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September 4th, 2007, 11:09
Very interesting thread.

Therese is, in fact, very little similarity between virtue systems and reputation in modern games. Reputation is based on how people read your actions, virtues is bases on following some principles.

Incorporation the ethics into RPG is very difficult indeed, especially if your task is to accomplish something (like destroy the evil dude) rather than simply be virtuous.

Take for example classic orthodox Christian ethics, which says that "good ends could never justify evil means", that is, you should not kill innocent human, even if, by doing this, you are saving thousands other lives. Christianity assumes that the most important thing is one’s salvation, not any mundane deeds, and you should not sacrifice your soul for saving the entire planet from destruction etc.

This kind of absolute ethics would make gameplay very difficult, so typical RPGs assume a kind of utilitarian ethics, when many shady actions (especially stealing and deception) are justified if they help to complete the main quest.

But it would be very interesting to see a game, in which the main character should stick to some strict moral code. For example, make PC a pilgrim on a way to a far, forgotten sanctuary. Reaching the sanctuary is difficult, and he must also obey rigorous moral code regarding not only violence but, for example, chastity and poverty

The problem of ethics is a subcategory of "problem of constraints" in RPGs. Younger, impatient gamers do not like the constraints, and do not understand that constraints could add a lot of flavor to the game. They want everything, like being be the master of paladins guild and assassins guild simultaneously and gaming industry allows them to do so. I don’t think this trend would reverse in near future
Last edited by Bar Tec; September 4th, 2007 at 11:18.
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September 4th, 2007, 14:31
It could if the people on this forum would have the time and will to make such a game
I'm almost certain there are programmers, graphic artists and writers here.

About it being a constraint, I think it would just add another layer to the game. I'll install Lazarus this evening I think and see if I like it then I'll also be able to make a better decision on the system.

Is Lazarus linear like DS or is only the graphics engine taken from DS and the rest remade to fit the Ultima game ?
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September 4th, 2007, 15:28
My problem with Lazarus was that it was so… big. Informationwise. And there was no automatic sortingsystem (no journal etc) so I kept forgetting the important stuff. Quit it quite early (witht the idea that I'd try it out sometime later in my life).

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September 4th, 2007, 15:38
So you think I am better off trying the original ?
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September 4th, 2007, 17:05
I suspect the original is the same thing, only with much worse graphics. But I don't know. I think someone who's played and finnished Lazarus should answer that. I'm interested not only on Lazarus, I'm allso a bit interested in trying Ultima 7, but I want to know if I have the "stomach" for it.

Speaking of which, I've managed to install Ultima 7 but the manual doesn't mention controlls at all. So I'm a bit uncertain on how to play the game (and that goes for journal too. Do I really need to keep my own notes? ).

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September 4th, 2007, 17:48
Originally Posted by Bar Tec View Post
Very interesting thread.
Take for example classic orthodox Christian ethics, which says that "good ends could never justify evil means", that is, you should not kill innocent human, even if, by doing this, you are saving thousands other lives. Christianity assumes that the most important thing is one’s salvation, not any mundane deeds, and you should not sacrifice your soul for saving the entire planet from destruction etc.
This is a topic of another forum but its founder did exactly that. To be fair I think you are talking about taking the life of someone else here to make such a decision. Christians, and I would think all major religions, deal with all sorts of moral dilemmas. The one you mention here I don't know if its a realistic example of one, but dealing with things bring growth.

In some cases someone can do this if the are given the authority, such as a military commander or a political leader, and it wouldn't be a violation of their faith because they have been empowered. And I think there's the matter of taking initiative if you aren't officially.

On the other hand even if you don't believe you have the right and don't do it there's the belief in a greater and better reason for this to happen. But you must always be careful that it's not a cop-out for making a decision that you could have controlled.

This does relate to the topic on hand as moral dilemmas were a theme in later Ultimas. In Ultima 9 they had a similar one to the one above about the little girl demanding you to kill her. I thought it was poorly written because the whole situation was not only not realistic but it was more of a tragedy and a catch-22 than a real dilemma and it had anything to do with your character as an avatar.

Someone brought up about the difficulty selling ethics to todays gamers but I think Garriot took a risk himself at the time. I don't believe gamers back then were too much different than today.

Most of them played arcade games and ports and on their early consoles if they still had one. RPGs, CRPG's and even his own Ultimas were by and large hack and slash and U3 was the best selling new game out there. Garriot went and did something very different and brought a whole new element to gaming and did it in a way people are still talking about today. In the past there were very likely games based around ethics but none had been this successful. The target audience was much different than it is today - its the risk involved with $10 million on the line that's the problem.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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September 4th, 2007, 18:48
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Is Lazarus linear like DS or is only the graphics engine taken from DS and the rest remade to fit the Ultima game ?
As far as I know, the attempt was made to build - technically - a Mod which includes everything from that old Ultima game.

