View Full Version : "Evil"

15th Oct 2003, 05:08
A few replies to my last post brought up "evil" and how it should effect gameplay. You guys were absolutely right, the game is immoral, that is it has no sense of right or wrong. Morality dpends on your belifs and th reaction of others to them. "Evil" might commited, but the perpetrator might think he's doing good. For example, Hitler thought he was helping people by killing Jews. Obviously this is a twisted view of good, but it shows that good and evil are way different things to various cultures, people, etc.

The question is, how should this be represented in DX:IW?
Here are some ideas people brought up.

-Reputation points (a la Baldur's Gate) I personally think these can be unrealistic and lead to cluttered tables and stats. Also, it would completely be stupid if you lost points even if no one witnessed your crime (A post brought this up) It also determines a black and white world and gameplay.It would be extremely hard to make it realistic.

It would work if it say, adapted to your needs and your communities mindset. It would be awesome if you were in the group that fights for human purity against Augs (Biomods) and hung around them all the time so the system would adapt. It would change to your needs. Say you went and bombed a government Biomods company, to keep the human race "pure". The game would have other "Pure Human" guild members love you and praise you. It would also have to make it so the Biomod lovers would hate you.

Whenever you met Biomod lovers they would be predjudiced against you of course and remember what you did.

It will take a creative idea to be able to represent things such as predjudice and memory of incidints.

What kind of system would you guys use to make a realistic reputation and ethics systems?

Thanks for listening to my rant. ~:rolleyes:

15th Oct 2003, 10:06
If you don't mind waiting, i'll type up something later, im very busy today :(

15th Oct 2003, 14:39
That's an interesting subject. I think this should be done this way: after you do something the NPC's change their minds about you (like it was done in DX). Also the actions of a player should vary the storyline. Not only alter the dialogues a little, but change the missions, the goals and so on... This was somehow attempted to bring to life in DX, but I guess it wasn't good enough... I really want to be able to FUNDAMENTALLY change the way the game goes anytime. Of course, no one would give me such an opportunity :)

As for the good/evil rating, I think it's kinda primitive in all role-playing games I've seen so far. I mean, wtf? How does a guy determine whether he wants to kick my ass or not just by looking at me? I think that such a rating should be only a minor aspect of one's choice of the storyline branch.

15th Oct 2003, 15:18
Well, there's really only two ways to do it that I can think of.

1) Every action has a "value". So, killing a civilian is -10 reputation points or something.

2) Every action has a specifically coded impact. So, killing a civilian makes the guy from the pacifist organization dislike me.

The problem with 1) is that its kind of arbitrary and mechanical. Reputation points don't seem very realistic, and it makes your characters feel less real.

The problem with 2) is that its basically impossible to code for every possible action in the game. What if I just knocked out the civilian? What if I just threw furniture at him? Is the pacifist guy coded to respond to all these situations? And what about the local gang leader? Will he think I'm cooler now? What about their various minions? How will they act towards me? There's too many possible scenarios to handle on a case-by-case basis.

16th Oct 2003, 10:54
Had a terrible yesterday so i couldn¬ęt come back later on. So apologies extended, and the comment i wanted to make.

First, there isn't a need for a reputation system like BG2. Simply because not only is it an unrealistic system, it also was badly implemented in many cases in it. A reputation system like that is very bad, as the meaning of reputation isn't being taken into exact account (ie, being penalized/rewarded by actions no one else saw is ridiculous and unfulfilling, to say the least).

Second, i pretty much agree with coldblue. I pretty much wanted to say what he said, but he did it first :) So i will add this. A system that tracks actions can be coded easily. Not as fluid as i'd like, as its impossible to track down and present outcomes for every single action, but its possible to track the good and evil measured by specific actions. The game can present you with situations where there is a good, evil, or totally neutral way of handling things, and give you rewards (or forbid them) depending on choices you make. This can make for a branching system (even if it has to be converging at times). Meaning that a good action has much of a possibility of opening up new paths, giving you rewards and other things as an evil action has. If you do something considered good, someone evil may not talk to you or may not give you certain info; but a good NPC will. The reverse can also happen. And between this good and evil, a neutral stance on things can also happen. Whatever it is you choose, there could be an outcome to things, and a reaction by NPCs.

But to avoid players thinking there is a right or good way of doing things (and making them flock over to the "good" side), the system can present the same level/amount of results with whatever side (good/evil/neutral) you choose. Since its all based on players' decision-making, it makes sense. A good action will open some doors to you, as well as it will close some; doing an evil act will close some doors to you, but will open others as well. This makes it so there still isn't a "right" way of doing things, just a "my way", in which our morality will be the guiding way to success. For instance, in DX1, failing one mission objective did not imply it was game over (example: saving Tiffany Savage, saving the hostages in the subway, etc), it just meant that things would have a different outcome - but would still go on. The same could be done here - solving a situation the good way or evil way would open and close doors for both sides, but it would never stop the player from finishing the game. Obviously some measure of hardship should be included for those that go evil (for obvious reasons), but it still should allow the player to have enough options to go around.

17th Oct 2003, 12:15
I agree with Trollslayer. This kind of thing was done dreadfully in BG, even outside of the stupid reputation system. I tried playing BG2 from an evil stance, but I was poorly rewarded, and heavily penalised. Rather than feel free to act as I chose, I felt indignant that the game developers were trying to force their own morals on to me. It was done quite well in Fallout, where being evil could get you into trouble, but also earn you respect in the crimeworld. I feel that the makers of Fallout had a better understanding of game balance and of human nature. I hope DX2 will be something like this.

23rd Oct 2003, 17:07
Personally i thought that the beauty of Dues Ex's story was just that. There was no clear cut bad guy or good guy. No sheriff in white hat or Bandit with Black Bandana. Lots of grey areas. I would hate to see the characters in Dues Ex 2 to be pidgeonholed into "thats the good faction" "this is the evil faction" "this is the nuetral faction" etc.

23rd Oct 2003, 17:51
I don't think they'll implement a simple good<--->evil slider. My guess would be something like the faction system used in games like Everquest, Dark Ages of Camelot, and your other various and sundry MMORPGs. Completing goals and performing actions that are in line with a particular faction's goals will raise your reputation in their eyes, while possibly lowering it with other factions. Some actions might have effects on multiple factions. For example, if you blew up a biomod corporation, you might raise faction with humanists and anarchists, while lowering it with pacifists. Your faction doesn't just have to boil down to whether or not someone is "red" or "green" to you. It can effect how much information they are willing to give you in conversations, how much or what kind of help they're willing to give you in accomplishing your objectives, etc. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, either. They might not want to kill you, but they could be suspicious of you, or indifferent to you.

It can be a little wierd for your faction to go up or down if the event that triggered it wasn't witnessed by anyone, but they have to balance out the fact that there are no policemen investigating your little rash of murders. In real life, you usually can't just beat someone up in a dark alley or cut a secretary in half and throw her body behind a potted plant and expect to not have any consequences for it. Besides, faction is a two-way street. It's not just a representation of your reputation, it's also suppposed to represent your ethos. If you really are a machinaphile (or whatever), do you really want to be hanging out with the luddites? They may not know that you're modded to the gills, but *you* know you are.