Larian Studios
Posted By: guy Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:08 AM
Lae'zal will **** anything that moves. so will asterion. so will shadowheart. So will Gale.

Roll it back.
For example, if yo aren't gith, Lae'zal won't touch you.

Shadowheart romace DC for women is 10, and for men is 20.

Asterion has racial preferences and won't touch certain races.

Gale has a CHA requirement.

ETC.

To add a depth to the game that makes you want to roll a character just to explore the depth you can't get if you play a certain way.

That would be closer to how the Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 approached it. Not exactly... but this is BG3. not divinity. And I will compare this game to BG, and not divinity.
As will many here, that are here because they fell in love with BG.
Posted By: Eddiar Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:44 AM
There are numerous threads about all the origine characters needing to go to horny jail at the tiefling party event.

Yes it is jarring to see characters you barely interacted with that closely suddenly wanting the PC that badly or outright declaring the PC lost their chance to get into those pants.

Yes its very odd.
Larian would need to fix it and hopefully they eventually will.


Edit: just note I am not saying lets remove romance. What I meant was it is too sudden and too hard.

Larian. If you are listening please add flirty dialogue lines through out the Act 1 adventure.
Then this would trigger a romance flag if the player WANTS to romance these characters.
Do the same for Act 2 and maaaaaybe Act 3... if no one triggers these romance flags then the friendship flag should he raised with the party members acting as very close friends instead of very, very horny teenagers.

I personally would choose the flirty dialogue sprinkled across the game than the mo-cap romance scenes. I appreciate you went through the effort of making them but without good pacing it just feels awkward as hell.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:14 AM
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:36 AM
Originally Posted by Ixal
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.


yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.

They want boobs and sex, fine, whatever. But why is laezal dry humping a halfling?

Just one example.
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:50 AM
Originally Posted by Ixal
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.


But then you can't romance everyone and everything in the romance game frown

No, i agree. It's not about Faerun being, somehow someway, just a place where anyone with a pulse will get with anyone with a pulse. It's just the cheapest way of handling it, straight up.

Hell, aren't drows traditionally pretty racist, pretty matriarchal and pretty evil? Why would a female drow who stands by all that, thinking about Minthara, bump uglies and get emotionally attached to some male halfling?
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:55 AM
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Ixal
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.


But then you can't romance everyone and everything in the romance game frown

No, i agree. Making everyone bisexual doesn't make sense because, somehow someway, Faerun is just a place where anyone with a pulse will get with anyone with a pulse, it's just a cheap way of handling it. Hell, aren't drows traditionally pretty racist, pretty evil and pretty matriarchal? Why would a female drow who stands by all that, thinking about Minthara, get emotionally attached to some male halfling?


And why would Asterion hump a halfling? half the blood.

Dirty halflings.
Posted By: Ankou Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 03:09 AM
The only one really jarring is Laezel like "I don't like you but you're missing prime action."
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 03:53 AM
Orientation? no. There will be too much noise. Locked races... Maybe, but I don't know. People want more freedom and I can understand them. Restrictions can cause a lot of hate and bad reactions.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 08:27 AM
Originally Posted by guy

yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.



It's 2020. Almost 2021. It would appear that the world has moved on without you. I invite you to catch up.
Posted By: dotmats Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 09:06 AM
I'm afraid the fact there are so few companions locks them in to "everyone is available and v e r y keen" for the dating sim portion. Otherwise many characters would have only 1 "choice."
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 09:58 AM
Look noone should be locked out of content they want to experience based upon something like the race or gender of their chosen character. If someone is willing to associate with you and work along side you, chances are there are conditions under which they would consider sleeping with you. Not always, but often, that is why workplace romance and infidelity is so fucking common. Raise your hand if you have ever fucked around with a coworker without having planned it or intended to. That is reality.

I would love to see asexual characters who aren't interested in a relationship, with anyone, under any circumstances, but if a character is romanceable they should be romanceable for everyone. That is also life. Ever found yourself dating someone who wasn't on your radar?

The easiest way to fix what is really wrong with relationships in the game as they are now is to simply make them earned. Flings are easy, relationships take work. It would be great if the game had sufficient depth and nuance that you can fuck up what you have going with another character by moving too fast or too callously, and end up alienating or even losing them. it would also be great if they made pursuing a character you were really interested in taking effort, understanding, insight, and gestures of genuine devotion. Passing up the chance to fuck them in order to build meaningful trust, respect, and appreciation. I have made a few life long friendships with women simply because I didn't take advantage of what they offered when they were feeling vulnerable or very willing but also very wasted.

I know some of you are pretty young, and there are probably even a couple of you on this board who aren't dudes, but as a guy who spent their twenties in the service and pursuing meaningful weekend relationships in every port we hit all over south east Asia, the hunt is always better than the kill. Sex is great, but its that evening of seeing a girl who seizes your interest, impressing her and gaining her confidence, having some exciting moments, then sharing something afterward which heightens the experience and makes it memorable -well, in the short term anyway. Eventually it will all kind of blur together and fade into vague impressions but that isn't the point. My point is, sex is always good but when its great its mostly because of everything that leads up to it not simply the thing itself.

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.
Posted By: Braxton Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 09:59 AM
Originally Posted by guy
To add a depth to the game that makes you want to roll a character just to explore the depth you can't get if you play a certain way.


Is that fun depth though? Sounds like needless restriction tbh. Characters having specific sexualities can be fine, especially if it's somehow plot relevant. But I doubt it's going to be a relevant story point in this game and it is, at the end of the day, a role playing fantasy game. Locking the romance for every character to specific builds feels like it would be frustrating padding than depth. If I've made a character a specific way and ended up feeling like they've had a certain rapport it's not going to add to my fun finding that there are no romance options. Sure, it would be realistic, but we're not playing D&D to have a realistic time.
Posted By: dotmats Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:31 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Eventually it will all kind of blur together and fade into vague impressions but that isn't the point.


