Author Topic: I am interested in any and all criticism!  (Read 28710 times)

Offline Lu

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2005, 09:01:39 PM »
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I'd also like to ask a question based on your concept of static alignment [...]
   To satisfy my majesty, there should be a story in the game, with a possibility of taking the path of destruction
 and evil at the end, for every possible change of alignment from good to evil. Like BioWare did it in case of Anomen.
 I hope there's no need to answer your question about that paladin explicitly
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probably has some goodness hidden within him anyway
   Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't. Anyway, case A is neglected, unless you give the player an opportunity of explaining
 the said EB's reason for generosity. If so, then it would surely be great. But I think 1) it requires way too
 much work 2) it's not what you're going do

 To Idobek:
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You appear to be saying that because I have already played the game then I must be meta-gaming if I give my
 character a personality
   Not a personality, if you give your character a future story
  (btw, do you guys ever sleep? It must be about 3a.m. in UK now)

Offline Lu

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2005, 10:29:00 PM »
   There is also another question I'd like to ask SimDing0. Let's use an example again
   To save or not to save (Viconia, I mean)? Some people see rescuing her as an evil action, others think that not to
 save her is evil (some may even think that these decisions are neither good nor evil). You definitely have to make
 a decision here. Perhaps if you are a lawful person (you, Sim, not a PC), you'll decide that saving her is evil
 (like Keldorn sees it), while if you are of chaotic alignment (like Minsc or myself), you may think it evil to let
 the mob burn her. Either way, it becomes sort of too subjective
   So what's the solution here? Not on this special occasion, but in general, I mean

Offline Ghreyfain

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2005, 10:31:52 PM »
Or maybe Keldorn lost a virtue point for not trying to uphold justice and protect the weak.  Just as I'm sure he loses a virtue point for trying to off Viconia when she's in the party.
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Offline Lu

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2005, 10:54:46 PM »
   I'm not sure that lawful people care as much about laws as they say they do. Perhaps it's something like
 "strict laws are necessary, because it's the only way to benefit the majority of the people" (LG alignment)
 or "the safest way to benefit me" (LE) or "the only way to assure that trains run on schedule" (LN). I have
 a feeling that this is the way BioWare see it, at least. If so, then Keldorn reacts according to his alignment,
 meaning that he would surely sacrifice an innocent child, if it brought happiness to mankind
   Never liked them commies, I mean pallies
   Sorry if it's off topic

Offline Ghreyfain

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2005, 11:00:15 PM »
I rather think he wouldn't, but that's getting off track.
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2005, 04:39:13 AM »
   To satisfy my majesty, there should be a story in the game, with a possibility of taking the path of destruction and evil at the end, for every possible change of alignment from good to evil. Like BioWare did it in case of Anomen.
There is. It goes like this: At first, you pick the good options. Then, you start picking the evil options. That IS scope for the story I propose, and the possibility is there both with and without Virtue.
So yes, there is a need to answer my question explicitly.

Quote
Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't. Anyway, case A is neglected, unless you give the player an opportunity of explaining
 the said EB's reason for generosity. If so, then it would surely be great. But I think 1) it requires way too
 much work 2) it's not what you're going do
And again, see above: one case, while unfortunate, isn't terribly significant in determining a character's alignment, and is still handled infinitely better than Bioware's inconsistent and meaningless reputation changes.

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   Not a personality, if you give your character a future story
Yet, if, as you argue, alignment represents how the player will act, rather than reflecting how they have in the past, then when you select alignment, you're creating a story for your character, rather than the personality, which by your argument is metagaming. Not to say I agree, but I think you're tripping yourself up. :)

