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Default GamerEuphoria - Morality Systems Need to be Less Black & White

May 15th, 2013, 01:53
GamerEuphoria has a new article discussing morality systems, and how they need to be improved. The article refers to The Witcher 2, Fallout 3, BioShock, Fable, and Mass Effect as examples.
‘Black and white’ decisions are the bane of morality systems. The choices are normally between doing an utterly selfless deed that is absolutely morally correct, or doing something that is straight up 100% evil; there is rarely middle ground. The problem with this is that these decisions then become a little detached from the dramatic effect that most of these games are aiming for.
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; May 15th, 2013 at 02:45.
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May 15th, 2013, 01:53
Errr, you're quoting almost the entire article (and doubling one paragraph). "Fair Use" isn't going to cover this.
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May 15th, 2013, 01:59
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Errr, you're quoting almost the entire article (and doubling one paragraph). "Fair Use" isn't going to cover this.
Thank You Mr. Obvious. It's fixed now and mistakes are going to happen.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 15th, 2013 at 02:21.
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May 15th, 2013, 04:19
Morality systems aren’t exactly new, yet they seem to be progressing at an extremely slow rate. Improving the choices and the impact they have upon the game world is something that needs to be addressed. Forcing players into a tough choice in order to achieve a ‘good’ outcome adds a large amount of drama to a game’s story and overall experience. The current trend of morality effecting a character’s look and dialogue options is outdated, and it’s simply time to move on.

As the next generation of consoles comes ever closer, I hope to see morality systems improve alongside new technology. The concept of morality has seeped through into various other genres so that it’s no longer confined to RPGs. It’s time for more games to encourage the player to make hard choices–choices that aren’t simply good or evil. Challenge the player’s morals, make their choices feel more tangible, and ditch the paragon of good and the embodiment of evil. Give morality and choice legitimacy and depth and the game’s experience will only benefit from it
Errrm, isn't that already featured extensively in the Witcher series?
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May 15th, 2013, 06:11
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Errrm, isn't that already featured extensively in the Witcher series?
I think he is talking about other games that are not the Witcher series. Right now not many allow grey choices or consequences that really matter.

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May 15th, 2013, 06:24
Hey wait a minute. Has the article been modified?

It doesn't contain any references to Witcher anymore! Now it only mentions Mass Effect and Fallout 3.

Edit:
HAH!
The likes of Mass Effect and Fallout 3 have all featured them in some shape or form. While all three games are ‘good’ examples of morality systems, they all tend to suffer from the same issue–and it’s an issue that affects almost every single game with a system of this nature.
Talk about a quick hatchet job
Last edited by Dr. A; May 15th, 2013 at 07:06.
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May 15th, 2013, 23:47
While I'd agree that more choice is good, the whole good v evil thing kind of drives a lot of these games…and fiction in general. Few people are interested in the story of the average dude who chose to take the middle ground, stay neutral, and do nothing.

Plus, it's already a ton of work to do what they're doing with RPGs. Trying to add even more branches isn't always realistic.
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May 16th, 2013, 10:18
What I really don't like is that developers seem to think that a neutral position is considered treason - cynically speaking - and is therefore completely left out.
Same goes for compromises - salomonic ones, for example.

It's binary - either 1 or 0.

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 16th, 2013, 14:01
Morality is not set in stone, it is relative to different gamers with their diverse outlooks, beliefs and lifestyles, i would not expect to see a flexible morality system in any normal game, therefore in-game morality has to be 'fixed' with the flexibility elements being contained within the game-play and realised as a consequence.

For example, if you knew that a certain moral stance was critical to C&C outcome, would you still play to your own gamer choice or more reluctantly as the game requires you to? - or - going much deeper, would you look (search) for a morality direction in a game without knowing their was one built into the game?

In a game with a hidden morality massive consequence, how could you ever know if you were being moralistic in every step you take through the game both positively and negatively? - it would have to be unknown until realised, a testing of the gamer's own morality.

There is such a game, it remains unsolved to this day, it is beautiful, it has experienced well over a million play-throughs by gamers world-wide without consequence completion success and totally unknown to the gamers awareness - to the situation the word 'ignorant' would be fitting if a little harsh, but i think 'casually dismissive' might be more acceptable in todays world. Such a game comes only once in a lifetime, the "ultimate" moral alignment game.

Did the dev's fail or did the gamers fail?

I strongly suggest the article writer Sean Halliday takes a step back to reflect on his own subjective stance rather than blog on a subject he 'thinks' he is correct about and aligns himself to casuals by default.
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May 16th, 2013, 14:41
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
There is such a game, it remains unsolved to this day, it is beautiful, it has experienced well over a million play-throughs by gamers world-wide without consequence completion success and totally unknown to the gamers awareness - to the situation the word 'ignorant' would be fitting if a little harsh, but i think 'casually dismissive' might be more acceptable in todays world. Such a game comes only once in a lifetime, the "ultimate" moral alignment game.
Are you referring to Gothic?
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May 16th, 2013, 15:00
The current trend of morality effecting a character’s look and dialogue options is outdated, and it’s simply time to move on.
Ugh.
Perhaps the writer should lay off the euphoria trip for a moment, take a breath and consider where the basis and reasons for this assumption (which I think is erroneous) comes from?

Also, go play Fallout 1 and 2 and then come back and tell me what a "good" morality system is. The localised karma system (which reappeared in a reshaped form in New Vegas) is far more interesting, nuanced and flexible than what was presented in Fallout 3.

This person simply needs to play more games and question more closely, the notion of progression within the subject of morality systems in games. Some suggestions and alternative ideas for the expansion of the concept would also have enhanced the article considerably.

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May 16th, 2013, 16:20
Since when was Fallout 1 and 2 considered modern day? Perhaps you should look at the context of the piece, MODERN DAY games, not the golden years of RPGS.
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May 16th, 2013, 17:06
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Thank You Mr. Obvious. It's fixed now and mistakes are going to happen.
Actually in this post Witcher/Walking Dead/etc. era this seems like a good response to the article itself.

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May 16th, 2013, 19:01
I was about to question whether the author slept through his Witcher playthrough, or if he has a weak grasp of English, because no matter how I look at it, when it comes to morality systems, the two Witcher games can only be counter-examples of what he is getting at.
Then he removed them. Apparently I was not the only one asking.
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May 16th, 2013, 22:13
Err The Witcher is still in the article, the image is the only edit by the looks of it?
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May 17th, 2013, 00:20
@SpoonFULL - Gothic for sure.
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May 17th, 2013, 03:53
Originally Posted by Crackles View Post
Err The Witcher is still in the article, the image is the only edit by the looks of it?
Haha, now Witcher 2 is included in the article! What the hell?

I am thinking the author must not have played the Witcher series at all. Or maybe he's confusing it with Skyrim
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May 17th, 2013, 04:34
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Haha, now Witcher 2 is included in the article! What the hell?

I am thinking the author must not have played the Witcher series at all. Or maybe he's confusing it with Skyrim
He posted a few messages on the article on Gamebanshee.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 17th, 2013 at 05:45.
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May 17th, 2013, 04:43
None of his replies come off as even slightly negative though? Are you looking for a issue or something?
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May 17th, 2013, 05:29
Originally Posted by Crackles View Post
None of his replies come off as even slightly negative though? Are you looking for a issue or something?
Nope just responding to Dr A. His reply's help understand why he wrote what he did.

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