The blur is one of my main complaints about life and will be included in my feedback post for God when I get round to writing it.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:38 AM
Originally Posted by dotmats
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Eventually it will all kind of blur together and fade into vague impressions but that isn't the point.


The blur is one of my main complaints about life and will be included in my feedback post for God when I get round to writing it.


I don't often laugh out loud sitting in front of a computer screen, but when I do it is because of posts like this laugh
Posted By: dotmats Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:38 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.


On that point, I just had flashbacks of every shit videogame depiction of a party. Are there any good ones?

I don't think people who let loose usually end up in the game industry, or maybe it's difficult to simulate it in a game when the player is so boringly sober.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Look noone should be locked out of content they want to experience based upon something like the race or gender of their chosen character. If someone is willing to associate with you and work along side you, chances are there are conditions under which they would consider sleeping with you. Not always, but often, that is why workplace romance and infidelity is so fucking common. Raise your hand if you have ever fucked around with a coworker without having planned it or intended to. That is reality.

I would love to see asexual characters who aren't interested in a relationship, with anyone, under any circumstances, but if a character is romanceable they should be romanceable for everyone. That is also life. Ever found yourself dating someone who wasn't on your radar?


I have worked for the same company for years and yet I have not turned Bi and considered to sleep with my same sex coworkers. And I am pretty sure that is the norm for nearly everyone.
And I disagree that everyone should be able to romance everyone. That just makes them bland sex dolls. Companions should show interest in those that fits their character.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:51 AM
Being bland has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Being straight doesn't make you interesting.


As for the NPCs, they aren't real people. They should be convincing, but its the player that matters. Just because an experience is uncommon doesn't make it invalid. Live how you wish, and grant others the same freedom.
Posted By: Skeletor Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:51 AM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.



It's 2020. Almost 2021. It would appear that the world has moved on without you. I invite you to catch up.

Indeed it's [current year], therefore you are unquestionably right.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 11:28 AM
Agreed, the way "romance" is handled in BG3 is beyond ridiculous. You'd think it's a (bad) dating sim. Impression reinforced by dream waifu.

Originally Posted by Skeletor
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.



It's 2020. Almost 2021. It would appear that the world has moved on without you. I invite you to catch up.

Indeed it's [current year], therefore you are unquestionably right.


Yeah. Arguments of "the year is X, therefore you are under the obligation to agree with me" are ridiculous.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 11:35 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Being bland has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Being straight doesn't make you interesting.


As for the NPCs, they aren't real people. They should be convincing, but its the player that matters. Just because an experience is uncommon doesn't make it invalid. Live how you wish, and grant others the same freedom.


What makes you interesting is having a defined character with likes and dislikes instead of jumping into the bed with everyone and everything as long as it is controlled by the player.
For example a companion who has a dwarf fetish and would only romance them (and male gnomes if they have a beard) is much more memorable and interesting than the current sex robots.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 11:48 AM
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Being bland has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Being straight doesn't make you interesting.


As for the NPCs, they aren't real people. They should be convincing, but its the player that matters. Just because an experience is uncommon doesn't make it invalid. Live how you wish, and grant others the same freedom.


What makes you interesting is having a defined character with likes and dislikes instead of jumping into the bed with everyone and everything as long as it is controlled by the player.
For example a companion who has a dwarf fetish and would only romance them (and male gnomes if they have a beard) is much more memorable and interesting than the current sex robots.


To you, others may disagree. In fact, others will invariably disagree. The aspiration of any role playing game is to make a shared experience as attainable to as many different people as possible without diluting the content and bring them as much joy as possible in it. Sexuality is a matter of preference not importance. Whether someone is attracted to their own gender or the opposite has no bearing on their qualities as a human being, it is no more significant than any other matter of taste and appetite, whether it be a question of music, food, or fashion.

These are personal expressions but it is ultimately the person that matters
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:05 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.



It's 2020. Almost 2021. It would appear that the world has moved on without you. I invite you to catch up.


That is very ignorant, trying to force alphabet propoganda on others.
It is not that the world moved on without me, it's that people that try to force this on others have stopped moving and created a traffic jam.

It will be cleared out, it will be label for a generation, like flower children, or gen X, we will move on and laugh, and realize how dumb everyone was.

Every hardcore lesbian I have met, has figured out at some point they were wrong after meeting me, moved on, married men, and had children.

But I will admit it is opinion, and has little place here.
Posted By: vometia Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by dotmats
On that point, I just had flashbacks of every shit videogame depiction of a party. Are there any good ones?

I don't think people who let loose usually end up in the game industry, or maybe it's difficult to simulate it in a game when the player is so boringly sober.

I dunno. I remember turning up to a RL party just as it was ending because I'd stupidly decided I needed to go and see some concert (by myself) and late evening when it'd ended I had to find my car in the middle of London and drive across several counties to get there.

All that was left was a bunch of smelly drunken bastards who were in various states of unconsciousness and who would periodically wake up demanding to know if I'd brought more booze, mumbling something incoherently and laughing loudly and would then fall asleep and piss their pants. Were I as drunk as them I'd've probably thought it was the most awesome time ever. I wandered off and went to sleep.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Being bland has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Being straight doesn't make you interesting.


As for the NPCs, they aren't real people. They should be convincing, but its the player that matters. Just because an experience is uncommon doesn't make it invalid. Live how you wish, and grant others the same freedom.


