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Default Dragon Age: Inquisition - Concerns for Romances

May 6th, 2014, 10:03
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Right, I'd like to see some more sophisticated approaches too. I'd like "free actions" to influence relations to companions instead of predefined dialogues.
Some examples would be:
  • bring the companion to a special place at a special time (cheesy example: a companion somewhen mentions he/she likes sunrises at the ocean and later you bring him/her to an eastern shore at sunrise)
  • give the companion an ordinary item at a special occasion (bromance building example: get him a beer when he's sitting in the camp relaxing)
  • when there's a game mechanic where you have to select a limited number of companions to accompany your main char on quests/missions (DA, MassEffect), these choices should influence relations
  • if the main character's appearance can be customized, it should influence love interests
  • any actzions/decisions in quests should influence the relationship (classic example: spare or kill the defeated opponent)
I'm sure there are a lot more possibilities like these to design companion relationship development much better.
Yeah, something like that.

Personally, I would prefer much more subtlety - and I would love if the player could be rewarded by picking up hints pertaining to the personality of the object of desire.

Say, if a female NPC casually mentioned having a pet as a child that died too soon - and the player getting a very favorable response from nurturing a pet during a much later sequence, without the NPC having to remind you of that early reference.

Problem with Bioware games (and, to be fair, most games) is that they don't have subtlety. They tend to shove personalities and quirks into your face from the first second you encounter the NPC.

Subtlety and casual references would go a long way to make the whole concept plausible, for my part.

Oh, and for pity's sake - DON'T systematize romance and involve gameplay mechanics. Nothing is less immersive when it comes to believable romance.
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May 6th, 2014, 11:41
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Right, I'd like to see some more sophisticated approaches too. I'd like "free actions" to influence relations to companions instead of predefined dialogues.
Some examples would be:
  • bring the companion to a special place at a special time (cheesy example: a companion somewhen mentions he/she likes sunrises at the ocean and later you bring him/her to an eastern shore at sunrise)
  • give the companion an ordinary item at a special occasion (bromance building example: get him a beer when he's sitting in the camp relaxing)
  • when there's a game mechanic where you have to select a limited number of companions to accompany your main char on quests/missions (DA, MassEffect), these choices should influence relations
  • if the main character's appearance can be customized, it should influence love interests
  • any actzions/decisions in quests should influence the relationship (classic example: spare or kill the defeated opponent)
I'm sure there are a lot more possibilities like these to design companion relationship development much better.
I honestly can't think of anything I'd rather NOT see in an RPG more than that. You might as well just play The Sims.
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May 6th, 2014, 11:47
Well, except Sims doesn't have combat, story, and isn't what I would consider an RPG - and the modern setting wouldn't appeal much either.
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May 6th, 2014, 11:56
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post

So for every gamer every feature in every game has a different weighting and you'll hardly find a game including all features you weight highly and lacking all features you weight lowly. You just have to ignore some features (when possible) and concentrate on those you like.

Just as you said, to each his own.

Gamers put the emphasis on gameplay. Romances as they are set in Bioware games have no gameplay function. They serve a story purpose, even when sugar coated with so power mongering features (the power of love)

In a game like The Sims, that comes with a dedicated gameplay to romancing and the ability to craft your own story, romancing has gameplay value and as such allures to gamers.

Romances in Bioware games are for storytold player crowd. It is a part feature of the storytelling act.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:07
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I guess I can't be honest and enjoy other things than loot and experience - but so be it.

I'd love a well-written romance in any CRPG - but that takes something that seems quite elusive to Bioware. The most obvious of which would be a plausible romance with characters that seem real, rather than teenage fantasies.

For instance, while I appreciated Liara's personality in Mass Effect on some level - I struggle to imagine a less convincing adult alien scientist. In a Chandler Bing voice: Could she BE anymore of a nerd-fest fantasy?

Oh, Shephard - I'm sorry if this seems wrong, but I have this strange interest in you. I've only known you for 5 minutes, but it's like you're the answer to all my questions. But I'm so awkwardly innocent and bookish - and that I'm absolutely over-the-top in love with you is so unexpected and…

Come on, it's for kids. It has nothing to do with real characters.