To answer to your question: No, Lazarus requires just the graphics, notghing else. Apart from that, it is - as far as I know - a complete remake of the old Ultima game.

The only real difference seems to be the fight: It's real-time, because DS didn't know such a thing like "turn-based".
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September 4th, 2007, 19:27
Does that change the gameplay a lot ?
I'm thinking of taking the game with me on the plane to Nottingham, so… I'd like it to be good before I plunge inside, sry for all the questions.
The game also incorporates the virtues systems, right ? And dialogue, quests, … ?
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September 4th, 2007, 20:24
I haven't played neither the old game nor Lazarus, so I can't say for sure.

But as I have read in interviews, they tried to stick as close to the original as possible - as possible as this engine allows it.
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; September 4th, 2007 at 23:11.
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September 4th, 2007, 20:56
Thank you for your help. I'd appreciate any other comments as well, but I think I'll try the game out.
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September 5th, 2007, 06:04
Check out my review back at the Dot. It's the only game I've ever given a 10 for. It's brilliant, but definitely not an Oblivion clone. YOU have to work at discovering what to do through meaningful dialogue and choices. If you steal, you will have major consequences etc. No-one will TELL you what to do, you need to work it out. It's Hard at the beginning as well. Enjoy!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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September 5th, 2007, 09:34
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
I suspect the original is the same thing, only with much worse graphics. But I don't know. I think someone who's played and finnished Lazarus should answer that. I'm interested not only on Lazarus, I'm allso a bit interested in trying Ultima 7, but I want to know if I have the "stomach" for it.

Speaking of which, I've managed to install Ultima 7 but the manual doesn't mention controlls at all. So I'm a bit uncertain on how to play the game (and that goes for journal too. Do I really need to keep my own notes? ).

Übereil
Yes, the original Ultima V has very bad graphics by today's standards. It takes a lot of patients and understanding on the player's part to work through the game. But, it is well worth the effort as it offers a story of morals that modern games don't.

Ultima 7 is very easy to get the hang of. It's mostly point and click. I think if you just fool around with it for a while you can get used to it quickly. It doesn't make use of the ethics system very deeply but it does have a great story and an amazing world. Also, the graphics are dateless. You can play it 10 years from now and still enjoy the graphics.
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September 5th, 2007, 10:53
It doesn't sound like you are using Exult to play U7…I'd recommend you consider it, because they have made several improvements over the original UI.

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September 5th, 2007, 14:07
I AM useing Exult to play it… It's just that the manual doesn't say anything about how to acually play it (just loads and more loads of lore). The graphics do look good, unlike all those first person games (early 90's first person is a real mess).

But… DO I need to keep my own journal?

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September 5th, 2007, 14:11
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
It doesn't sound like you are using Exult to play U7…I'd recommend you consider it, because they have made several improvements over the original UI.
Heh … thanks for mentioning Exult, I had been watching the Pocket PC version and they just recently had a new binary release (last one wouldn't run on any of my PDA's).

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September 5th, 2007, 16:14
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Check out my review back at the Dot. It's the only game I've ever given a 10 for. It's brilliant, but definitely not an Oblivion clone. YOU have to work at discovering what to do through meaningful dialogue and choices. If you steal, you will have major consequences etc. No-one will TELL you what to do, you need to work it out. It's Hard at the beginning as well. Enjoy!!
Corwin, nice review, one little problem for, I like in-game journals that tell me what quests I have to do. You said I had to write things on paper !!
Does that mean I have to write everything on paper or just where people are and stuff ? Also, you mentioned puzzles, what kind of puzzles and are they hard and real brain-breakers or can an amateur solve them without a walkthrough ?

Alrik, thank you.
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September 5th, 2007, 23:28
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
It's just that the manual doesn't say anything about how to acually play it
I guess this is actually part of the "play".

All finding out by yourself. No question marks or exclamation marks like in Blizzard games, for example.

The total opposite.

I guess marketing people must loathe the Ultima games.
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September 6th, 2007, 01:07
The original had no journal and you had to hand draw all your maps as well. The devs decided to keep as close to the original as possible, though were arm twisted into supplying a map. Puzzles are quite straightforward.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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September 6th, 2007, 10:32
Anyone else think, corperations not willing to take chances, is the main reason, as it happened with the music industry?

http://www.maniacworld.com/Zappa-exp…-of-music.html

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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September 6th, 2007, 13:14
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Anyone else think, corperations not willing to take chances, is the main reason, as it happened with the music industry?

http://www.maniacworld.com/Zappa-exp…-of-music.html
I always love listening to Zappa talk … he did become more bitter than funny right before his death, but to an extent you can see how it happened. And yes, I think that mentality he talks about is endemic to the game industry as well.

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