What makes you interesting is having a defined character with likes and dislikes instead of jumping into the bed with everyone and everything as long as it is controlled by the player.
For example a companion who has a dwarf fetish and would only romance them (and male gnomes if they have a beard) is much more memorable and interesting than the current sex robots.


To you, others may disagree. In fact, others will invariably disagree. The aspiration of any role playing game is to make a shared experience as attainable to as many different people as possible without diluting the content and bring them as much joy as possible in it. Sexuality is a matter of preference not importance. Whether someone is attracted to their own gender or the opposite has no bearing on their qualities as a human being, it is no more significant than any other matter of taste and appetite, whether it be a question of music, food, or fashion.

These are personal expressions but it is ultimately the person that matters


No, this isn't a game to make one character and have them experience everything.

fighters are not rangers are not clerics are not rogues.

You want the fighter dialogue unlocked, you roll a fighter.

Shadowheart already has githyanki specific options.

The experience, if you wan the other locked options, is to make a new character, and play with it.

You want a movie to just show whatever romance you want?

go watch porn.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:09 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by dotmats
On that point, I just had flashbacks of every shit videogame depiction of a party. Are there any good ones?

I don't think people who let loose usually end up in the game industry, or maybe it's difficult to simulate it in a game when the player is so boringly sober.

I dunno. I remember turning up to a RL party just as it was ending because I'd stupidly decided I needed to go and see some concert (by myself) and late evening when it'd ended I had to find my car in the middle of London and drive across several counties to get there.

All that was left was a bunch of smelly drunken bastards who were in various states of unconsciousness and who would periodically wake up demanding to know if I'd brought more booze, mumbling something incoherently and laughing loudly and would then fall asleep and piss their pants. Were I as drunk as them I'd've probably thought it was the most awesome time ever. I wandered off and went to sleep.


The first question I had when I read this is... did you have more booze? smile

Then I saw that you said you wandered off and went to sleep.

But that would make for a great story in game as well!
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:14 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by dotmats
On that point, I just had flashbacks of every shit videogame depiction of a party. Are there any good ones?

I don't think people who let loose usually end up in the game industry, or maybe it's difficult to simulate it in a game when the player is so boringly sober.

I dunno. I remember turning up to a RL party just as it was ending because I'd stupidly decided I needed to go and see some concert (by myself) and late evening when it'd ended I had to find my car in the middle of London and drive across several counties to get there.

All that was left was a bunch of smelly drunken bastards who were in various states of unconsciousness and who would periodically wake up demanding to know if I'd brought more booze, mumbling something incoherently and laughing loudly and would then fall asleep and piss their pants. Were I as drunk as them I'd've probably thought it was the most awesome time ever. I wandered off and went to sleep.


This is like judging a feast by what was found in the waste bin.
Posted By: Niara Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.


I'd like to comment to second this point here - actually a lot of the game's social interactions feel more like high-school drama jockeying, rather than the interactions of adults.

On the core topic: I can understand some people's objections to player-sexual characters, and how it takes 'something' away from characters by removing some of their personal definition... However...

However... Player-sexuality is not to be confused with "Everyone is bi"; that's not what it is. It's a statement that IF a player finds that their personal character is attracted to and wants to pursue a particular NPC that they have grown to like and would like to feel a rapport with, then that desire will be able to be met, and the game will define itself to accommodate that.

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

Making romanaceable characters player-sexual doesn't mean they don't *Have* that same definition that can be a part of who they are - it just means that it's not determined until *you* determine what it needs to be - it is and becomes a tangible truth, as needed. Those exact same characters can still have a 'default' written preference to follow if they aren't pursued by the player, but the player's needs, for the characters they feel that they want to pursue, need to override that. That may sound crass to some, but we have to remember that it's a fictional story being built with fictional characters; no-one's personal will or freedom is being taken away or denied by doing this.

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors? As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around. In tabletop, even if you hard define a character's preferences as part of your world, it's softer, since you can still supply alternatives and other options for your players... in a video game, that isn't as feasible at all; we have a limited selection of options, and that's all we have. They *Must* be able to be what players need them to be, because they are our only options. That means that, in a social romance setting, players need to be able to create the character they want, and then, to pursue the *type* of character personality they want to pursue, and know that they stand a chance of being reciprocated; anything less is shutting players down to a greater extent and loss of satisfaction than you could ever hope to gain by hard defining those specific details of the character. This doesn't mean that those NPCs can't have individual quirks or preferences alongside this - they most certainly can, and it can make for cute or amusing discussions! But overall, the player has to come first, and they need to know that, overarching whatever individual quirks or eccentricities an NPC has, inside the bedroom or out of it, that their efforts stand a chance of being reciprocated when they direct them towards the character they want to share that relationship with.

If a character's personal sexuality makes up such a large part of their personality and character depiction that it cannot change on different play-throughs as needed, then you have a bigger problem by far already. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the presentation of the character and development of their personality - it can afford to be what each individual player feels they want it to be, without detracting from the character, the world, or each person's individual experience of it.

===

That said, and returning to the "everything feels way too 'high-school teen'" complaint: yes, the romance feels very rushed and forced, and it's baffling that we get the overwhelming pressure of nearly every camp companion either actively trying to get into our pants, or going out of their way to talk about how we can't get into theirs now... it just feels ham-fisted and unbelievable in the extreme.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.


I'd like to comment to second this point here - actually a lot of the game's social interactions feel more like high-school drama jockeying, rather than the interactions of adults.

On the core topic: I can understand some people's objections to player-sexual characters, and how it takes 'something' away from characters by removing some of their personal definition... However...