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To save or not to save (Viconia, I mean)? Some people see rescuing her as an evil action, others think that not to
save her is evil (some may even think that these decisions are neither good nor evil). You definitely have to make
a decision here. Perhaps if you are a lawful person (you, Sim, not a PC), you'll decide that saving her is evil
(like Keldorn sees it), while if you are of chaotic alignment (like Minsc or myself), you may think it evil to let
the mob burn her. Either way, it becomes sort of too subjective
   So what's the solution here? Not on this special occasion, but in general, I mean
Law and chaos have no impact on good or evil, so your point about my alignment is irrelevant.
I don't believe good/evil issues are subjective, but the reason we have multi-page threads here is to ensure that I don't take a completely arbitrary decision which nobody else agrees with.
And, just one more time, Virtue's decisions make infinitely more sense than Bioware's reputation choices in the original game, so when considering the "subjectivity" of some of my decisions, please also bear in mind that somebody's always had to take those decisions (and in PnP, it'd be the DM)-- difference is, Virtue's get a helluva lot more discussion than Bioware.

Offline Idobek

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2005, 05:59:36 AM »
I think I shot myself in the foot by not framing my original argument particularly well but, yeah, what Sim said.
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Offline Lu

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2005, 04:35:14 PM »
 To SimDing0:
   By the definition of this thread, as I see it, my job here is to ask questions, your is to answer them. But to
 answer a question, you have to read it carefully first, like:
Quote
Law and chaos have no impact on good or evil, so your point about my alignment is irrelevant
   Please, sir! In my previous post, it's clearly stated that I have no idea what alignment you are. If I thought it
 was lawful, then I would have said "As a lawful person, you..."; saying "If you WERE a lawful person, ...." would
 mean that I thought you weren't. But I said "If you ARE a lawful person (you, Sim)... ", which definitely reveals
 that I have no clue what your alignment is
   My original question was: why do you choose changeable alignment system over statical? Well, basically I have the
 answer. The next question is: how do you intend to implement this system? Just a general idea, if you please, or a
 good example. IMO the system of changeable alignment inevitably forces the author to make very subjective decisions
 on ambiguous situations
   Law and chaos have no impact on good or evil, but they have impact on what people call on good or evil
   Let me explain it with an example. If I see a thief in a small store next to my door, where I shop every day and
 the owners are almost my friends, I'll definitely try to stop him. However, seeing someone stealing goods in Macy's
 (it's the largest department store in New York City), I'll say to myself smth like "Lu, it's none of your business.
 Besides, he may be in need". In both cases, I'd call my decisions good, otherwise I'd act differently. But someone
 else will think that letting a thief go is always an evil act. The problem is, we often judge choices as good/bad,
 but they really are simply lawful or unlawful. And imagining that what I've just depicted happens in the game,
 you will be my judge here
   I've just remembered that Bioware implemented in NWN the system of changeable alignment (same what you intend to
 do in Virtue, I believe), and IMO they failed much worse than in BG, with the good ol' system

Offline Lu

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2005, 04:38:03 PM »
 To Idobek:
   I'm beginning to think that strictly speaking, some elements of metagaming are unavoidable in principle. The
 player's choice is where to draw the line (s)he wouldn't want to cross. Hmm, never thought of that before
   I'd love do discuss it more, but looks like it's off topic. Thank you for your comments

Offline SimDing0™

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2005, 04:55:29 PM »
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Please, sir! In my previous post, it's clearly stated that I have no idea what alignment you are. If I thought it
 was lawful, then I would have said "As a lawful person, you..."; saying "If you WERE a lawful person, ...." would
 mean that I thought you weren't. But I said "If you ARE a lawful person (you, Sim)... ", which definitely reveals
 that I have no clue what your alignment is
I understood exactly what you were saying. You suggested that I'd consider different things to be good/evil depending on whether I was lawful/chaotic. I disagreed.

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The next question is: how do you intend to implement this system?
You speak as if Virtue's a mod in progress. It's been released for years.

Quote
IMO the system of changeable alignment inevitably forces the author to make very subjective decisions
 on ambiguous situations
<snip some more examples and stuff>
I've addressed this in previous posts, but you seem to just be restating your original question at this point. Have you read my responses?

Quote
I've just remembered that Bioware implemented in NWN the system of changeable alignment (same what you intend to
 do in Virtue, I believe), and IMO they failed much worse than in BG, with the good ol' system
Perhaps you've also played PST, in which the dynamic alignment system worked amazingly well. I don't know how it's implemented in NWN (I'd hazard a guess at "fairly sloppily"), but PST is what Virtue's based loosely around in some respects.