I could get behind Triss in The Witcher (pun intended) - but Bioware characters are just juvenile.
Ahhh the Asari are pretty much fan service, Liara too.
But…at least in Mass effect they try to explain why the asari try to mate with every one and that Liara is just a kid for her people.
There's also more of a build up to the "love" scenes.
Doesn't make it great but ok and they at least put some effort into it

Triss is easy for CD Project red, she's fully established and her relationship with gerald too.
Although i personally think CD Project red doesn't put enough emphasize on the fact that Triss is really just a holdover for Yennefer to Gerald.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:13
Originally Posted by Thorwyn99 View Post
Ahhh the Asari are pretty much fan service, Liara too.
But…at least in Mass effect they try to explain why the asari try to mate with every one and that Liara is just a kid for her people.
There's also more of a build up to the "love" scenes.
Doesn't make it great but ok and they at least put some effort into it
Yeah, well, I can't deny that I'm being a bit harsh. I actually enjoyed the romance as sort of a guilty pleasure, but it was always clear that it was pretty implausible.

I mean, have you looked at the Asari and their bodies?

But AFAIK, Bioware have never tried to hide that their stories revolve around the player - and that they're essentially power fantasies.

In that way, the romancing is a great fit. Once again, it's just about me not really caring for the style.

Triss is easy for CD Project red, she's fully established and her relationship with gerald too.
Although i personally think CD Project red doesn't put enough emphasize on the fact that Triss is really just a holdover for Yennefer to Gerald.
Since I've neither read the books nor played much of TW1, I couldn't say.

But I do clearly remember being engaged in their relationship from the word go in TW2. Just that initial conversation about the King and why there's a war going on was enough to get me interested.

I'm glad this was before the GoT show, though, as I might have considered it too derivative today.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:20
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Gamers put the emphasis on gameplay.
So how do you call people who like (Bioware-)romances in their games? Aren't they gamers as well?

Romances as they are set in Bioware games have no gameplay function. They serve a story purpose
Interaction with plot/story is gameplay as well.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:24
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
So how do you call people who like (Bioware-)romances in their games?
I call them a minority.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:31
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I call them a minority.
You need to have a chat with Gaider
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May 6th, 2014, 12:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I do clearly remember being engaged in their relationship from the word go in TW2. Just that initial conversation about the King and why there's a war going on was enough to get me interested.
The Triss relationship was actually rather frustrating for me, as it is forced upon the player regardless of whether you transferred a savegame from the original game that featured a forged relationship with Shani.

This wasn't recognised at all in the Witcher 2, which was quite an annoying oversight if one ever made Geralt invest in that particular relationship.

In general, I don't intentionally make my characters actively pursue romance dialogue, but if it occurs naturally and is driven by the narrative and links well or adds depth to the overarching plot and role-playing choice, then I don't mind exploring it. It's simply another aspect to writing and story-telling within a role-playing framework.

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May 6th, 2014, 12:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I call them a minority.
Of course it's just a guess, but I guess that they aren't actually a minority, no matter how you call them.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:34
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
The Triss relationship was actually rather frustrating for me, as it is forced upon the player regardless of whether you transferred a savegame from the original game that featured a forged relationship with Shani.
That does seem stupid, I'll admit.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:39
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Personally, I would prefer much more subtlety - and I would love if the player could be rewarded by picking up hints pertaining to the personality of the object of desire.

Say, if a female NPC casually mentioned having a pet as a child that died too soon - and the player getting a very favorable response from nurturing a pet during a much later sequence, without the NPC having to remind you of that early reference.
Yes, that's what I had in mind.

Problem with Bioware games (and, to be fair, most games) is that they don't have subtlety. They tend to shove personalities and quirks into your face from the first second you encounter the NPC.

Subtlety and casual references would go a long way to make the whole concept plausible, for my part.

Oh, and for pity's sake - DON'T systematize romance and involve gameplay mechanics. Nothing is less immersive when it comes to believable romance.
Yes, exactly. Visible systemization is a killer here. DA:O's love-o-meter which could be filled by handing over gifts was really bad.
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May 6th, 2014, 12:56
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I mean, have you looked at the Asari and their bodies?
Yeah there is actually a part, i think it's in ME2, where their own lore implications kinda fail them(possibly intentionally) lol.
The one where the 3 aliens have a bachelor party with the Asari dancer, where it seems like the Asari looks different to each of them.
It implies the Asari look to the onlooker as whatever the viewers species finds most attractive.
Yet no matter the gender or preference of the player it seems they all look like busty females to humans .
I thought the whole thing was a pretty funny quirk.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Since I've neither read the books nor played much of TW1, I couldn't say.

But I do clearly remember being engaged in their relationship from the word go in TW2. Just that initial conversation about the King and why there's a war going on was enough to get me interested.