However... Player-sexuality is not to be confused with "Everyone is bi"; that's not what it is. It's a statement that IF a player finds that their personal character is attracted to and wants to pursue a particular NPC that they have grown to like and would like to feel a rapport with, then that desire will be able to be met, and the game will define itself to accommodate that.

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

Making romanaceable characters player-sexual doesn't mean they don't *Have* that same definition that can be a part of who they are - it just means that it's not determined until *you* determine what it needs to be - it is and becomes a tangible truth, as needed. Those exact same characters can still have a 'default' written preference to follow if they aren't pursued by the player, but the player's needs, for the characters they feel that they want to pursue, need to override that. That may sound crass to some, but we have to remember that it's a fictional story being built with fictional characters; no-one's personal will or freedom is being taken away or denied by doing this.

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors? As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around. In tabletop, even if you hard define a character's preferences as part of your world, it's softer, since you can still supply alternatives and other options for your players... in a video game, that isn't as feasible at all; we have a limited selection of options, and that's all we have. They *Must* be able to be what players need them to be, because they are our only options. That means that, in a social romance setting, players need to be able to create the character they want, and then, to pursue the *type* of character personality they want to pursue, and know that they stand a chance of being reciprocated; anything less is shutting players down to a greater extent and loss of satisfaction than you could ever hope to gain by hard defining those specific details of the character. This doesn't mean that those NPCs can't have individual quirks or preferences alongside this - they most certainly can, and it can make for cute or amusing discussions! But overall, the player has to come first, and they need to know that, overarching whatever individual quirks or eccentricities an NPC has, inside the bedroom or out of it, that their efforts stand a chance of being reciprocated when they direct them towards the character they want to share that relationship with.

If a character's personal sexuality makes up such a large part of their personality and character depiction that it cannot change on different play-throughs as needed, then you have a bigger problem by far already. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the presentation of the character and development of their personality - it can afford to be what each individual player feels they want it to be, without detracting from the character, the world, or each person's individual experience of it.

===

That said, and returning to the "everything feels way too 'high-school teen'" complaint: yes, the romance feels very rushed and forced, and it's baffling that we get the overwhelming pressure of nearly every camp companion either actively trying to get into our pants, or going out of their way to talk about how we can't get into theirs now... it just feels ham-fisted and unbelievable in the extreme.



+1
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:37 PM
Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.


I'd like to comment to second this point here - actually a lot of the game's social interactions feel more like high-school drama jockeying, rather than the interactions of adults.

On the core topic: I can understand some people's objections to player-sexual characters, and how it takes 'something' away from characters by removing some of their personal definition... However...

However... Player-sexuality is not to be confused with "Everyone is bi"; that's not what it is. It's a statement that IF a player finds that their personal character is attracted to and wants to pursue a particular NPC that they have grown to like and would like to feel a rapport with, then that desire will be able to be met, and the game will define itself to accommodate that.

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

Making romanaceable characters player-sexual doesn't mean they don't *Have* that same definition that can be a part of who they are - it just means that it's not determined until *you* determine what it needs to be - it is and becomes a tangible truth, as needed. Those exact same characters can still have a 'default' written preference to follow if they aren't pursued by the player, but the player's needs, for the characters they feel that they want to pursue, need to override that. That may sound crass to some, but we have to remember that it's a fictional story being built with fictional characters; no-one's personal will or freedom is being taken away or denied by doing this.

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors? As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around. In tabletop, even if you hard define a character's preferences as part of your world, it's softer, since you can still supply alternatives and other options for your players... in a video game, that isn't as feasible at all; we have a limited selection of options, and that's all we have. They *Must* be able to be what players need them to be, because they are our only options. That means that, in a social romance setting, players need to be able to create the character they want, and then, to pursue the *type* of character personality they want to pursue, and know that they stand a chance of being reciprocated; anything less is shutting players down to a greater extent and loss of satisfaction than you could ever hope to gain by hard defining those specific details of the character. This doesn't mean that those NPCs can't have individual quirks or preferences alongside this - they most certainly can, and it can make for cute or amusing discussions! But overall, the player has to come first, and they need to know that, overarching whatever individual quirks or eccentricities an NPC has, inside the bedroom or out of it, that their efforts stand a chance of being reciprocated when they direct them towards the character they want to share that relationship with.

If a character's personal sexuality makes up such a large part of their personality and character depiction that it cannot change on different play-throughs as needed, then you have a bigger problem by far already. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the presentation of the character and development of their personality - it can afford to be what each individual player feels they want it to be, without detracting from the character, the world, or each person's individual experience of it.

===

That said, and returning to the "everything feels way too 'high-school teen'" complaint: yes, the romance feels very rushed and forced, and it's baffling that we get the overwhelming pressure of nearly every camp companion either actively trying to get into our pants, or going out of their way to talk about how we can't get into theirs now... it just feels ham-fisted and unbelievable in the extreme.



I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.
Posted By: BuckettMonkey Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:46 PM
I agree with the OP.
It seems to me that NPCs shouldn't be accommodating, otherwise they really turn into sex dolls.
In the original games of the series, each of the companions had their own requirements for the novel regarding the race and gender of Charname and then everyone was fine.
I don't think all companions should have strict gender and race requirements for the PC, but I don't think everything should flock to absolute bisexuality.
Posted By: vometia Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:57 PM
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 12:59 PM
Originally Posted by BuckettMonkey
I agree with the OP.
It seems to me that NPCs shouldn't be accommodating, otherwise they really turn into sex dolls.
In the original games of the series, each of the companions had their own requirements for the novel regarding the race and gender of Charname and then everyone was fine.
I don't think all companions should have strict gender and race requirements for the PC, but I don't think everything should flock to absolute bisexuality.