Offline Bex

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2005, 10:16:41 PM »
I don't know how it's implemented in NWN (I'd hazard a guess at "fairly sloppily")

Summat arbitrarily in the original OC. Much better in the little of the first expansion I've actually played, with lawful/chaotic shifts as well.

And I'd like to venture a teensy criticism of my own that isn't directly related to the debate at hand.

Ahem.

It's REALLY BLOODY HARD to maintain a neutral alignment with Virtue installed, short of going on the occasional blood-thirsty rampage, which never seems quite in character for, say, an ordinary druid.

That said, I personally have no problem with good druids. Jaheira should certainly already BE one. However, I have noticed that a lot of druid-only items from various mods will be deemed unusable once alignment shifts from true neutral. This doesn't happen with Bioware's druid-only items.

Anyway, this is more of a "thought I'd point it out" than a genuine complaint. I don't know that you'd even see a lot of crossover between people playing Virtue and... Munchmod. I'm just compulsive about checking out everything.

(BTW, if you incorporate GB's Thief Keep into Quest Pack, you might want to tweak the restrictions on the druid buckler in the added rogue shop.)
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Offline SimDing0™

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2005, 04:19:50 AM »
I'm aware that it's fairly hard to maintain neutral with Virtue. I'd hoped that the slightly looser alignment boundaries would fix this in recent versions, but still. The problem tends to be that the game puts you through a series of situations where there isn't really a satisfactory neutral path that has a reasonably advantageous outcome. You can probably take the other approach to being neutral (performing both good and evil deeds arbitrarily) which is slightly less satisfactory, but still. That said, I think neutrality should be something that's difficult to maintain, especially in the situation the PC's been thrust into, so I don't consider it all that bad.

If there are any items in the original game whose restrictions go wrong when your alignment shifts, then let me know and I can fix those. However, while I'd like to maintain compatibility and consistency, it's not really convenient to start patching usabilities on mod items, and I think you'd be better taking it up with the author of the mod(s) in question.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2005, 04:22:42 AM by SimDing0™ »

Offline Qualidor

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2005, 05:36:10 AM »
Quote
To save or not to save (Viconia, I mean)? Some people see rescuing her as an evil action, others think that not to
save her is evil (some may even think that these decisions are neither good nor evil). You definitely have to make
a decision here. Perhaps if you are a lawful person (you, Sim, not a PC), you'll decide that saving her is evil
(like Keldorn sees it), while if you are of chaotic alignment (like Minsc or myself), you may think it evil to let
the mob burn her. Either way, it becomes sort of too subjective
   So what's the solution here? Not on this special occasion, but in general, I mean

This is a flawed example. Viconia is not breaking any laws. A priest of Beshaba (Chaotic Neutral god of f***ing things around for the fun of it) decided she'd do nicely as an example of 'Beshaba's will.' In this scenario, it is virtuous to rescue the unlawfully detained prisoner. In fact, upholding the law requires you to take action against the priest because he (priest) is breaking the law.

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It's REALLY BLOODY HARD to maintain a neutral alignment with Virtue installed, short of going on the occasional blood-thirsty rampage, which never seems quite in character for, say, an ordinary druid.

Neutral is supposed to be the most difficult alignment to play because it is so difficult to maintain true neutrality in all things. However, I feel your pain. It is a fault of BGII that there are so few 'neutral' options, unfortunately.

