the limitations of the engine and game, I found a personality developing around those green or black text names with no unique portraits, and no dialog choices.

Many of the characters traveled from Skara Brae to the Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord; onward to Varn, Cron, Terra, and Xeen, were the Lords of Harmondale, fought the Dark Savant, and traveled the Sword Coast and up into Icewind Dale, and even into the lands of Krynn.

It is a rare jRPG which holds my attention for long. Some times, it's the anime art style, but most often it's the cardboard cutout characters, the generic-seeming plot, and the overall lack of choice (most I've played are linear, go here, do this, then go here, ad infinitum) which drive me away. I can count on one finger the number of jRPGs I've replayed through, and one hand the number I've played extensively or bothered to finish.

It's actually a rare cRPG that I can't create my characters in that I play for long too. It's why I've been reluctant to buy the Witcher; I just don't get into games with a set protagonist, someone that I have to play as.

On the other hand, some of my favorites are the Baldur's Gate and Ultima games, where you create one character then recruit the rest of your troop. I think it makes the one I create even more alive to me, to actually have them interact with others regularly, that I didn't know of beforehand.

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April 29th, 2011, 12:12
I can relate to that. I hate NPCs who sticks by you no-matter-what. That really isn't realistic. I do prefer making my own customizable PC, and get to choose my own party members. That's one thing I'm worried about FF series (when I finally get my copy of IX). I don't like being stuck with party members I grow to hate/dislike. That's just excerise of frustration. Also, I usually dislike playing preset PC, such as The Witcher and even Planescape: Torment. Don't get me wrong. Torment has fantastic story, but I prefered reading novelised version online then actually playing the game. It doesn't feel very comfortable, being forced to be someone I am not.

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April 29th, 2011, 16:40
It's interesting to read different perspectives on how people like to play games. For me personally I usually prefer games with pre-set characters. I feel the story suffers in games where you create your character and also for me I am always playing a character no matter what, I never consider that I am playing myself.

I think Ultima had a good balance between these two opposing styles of character creation. It was supposed to be you in this world and then you are going to another world where you have an established history and friends, but you still choose your name, gender look, etc.
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May 3rd, 2011, 15:35
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
"hjeal me naow!"
"Heal me meow !"

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 3rd, 2011, 17:46
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Ugh… I love BG2, but Anomen was a whiny little bitch.
Yeah, he lasted about 3 seconds in my party. Bitch had to go!

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May 3rd, 2011, 17:51
Originally Posted by Scrav View Post
I like characters with their own agendas, that don't necessarily correlate with the main story of a game.
I agree, to an extent.

From BG2:
Spoiler

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May 3rd, 2011, 17:56
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
my characters for the most part start to develop a personality in my head.
I think for a lot of people, that is a bit of a lost art from a bygone age. I remember fondly fleshing out all the character personas for my party in Ultima's IV through VII. In VI and VII obviously they had a little more life to them, but even in IV and V, I really had developed love/hate relationships with them.

I think the game gave just enough little hints about them (like Iolo playing the lute while you are camping) that combined with other in game mechanics (like Jaana never being able to hit the broad side of a barn) that it was natural to just develop a personality around them.

For instance, I hated Dupre. Didn't like that guy at all. Not sure why exactly, but he annoyed me. How do you get that from a monochrome 2-D sprite with virtually no text? Fun times.

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