Author Topic: General interest  (Read 2680 times)

Offline Quitch

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General interest
« on: April 20, 2004, 06:45:23 AM »
The idea behind this project strikes a chord with me, and since it reflects a rather similar path to the one that Return to Windspear follows, I am intrigued.  Obviously, since this mod envelopes the whole game it would be better for RtW to fall in line, rather than develop its own system.  I'm sure this can be worked in during the final dialogue proofread.

However, I would like to know about the system first.  Examples of gains and losses of virtue during the course of the game, and good examples as to what is "morally good/bad" in the eyes of the author.  Is failing to sacrifice your life for the good of others a negative in virtue?  If not, where is the point where the sacrifice is too great to be considered reasonable.  What sort of numbers scale is used?  Is 10 a big gain or loss?  Is 1? What are the values required to change alignment, and how do those alignment changes work.  What numbers result in what outcomes, and how does the system sit alongside the existing game?  Are rep rewards modified or left alone? etc.

I'd love to download the mod and delve through the code, but I'll never finish RtW that way, so I ask your indulgence.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2004, 06:47:20 AM by Quitch »
Past: Ascension
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Future: Imoen Relationship
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Offline Cybersquirt

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Re: General interest
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2004, 06:54:49 AM »
(iirc, 4-5 points will change your alignment, so 10 would be huge)
Stupid is as stupid does.

Offline SimDing0

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Re: General interest
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2004, 07:19:56 AM »
The idea behind this project strikes a chord with me, and since it reflects a rather similar path to the one that Return to Windspear follows, I am intrigued.  Obviously, since this mod envelopes the whole game it would be better for RtW to fall in line, rather than develop its own system.  I'm sure this can be worked in during the dialogue proofread.
That would be great. On the other hand, there will undoubtedly be changes I've made that you don't agree with. Of course, I'll be most pleased to hear any input you feel like offering on them.

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However, I would like to know about the system first.  Examples of gains and losses of virtue during the course of the game, and good examples as to what is "morally good/bad" in the eyes of the author.
Many of the places where reputation changes could previously be seen now herald Virtue changes either as well or instead. Many of these are fairly obvious, such as the murdering of commoners, which now causes a Virtue drop (while Reputation changes now depend on people seeing you commit the deed).

I'll also give a few of the more controversial changes, for the purpose of illustration:

- Leaving Minsc and Jaheira in their cages to die in Irenicus' dungeon is considered evil. You're effectively killing them, when letting them out really isn't hard.
- In early versions, taking a long time to reach Imoen in Spellhold was considered evil. However, this is no longer the case; debate convinced me that it made too many assumptions about player intent.
- Attacking the Lich on the Nether Scroll quest is considered evil, since he is friendly and expresses a wish to protect others. On the other hand, if he is provoked into attacking the player, killing him is not considered evil, because the player has no way of anticipating the attack given the nature of the dialog options.

- Freeing Viconia causes your Virtue to rise. She doesn't deserve burning based solely upon her heritage.
- NPC alignment changes (so, Viconia and Sarevok) grant Virtue bonuses. You have to be a fairly nice person to influence someone enough to change their outlook in life. Were there any NPC corruptions possible, I'd label that evil.

- Killing Habib, Bondari, and the Chinchilla does not cause Virtue to be immediately set to 20. I only wish it could, because they suck THAT much.

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Is failing to sacrifice your life for the good of others a negative in virtue?  If not, where is the point where the sacrifice is too great to be considered reasonable.
On the whole, I don't force the player to put themselves in great danger to save another. It may be Virtuous to do so, but I don't consider it evil not to. A reasonable example of this is the Djinni in the drow city; I'm unwilling to force the player to free it or face a Virtue penalty, because of the risk of exposure that follows.

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What sort of numbers scale is used?  Is 10 a big gain or loss?  Is 1?
The scale I've used is identical to reputation. It runs from 1 to 20. As such, 10 would be an enormous change, while 1 would be comparatively minor, but not insignificant.

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What are the values required to change alignment, and how do those alignment changes work.
The boundaries are as follows:
1 to 7 is evil.
8 to 12 is neutral.
13 to 20 is good.

The alignment-changing system is arguably one of the less satisfactory aspects of the mod (although I don't have a problem with it), given that your alignment is set according to which of these bands your Virtue falls in. This makes is appropriately hard to remain neutral.
It's also worth noting that I've implemented a system whereby speciality priests fall if they stray from their original alignment, and that paladins now fall after a single evil act (inspired by 3e rules). Rangers fall if their Virtue drops below the same level their Reputation had to in vanilla BG2.

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I'd love to download the mod and delve through the code, but I'll never finish RtW that way, so I ask your indulgence.
The code's a mess, and best avoided like the plague.

Offline Quitch

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Re: General interest
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 09:28:21 AM »
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On the whole, I don't force the player to put themselves in great danger to save another. It may be Virtuous to do so, but I don't consider it evil not to. A reasonable example of this is the Djinni in the drow city; I'm unwilling to force the player to free it or face a Virtue penalty, because of the risk of exposure that follows.

Isn't sacrificing yourself for others a sign of virtue?  In fact, in such situations my suggestion would be to choose the actions depending on current virtue.  While someone of virtue 16 or less wouldn't be expected to risk themselves, surely anyone higher shouldn't be giving it a second thought?  If they do, it's a sign that, while not evil, they're not quite as virtuous as previously thought... this is the approach I would take in various situations, since virtue is the sign of what a player has done, it's also a good measure of what should be expected of them, i.e. As you become more pure, it becomes harder to score higher because good actions are now expected of you.

The idea sounds good though, and if you don't mind I might run a few situations past you later on.
Past: Ascension
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Future: Imoen Relationship
"Perfection has no deadline"

Offline SimDing0

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Re: General interest
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 09:51:02 AM »
Isn't sacrificing yourself for others a sign of virtue?
Right, and so I give Virtue increases for doing so.

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In fact, in such situations my suggestion would be to choose the actions depending on current virtue.  While someone of virtue 16 or less wouldn't be expected to risk themselves, surely anyone higher shouldn't be giving it a second thought?  If they do, it's a sign that, while not evil, they're not quite as virtuous as previously thought... this is the approach I would take in various situations, since virtue is the sign of what a player has done, it's also a good measure of what should be expected of them, i.e. As you become more pure, it becomes harder to score higher because good actions are now expected of you.
It now occurs to me that I've certainly been inconsistent, since as with the old BG2 reputation system, I've made Virtue drops for killing commoners increasingly harsh at very high Virtue levels. This change would make Virtue more of an exponential scale, since theoretically every time you perform a good deed, you'd then have to go a stage further to gain the next increase.

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The idea sounds good though, and if you don't mind I might run a few situations past you later on.
Sure, go ahead.

 

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