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Looks like trying to be brief makes my posts obscure. Let me explain what bothers me, imagining the following situation:
  An evil bastard gave money to a homeless child and let the child go. Why would he do it? I see three possibe
 explanations:
  A) He knew/thought that it would profit him better
  B) He acted against his alignment. In this case, the EB will start to regret it soon, saying to himself
 smth like "Why did I do that? Was I out of my f******* mind?"
  C) Something is going on, his attitude towards the world is changing to non-evil
  In cases A and B he remains an EB has always been
  Assuming that the meaning of the term 'alignment' in your vocabulary is the same as in BioWare's (though it may
  be not so), case C is what Virtue mod deals with. The fact is, there is no story in the game that explains these
 changes (critical changes, I may add, for alignmet = personality, IMO). If you think it's no big deal, than fine.
 But I think it a big deal
  I hope it's clear now

He did act against his alignment. Evil characters are not charitable; they are self-centered. Law/chaos in this case determines HOW they go about serving themselves. What could he possibly have stood to gain from assisting the anonymous homeless child?

Finally, the BGII manual is wrong. Taken from the AD&D 2nd edition player's handbook:

"The character's alignment is a guide to his basic moral and ethical attitudes toward others, society, good, evil and the forces of the universe in general. Use the chosen alignment as a guide to provide a clearer idae of how the character will handle moral dilemmas. Always consider alignment as a tool, not a straitjacket that restricts the character. Although alignment defines general attitudes, it certainly doesn't prevent a character from changing his beliefs, acting irrationally or behaving out of character."

Offline Bex

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2005, 09:12:54 PM »
If there are any items in the original game whose restrictions go wrong when your alignment shifts, then let me know and I can fix those. However, while I'd like to maintain compatibility and consistency, it's not really convenient to start patching usabilities on mod items, and I think you'd be better taking it up with the author of the mod(s) in question.

Nah, I didn't mean it that way. I don't expect any responsibility for that kind of thing to be on you. Just started rambling a bit. I do that. Don't mind me.
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Offline NiGHTMARE

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2005, 04:15:50 AM »
This is a flawed example. Viconia is not breaking any laws. A priest of Beshaba (Chaotic Neutral god of f***ing things around for the fun of it) decided she'd do nicely as an example of 'Beshaba's will.' In this scenario, it is virtuous to rescue the unlawfully detained prisoner. In fact, upholding the law requires you to take action against the priest because he (priest) is breaking the law.
Actually, Beshaba is Chaotic Evil, which makes it even worse...
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Offline Ebon

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2005, 03:25:52 AM »
I don't see the point in arguing in trivial matters like rescuing Viconia, so my so-simple recommendation is this: don't do anything whatever happens. :-yin
Good night.

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2005, 09:18:41 PM »
I just really really really wish it worked with Tutu,  Other than that its the greatest addition to the roleplaying aspect of this game to date. 

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2006, 08:47:38 AM »
Two points (hmm, maybe I should join the forum eventually).

1) Alignment shifts CAN be frequent over the course of a game. Go play Planescape Torment
2) If Keldorn did two unvirtuous actions against Viconia, he shouldn't be a Paladin anymore under the current incarnation of the virtue pack.

K

Offline Drew

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2006, 12:06:12 PM »
Viconia is a priestess of the most evil deity in Faerun.  A simple Detect Evil will tell you that she's evil.  Whether or not she's done it in your presence, it's pretty much garaunteed that, if you kill her or let her die, she's done something to deserve it.  I think that the "to save or rescue?" question is more one of law vs chaos.  A chaoti good character is usually willing to employ any method to accomplish good, where a lawful character is not.  Therefore a chaotic character might not care why someone he feels deserves death is being killed.  A lawful character, however, would have other ideas.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2006, 12:09:33 PM by Drew »
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Offline Ghreyfain

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2006, 02:35:04 AM »
Or the CG character wouldn't think twice about leaping into the fray to save someone, whether it's because it's unjust or to try to redeem her later or whatever. Motivation can be arbitrary in basically every situation, when it comes down to it.
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Offline Drew

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2006, 04:00:03 AM »
That, too.  A CG character could go either way. 
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Offline LoneRogue

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2006, 11:31:37 AM »
Hey SimDing0,

Any thoughts on making a Virtue Pack for BG1&TotSC?

Thanks,
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Offline TormentedDragon

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2006, 07:06:19 PM »
Ah, the never-ending argument over how alignment should affect your actions. Personally, I don't think it determines actions so much as what the character values, and the motivations behind the actions that the character takes. But then that's me.