I'm glad this was before the GoT show, though, as I might have considered it too derivative today.
Yeah no i really like how they did the Triss thing in TW2.
But the relationship is already established outside of the game, CDPR does a good job of going along with it though.(Except for the Yennefer part as said above)
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May 6th, 2014, 13:01
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
The Triss relationship was actually rather frustrating for me, as it is forced upon the player regardless of whether you transferred a savegame from the original game that featured a forged relationship with Shani.

This wasn't recognised at all in the Witcher 2, which was quite an annoying oversight if one ever made Geralt invest in that particular relationship.

In general, I don't intentionally make my characters actively pursue romance dialogue, but if it occurs naturally and is driven by the narrative and links well or adds depth to the overarching plot and role-playing choice, then I don't mind exploring it. It's simply another aspect to writing and story-telling within a role-playing framework.
I doubt they had much choice in making Triss the one going alone with Gerald, although they could have mentioned Shaani somehow, i agree.
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May 6th, 2014, 15:08
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
So how do you call people who like (Bioware-)romances in their games? Aren't they gamers as well?
Not gamers. Video game players who are interested in the story first and therefore by the gameplay second are not gamers.

Romances in Bioware games are not dictated by gameplay demand but the requirement of delivering a story.
Interaction with plot/story is gameplay as well.
Turning a leaf in a book is also gameplay.
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
In general, I don't intentionally make my characters actively pursue romance dialogue, but if it occurs naturally and is driven by the narrative and links well or adds depth to the overarching plot and role-playing choice, then I don't mind exploring it. It's simply another aspect to writing and story-telling within a role-playing framework.
I could think of a few roles that could demand to include romancing. I see none of these roles being included in a video game, even rated for mature audience.

Witchers are sterile and they approach that condition differently. The character gerald is a womanizer, unrelated to his role as a witcher. There is zero role playing by conforming to the character Gerald.
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May 6th, 2014, 15:27
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Not gamers. Video game players who are interested in the story first and therefore by the gameplay second are not gamers.
Per that definition, I'm not a gamer.
And it's true, I don't care for the gameplay much. It can be silly, clunky, crappy, but if the story is good, I'll forgive it. But if the story sucks, no matter how stellar the gameplay mechanics are, I won't play finish the game.

Now I need to find out what exactly I am.

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May 6th, 2014, 18:06
I would think that if the number of people who like romances really are a minority … then Bioware wouldn't bother so much with them. I have no access to statistics so I don't know. I can only say Bioware has commented they are popular and the forums tend to reflect that. Now saying it is a minority that likes them on certain forum websites … then certainly

I think people who say "go play SIMS if you want romance/relationships" are really missing the point. RPG's have many elements - should all tactics be removed and people told to play an RTS? Probably a bad example (in fact I am sure it is) but the point is that when playing an RPG it can be fun (for those who enjoy it) to also have interactions with other characters on a variety of levels. It is part of the role playing and part of the story. A mechanic does not have to add a concrete "bonus" to game play to be valuable. Things that make the game more enjoyable for others is a bonus. I mean do you even need a story to play a game? Just hack your way through a dungeon.

Also I think all the ideas for better romances are fair and well done but these are games with serious restraints in both time and technology (end-user requirements) and having amazingly complex romances probably isn't worth the time invested. It is an add-on to add some extra to the game for those who enjoy it to experience.

I never play hardcore modes, avoid multi-player aspects (like in ME), almost never craft, and tend to not worry about phat lewt … yet I see them all (well except MP) as being reasonable additions/options so that people who do like them can experience them. Romances are just another fun option. Would be nice to see them more developed but that would probably require more resources and people would bitch about it even more

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May 6th, 2014, 18:32
Gamers are going to fall into one of three catagories when it comes to romances in RPGs. Those who like them, those who dislike them, and those who are indifferent to them. I'm quite sure the vast majority belongs to the latter.

I don't think a significant amount of gamers would stop purchasing Bioware titles if they suddenly cut back on the romancing. RPG fans buy Bioware games because they're the only AAA developer that still specializes in making party-based RPGs…not because you can give someone a gift and spend time going through sappy dialogue in order to achieve a 10-second sex scene.

Bioware has a long way to go in gaining back the kind of trust and admiration they once had in the RPG community. Imo they need to worry less about romance and more about the RPG aspects that made them so popular in the past.
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May 6th, 2014, 18:37
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Witchers are sterile and they approach that condition differently. The character gerald is a womanizer, unrelated to his role as a witcher. There is zero role playing by conforming to the character Gerald.
Who the fuck is this Gerald that you keep referring to?
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