The term is playersexuality or you are gender assigning, and my gender is a apache helicopter tiger bear. So yes, I am allowed in the womens rest room. wink jokes.

The thought would be this for example.

Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

So, DC to romance, as a female, is 6. DC as female gith is 17. DC to romance as male is 15. DC to romance as male gith is 20.

But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly, so dialogues with her suddenly change and are way different.
She is no longer the same person.

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.

Before I get all the gay pride defenders, it is a example. The same can be applied for a heterosexual person as well, in this case we will say wyll, who suddenly becomes gay (DC 20 romance check as male character)

It is just such a drastic shift that they are not the same after it.

This whole walk on eggshells, make everyone playersexual just to appeal to the alphabet community is just straight out dumb and boring and disinteresting in my opinion.

Why ruin a good game for a fad?
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:04 PM
I think many people here are mistaken when they call what happens at a party "romance". This is not a romance start... In DOS2, you could also sleep with Fane "for the sake of science", there were no problems, it was not start romance or a BIG relationship. I think problem is not characters, but how people perceive this night. If I have 3 bed scenes in 3 acts, I'm all for it. I don't see this as a problem, and behavior of Astarion and Lae looks normal to me for their personalities. The only "sex doll" right now is Shadow, haha, even without an intimate scene. Because people wanted her to be nicer... Disgusting. Changing personalities of companions for tastes of player, this is much more dangerous than what you are talking about here.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.


What about the romances in BG 2?

I loved working to get Viconia. And she made you work for it, and, honestly, she really wasn't worth it.

Or the romances in KOTR2?

Where i am going is this. The characters you had romances with were made with a background, and were not altered to be playersexual, but kept as their core beliefs.

Now, I will go back to KOTR2 again, in this respect. in dialogue with NPC companions, you could open up hidden classes for them.

So you had two ways to play the game... either let them level up in their base class, or through relationship points, open up jedi classes for level up.

It basically meant a drastic change in the characters in some cases. But it was rewarding.

That is where I am going with this.

Lock the options if you are not the right class/gender/race for it, or if your stats aren't right... or make it a SUPER high DC to achieve, and it is something that is completely shattering to the core NPC companion, but open up the option if Larian feels that strongly option should be there.

Don't just make it a given.

This also opens up the replay value. Roll a new toon for new options. THAT is the core replayablity from BG1 and BG 2. "What happens if I am this thing , at that place there, doing this thing?"
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:11 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.


Didn't even know/remember Sera was romanceable, to be honest, she was such a little sister character than it never occured to me. Also, there's Cassandra in that game.

I think it's a good idea if the preferred sexuality of the character, and how they go 'against' that, gets actually addressed. Like, staying with Inquisition, the idea of a female character managing to romance Cassandra without disregarding her previous relationship and her history as a heterosexual person is intriguing. If it's just 'we'll bang, ok', then yeah, no real difference.
Posted By: Niara Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:13 PM
((to be clear, to Vometia, I was just illustrating what it is, to me, for characters to be 'playersexual'; I wasn't trying to suggest an alternative. I also feel it's something that does need to be handled with tact and skill, or else it comes off crass.))

Originally Posted by guy

Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

[...]
But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly
[...]

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.

Before I get all the gay pride defenders, it is a example. [...]


To be honest, I'm far more concerned that you just decided to describe being a lesbian as a major self-destructive habit... and that you thought that was a good thing to do as your example.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:14 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.



This would not work in Inquisition simply because there characters personal quests are literally tied to their orientation, as if orientation is most important part of their personality. This is why I don't like lock on orientation, it not only cuts off some of content for you, but also often makes characters more boring. This is fine only with Solas, and only because He is something more than your companion... But Dorian's quests are a real cringe. In DA2, you could only think about Anders, because he had a "friend". But everyone else looked pretty normal, and it was better because their stories didn't cling to their orientations, they were focused on their personalities.

In BG3, I see problem only in races, I hardly believe that Astarion sleeps with a gnome after he called them animals.
Posted By: BuckettMonkey Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:17 PM
Originally Posted by guy

The term is playersexuality or you are gender assigning, and my gender is a apache helicopter tiger bear. So yes, I am allowed in the womens rest room. wink jokes.

The thought would be this for example.

Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

So, DC to romance, as a female, is 6. DC as female gith is 17. DC to romance as male is 15. DC to romance as male gith is 20.

But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly, so dialogues with her suddenly change and are way different.
She is no longer the same person.

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.

Before I get all the gay pride defenders, it is a example. The same can be applied for a heterosexual person as well, in this case we will say wyll, who suddenly becomes gay (DC 20 romance check as male character)

It is just such a drastic shift that they are not the same after it.

This whole walk on eggshells, make everyone playersexual just to appeal to the alphabet community is just straight out dumb and boring and disinteresting in my opinion.

Why ruin a good game for a fad?

Again, I agree with you.
In general, Dragon Age: Inquisition is an example of reasonable limits for romance with companions. The game certainly isn't the best example for an RPG, but the limitations of romance are one of the few things this game does well.
But we live in a time when such changes can unleash a barrage of criticism on the game. I think there is no need to hope that something will change in this.
Posted By: BuckettMonkey Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:19 PM
Originally Posted by Nyloth

In BG3, I see problem only in races, I hardly believe that Astarion sleeps with a gnome after he called them animals.

Racial restrictions on romance would be a pretty good solution. I think this is the best we can hope for.
Posted By: Verte Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

So, DC to romance, as a female, is 6. DC as female gith is 17. DC to romance as male is 15. DC to romance as male gith is 20.

But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly, so dialogues with her suddenly change and are way different.
She is no longer the same person.

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.