It occurs to me that if you feel Alignment should determine your actions, rather than that your actions should determine your alignment... you should probably play that way. Therefore, even though you have the OPTION to be an evil bastard, you don't take it because you're a lawful good upholder of all that is right and honorable. Bada bing bada boom... problem solved. On the other hand, people have a tendency to like playing dynamic characters. I happen to be one of those people. I believe that all people, and therefore, all characters, are capable of both great good and great evil.

Take, for example, elven berserker Jarek, Bhaalspawn, Neutral Good. He's been fighting for his very life since his foster father was killed. He's just managed to escape from the clutches of a mad wizard, and had his childhood friend and close companion taken from him, not to mention two other close friends murdered. Enter Belmin Gergas, elf-hater.

Jarek is at the end of his rope. Belmin makes it snap, and loses his head. Is he still, at heart, a good person? Most likely. After all, a single evil act does not a villain make. But it is also entirely possible that the experience, on top of all that has already happened to him, affects him deeply. He begins to choose the morally questionable path more and more often, letting his deep-seated rage and pain overrule his moral compass.

By the time he finally faces down Irenicus, he can no longer be considered Good.

The question raised is... how does Bioware address this? They don't. Not really. Sure, if you take the evil path through hell your alignment gets booted to evil for Throne of Bhaal. Whoopty doo. Doesn't change the fact that you can then about-face, be a paragon of virtue, and still be Neutral Evil.

This mod addresses that. Kudos to you, Sim.

'Course, I don't have it installed right now, because I want my CN character to stay CN, regardless of the fact that he is mostly doing good things. He travels with Minsc, Jaheira, and Aerie, after all, and allows himself to be influenced.

People should keep in mind that Virtue, like all mods... is optional. I personally thinks it great for when I need to watchdog my actions, or am planning a redemption or fall for my character.

One shortcoming of it, in my mind, is the lack of ability to switch between lawful and chaotic. The alignment change system is already there. But, of course, to implent such changes, you would have to go through and decide which actions were lawful, and which were chaotic, and that is even more of a clouded issue than what is good and what is evil. Would it be lawful or chaotic to aid Valygar instead of turning him in to the Cowls? Lawful or Chaotic to go after Rejiek without first turning over the evidence to Aegisfield? Plus there's the rather regrettable fact that this part of your alignment has pretty much no effect on the game.

So the question here is... would you even consider the possibility? I'm not asking for it, I just think it would be an interesting addition, and I want to know if anybody thinks it would be at all feasible.

Offline ardek

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2006, 07:30:05 PM »
Okay, I this might have already been suggested as I haven't read through the rest of the comments (I'm in a rush, but I wanted to do this anyway) but I find it a bit odd the way that sacrificing a wizard eye to the erm... statue near the exit to the Underdark (the one that spawns the Demon knights, one of which has the Soul Reaver and a strength girdle) or for that matter a skeleton earns you a drop in virtue... I mean neither of them are actually alive in the first place, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with killing them.
Okay, I know that the game engine is probably too limited to do anything about that (I got round it my uninstalling virtue, commiting said act and then reinstalling virtue... I'm a paladin, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered), but one other weird thing that i noticed is that with a positive reputation, at least popular, both imoen and kelsey complained about not disapproved (they said it in game as voice clips, rather than dialogue)... although this seems to have gone with the fresh install of virtue, so all's well that ends well... Very nice idea.  My compliments to the chef.  :P

Offline strayshift

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Re: I am interested in any and all criticism!
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2008, 03:58:28 PM »
It comes down to playing styles, bur basically I think this mod is excellent BECAUSE I think that the concept of alignment in AD&D is basically over-simplistic for most characters. I prefer it as a stricter code for religiously powered/motivated characters and in essence these are the characters that are most challenged by this mod.
The concept of reputation was again over simplistic (and I think the pc should have some fame/notoriety in neighbouring Amn) - basically this mod should have been part of the original game.
Cheers
G

 

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