She is not a lesbian. Her daisy (dream lover) is male whom she's very attracted to. SH serves Shar, this is the reason to be secretive in the first place. She's just bad at keeping it in the secret because she mocks Selune at every occasion taken, not to mention gazillion Shar's markings on her gear.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:28 PM
Originally Posted by Verte
Originally Posted by guy
Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

So, DC to romance, as a female, is 6. DC as female gith is 17. DC to romance as male is 15. DC to romance as male gith is 20.

But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly, so dialogues with her suddenly change and are way different.
She is no longer the same person.

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.


She is not a lesbian. Her daisy (dream lover) is male whom she's very attracted to. SH serves Shar, this is the reason to be secretive in the first place. She's just bad at keeping it in the secret because she mocks Selune at every occasion taken, not to mention gazillion Shar's markings on her gear.


She calls her dream lover daisy?
Posted By: Verte Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:30 PM
Daisy is a term in code devs used for all dream lovers. Check datamining thread.
Posted By: AceVentura Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:31 PM
IMHO, all characters preferences should be randomized so that way not everyone would fit with everyone else.

Explanation : I roll a Human warrior, then computer rolls the NPCs for my game.

1 is homosexual, 2 are straight, and 2 are bisexual.

next game I roll a dwarf cleric and everyone is homosexual;
next game I roll a drow ranger everyone is straight..;
this way, no one would know who he/she/it can romance and the romance game part would be more interesting. I want to romance Shadowheart, but halas she's straight and my character is female.... Damn... I have to forget this until maybe my next playthrough...

Who the hell cares? why would everyone be atracted to you? Who the hell are you?
Replayability? No one seems to understand that many RPG players are actually rolling multiple different characters with different ways of playing.

One playthough where I can romance all characters? Not needed, more, why would anyone want that!


What we need is something that tells the player that he/she is NOT THE MESSIAH and not everyone will like him/her + not everyone will want to have sex with him/her

That's a bit odd to call for sexual intercourse when the characters you deal with in your party knows you for 3-4 days and hasn't been in your party at all... I look at you Astarion, I don't use him much I prefer spell casters over anyone else. And Running water kills you anyway: you little shit.

Maybe there could be limitations in term of CHA or Reputation or maybe STR who cares?

My human Warrior is 17 str and 8 CHA, but this character only likes 16CHA PC, ok fair enough I'll pass then. But another Character is really attracted to me because my STR is higher than 15 and therefore as the prerequisite is met I can.

Also DROWS must be racist... Racism is essential in a world like the Forgotten Realms. Half-Elves aren't humans but they aren't elves either, so every dislike them because they're not pure bred... That's normal!

Racism isn't that bad... People always have preferences, or else the humanity would all look the same.

We are social animals, but animals still, we have something in our brain that commands our sexuality, that's not SOMETHING YOU CHOSE ! Hence if it's not something you chose, then non player character sexuality should be randomized...

Come tell me otherwise LGBT+ people smile
Posted By: Zellin Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:35 PM
Originally Posted by Verte
Originally Posted by guy
Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

So, DC to romance, as a female, is 6. DC as female gith is 17. DC to romance as male is 15. DC to romance as male gith is 20.

But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly, so dialogues with her suddenly change and are way different.
She is no longer the same person.

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.


She is not a lesbian. Her daisy (dream lover) is male whom she's very attracted to. SH serves Shar, this is the reason to be secretive in the first place. She's just bad at keeping it in the secret because she mocks Selune at every occasion taken, not to mention gazillion Shar's markings on her gear.

She has 0 Shar's marking on her gear, she has mere circles on her gear, while:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Shar's symbol was a black disk with a deep purple border.

Otherwise every single circle in the game is the Shar symbol, including some moons in Selune temple.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by Niara
((to be clear, to Vometia, I was just illustrating what it is, to me, for characters to be 'playersexual'; I wasn't trying to suggest an alternative. I also feel it's something that does need to be handled with tact and skill, or else it comes off crass.))

Originally Posted by guy

Shadowheart, I will assign as a self righteous lesbian.

[...]
But if you are male, and her core character is lesbian, and you romance her.... it changes her character drasticaly
[...]

She suddenly stops being secretrative, and is suddenly super open because she was just broken from one major self desctructive habit, for example... and she is no longer the same person for it.

Before I get all the gay pride defenders, it is a example. [...]


To be honest, I'm far more concerned that you just decided to describe being a lesbian as a major self-destructive habit... and that you thought that was a good thing to do as your example.


That's my point. Also, if you told the flower children in the 60s that drugs were destructive, they would react much like you just did, if they communicated as well as you do. Which you communicate well.
Objectively, homosexuality is a population killer. A woman and a woman, or a man and a man, together, do not produce a offspring.
Long term, destructive. Any other aspect, emotional or what not? Who knows. Who cares. You can blame it all on something else.

That's the point everyone focuses on in 2020.

Here is my core point - get over it.

I have been told I have a destructive personality for having, what I call, good work ethic. Following the rules to a T at work.

There are arguments that can be made either side.

Who cares how it is labeled. The moment you care, is the moment it IS destructive, either to yourself, or to someone else.

But that is enough of the psycho stuff.

Focus on the core point, and rebuild it in your mind to apply to the video game, and not to the current US identity crisis.

It is about the game play, about being imersed, and about the legacy of the first two BG games.

This game would be better labeled as D:OS 3 so far.

Not saying that there are not good aspects to the game. MANY parts are well done!

But I am not here for D:OS. I am not here for DA:O. I am not here for KOTR.

I am here for Baldurs Gate.

That is my feedback.

If this game turns into a spiritual D:OS3, I will respectfully request for my money back (not expecting I will get it) and post a several negative final review stating "buyer beware" as is my right as a consumer here in the USA.

My two cents.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:39 PM
Originally Posted by Verte
Daisy is a term in code devs used for all dream lovers. Check datamining thread.


I have been skipping the datamines.

I will admit, I avoid SH alot. she is way too whiny and emo.

Lae'zal, I tell her to shut it and move on.

Gale is the most interesting to me most days, because I like his stories.
Posted By: Verte Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Zellin

She has 0 Shar's marking on her gear, she has mere circles on her gear, while:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Shar's symbol was a black disk with a deep purple border.

Otherwise every single circle in the game is the Shar symbol, including some moons in Selune temple.


Well, if someone is able to connect the dots, it's pretty obvious who she serves. Only thing her armor is missing is the purple part of the symbol.
Posted By: Sadurian Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:49 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Here is my core point - get over it.

Dial it back, please.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 01:52 PM
Originally Posted by BuckettMonkey
Originally Posted by Nyloth

In BG3, I see problem only in races, I hardly believe that Astarion sleeps with a gnome after he called them animals.

Racial restrictions on romance would be a pretty good solution. I think this is the best we can hope for.


It's easier for me to believe that they will cut out this phrase because someone will be offended again.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:01 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.


I hated Sera and it had nothing to do with romancing her, haha. I just find her obnoxious.

On the topic of Inquisition - I agree with people who say romance was handled better there, as much as I dislike DA:I. But let's move for a moment from the playersexuality discussion and consider another reason the romance system was better in that game.

It's that the characters don't push themselves on the player. You can be friends (or generally on good terms) with all of them WITHOUT them humping the PC's leg. Romance is player-initiated and clearly marked (a heart icon on the damn dialogue wheel). No accidental flirting, no pushy companions. My female Inquisitor could be friends with Sera (yeah, I hated her, but I wanted to see her quests) with no problem. It should be the same in BG3. Someone wants romance? Go for it. Someone hates romance? It's not pushed. Someone only wants to romance one specific companion and be friends with another? Also possible.

The current system also makes every companion universally slutty. Sex bots, as others said. Pushy ones. It would be reasonable to have Astarion flirty, and maybe (unfortunately) Lae'zel, but the rest? Really? All of them? Now it's the choice between playing with an all-slutty party and playing with a custom party.

It's especially bad that BG is largely about companionship and camaraderie - something Larian frequently noted themselves. And now the companion/party aspect looks like a cross between high school drama, soap opera and half-assed dating sim with extra porn. No camaraderie to be had when every companion is primarily concerned with how to bang everyone else.
Posted By: Zellin Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by Verte
Originally Posted by Zellin

She has 0 Shar's marking on her gear, she has mere circles on her gear, while:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Shar's symbol was a black disk with a deep purple border.

Otherwise every single circle in the game is the Shar symbol, including some moons in Selune temple.


Well, if someone is able to connect the dots, it's pretty obvious who she serves. Only thing her armor is missing is the purple part of the symbol.

Purple and disks being black. The only black disk she has is in her circlet.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:08 PM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
Originally Posted by BuckettMonkey
Originally Posted by Nyloth

In BG3, I see problem only in races, I hardly believe that Astarion sleeps with a gnome after he called them animals.

Racial restrictions on romance would be a pretty good solution. I think this is the best we can hope for.


It's easier for me to believe that they will cut out this phrase because someone will be offended again.


And people aren't offended by sex in video games?

Larian went out on a branch for that.
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:10 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.


I hated Sera and it had nothing to do with romancing her, haha. I just find her obnoxious.

On the topic of Inquisition - I agree with people who say romance was handled better there, as much as I dislike DA:I. But let's move for a moment from the playersexuality discussion and consider another reason the romance system was better in that game.

It's that the characters don't push themselves on the player. You can be friends (or generally on good terms) with all of them WITHOUT them humping the PC's leg. Romance is player-initiated and clearly marked (a heart icon on the damn dialogue wheel). No accidental flirting, no pushy companions. My female Inquisitor could be friends with Sera (yeah, I hated her, but I wanted to see her quests) with no problem. It should be the same in BG3. Someone wants romance? Go for it. Someone hates romance? It's not pushed. Someone only wants to romance one specific companion and be friends with another? Also possible.

The current system also makes every companion universally slutty. Sex bots, as others said. Pushy ones. It would be reasonable to have Astarion flirty, and maybe (unfortunately) Lae'zel, but the rest? Really? All of them? Now it's the choice between playing with an all-slutty party and playing with a custom party.

It's especially bad that BG is largely about companionship and camaraderie - something Larian frequently noted themselves. And now the companion/party aspect looks like a cross between high school drama, soap opera and half-assed dating sim with extra porn. No camaraderie to be had when every companion is primarily concerned with how to bang everyone else.


Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:13 PM
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude. I don't really see the point of influencing a character's sexuality though: that's not really any different to the playersexual stuff we have already. I'm slightly on the fence about the subject; using DA as an example, I preferred Inquisition to DA2 but I suspect I would've had a very different opinion if the only characters I liked were unavailable because it wasn't a thing.


I hated Sera and it had nothing to do with romancing her, haha. I just find her obnoxious.

On the topic of Inquisition - I agree with people who say romance was handled better there, as much as I dislike DA:I. But let's move for a moment from the playersexuality discussion and consider another reason the romance system was better in that game.

It's that the characters don't push themselves on the player. You can be friends (or generally on good terms) with all of them WITHOUT them humping the PC's leg. Romance is player-initiated and clearly marked (a heart icon on the damn dialogue wheel). No accidental flirting, no pushy companions. My female Inquisitor could be friends with Sera (yeah, I hated her, but I wanted to see her quests) with no problem. It should be the same in BG3. Someone wants romance? Go for it. Someone hates romance? It's not pushed. Someone only wants to romance one specific companion and be friends with another? Also possible.

The current system also makes every companion universally slutty. Sex bots, as others said. Pushy ones. It would be reasonable to have Astarion flirty, and maybe (unfortunately) Lae'zel, but the rest? Really? All of them? Now it's the choice between playing with an all-slutty party and playing with a custom party.

It's especially bad that BG is largely about companionship and camaraderie - something Larian frequently noted themselves. And now the companion/party aspect looks like a cross between high school drama, soap opera and half-assed dating sim with extra porn. No camaraderie to be had when every companion is primarily concerned with how to bang everyone else.


Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.


They have some good banter.

Imagine companions having romance behind your back
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.


Yeah, that's also something that'd bother the hell out of me. That's what I also meant in my last sentence you quoted. It, again, feels like a high school trip which horny teenagers treat as an opportunity to get into each others pants. I'm not a fan of companions romancing each other. And certainly not all/most of them. It should be an exception rather than a rule, like in BG2.
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by guy

They have some good banter.

Imagine companions having romance behind your back


Don't know about that. I got the idea to get their every banter after i went to Orzammar in Dragon Age:Origins and got a good number of banters for the companions in that game. The difference was sharp.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:21 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.


Yeah, that's also something that'd bother the hell out of me. That's what I also meant in my last sentence you quoted. It, again, feels like a high school trip which horny teenagers treat as an opportunity to get into each others pants. I'm not a fan of companions romancing each other. And certainly not all/most of them. It should be an exception rather than a rule, like in BG2.


BG and BG 2 had some interesting companion dialogue.

You walk along and the box pops up, and the first time, you look at it, confused.

But it was all just a side thing. either you got it, or you did not.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.


Yeah, that's also something that'd bother the hell out of me. That's what I also meant in my last sentence you quoted. It, again, feels like a high school trip which horny teenagers treat as an opportunity to get into each others pants. I'm not a fan of companions romancing each other. And certainly not all/most of them. It should be an exception rather than a rule, like in BG2.


BG and BG 2 had some interesting companion dialogue.

You walk along and the box pops up, and the first time, you look at it, confused.

But it was all just a side thing. either you got it, or you did not.


Banter and party dialogue were great in BG2. I think the only real romance was between Haer'dalis and Aerie... and Korgan flirted with (or just teased?) Mazzy. Minsc made Aerie his new witch, but it was a bond of protection and care, not a romantic interest.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by guy
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Lowkey, the party banter being for the most part them all flirting with one another was way more cringey to me than the romance stuff. Pretty sure the only ones who have none of that going on between eachother are Lae'zel and SH.


Yeah, that's also something that'd bother the hell out of me. That's what I also meant in my last sentence you quoted. It, again, feels like a high school trip which horny teenagers treat as an opportunity to get into each others pants. I'm not a fan of companions romancing each other. And certainly not all/most of them. It should be an exception rather than a rule, like in BG2.


BG and BG 2 had some interesting companion dialogue.

You walk along and the box pops up, and the first time, you look at it, confused.

But it was all just a side thing. either you got it, or you did not.


Banter and party dialogue were great in BG2. I think the only real romance was between Haer'dalis and Aerie... and Korgan flirted with (or just teased?) Mazzy. Minsc made Aerie his new witch, but it was a bond of protection and care, not a romantic interest.


I actually liked that alot, minsc and aerie.

But aerie still wasn't dynaheir... Weird cleric mage build...
That is beside the point
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 03:27 PM
Originally Posted by guy
I actually liked that alot, minsc and aerie.

But aerie still wasn't dynaheir... Weird cleric mage build...
That is beside the point


Yeah, I liked that too. I actually had both on my recent run, despite not liking Aerie (she was still the best fit for my neutral/good run lacking another mage). And she's actually a pretty solid caster, with Vecna's and some trinkets she's a spellslinging beast. Admittedly suffers a bit from slower spell progress.

(Sorry for continuing off-topic. :P )

Back to something more on topic, these are the kinds of relationships I'd love to see more of. Minsc being protective over his new witch, Jan and Mazzy's conversations that start with her losing her poise in annoyance and end with her being surprised at Jan's surprisingly thoughtful point to his story, a humourous one of Mazzy making Valygar her "squire", Jaheira and Mazzy "mothering" Aerie... and those are just the positive interactions (and not all of them).
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 03:32 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by guy
I actually liked that alot, minsc and aerie.

But aerie still wasn't dynaheir... Weird cleric mage build...
That is beside the point


Yeah, I liked that too. I actually had both on my recent run, despite not liking Aerie (she was still the best fit for my neutral/good run lacking another mage). And she's actually a pretty solid caster, with Vecna's and some trinkets she's a spellslinging beast. Admittedly suffers a bit from slower spell progress.

(Sorry for continuing off-topic. :P )

Back to something more on topic, these are the kinds of relationships I'd love to see more of. Minsc being protective over his new witch, Jan and Mazzy's conversations that start with her losing her poise in annoyance and end with her being surprised at Jan's surprisingly thoughtful point to his story, a humourous one of Mazzy making Valygar her "squire", Jaheira and Mazzy "mothering" Aerie... and those are just the positive interactions (and not all of them).



Exactly.
Story and plot like that, and all those companion features that were more than just sex and player love - that is what made BG so great. All the attention to the details
Posted By: Tzelanit Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 03:36 PM
The fact that this post packed with bigotry and homophobia has seen involvement a few times from one community manager and from one official moderator and still isn't locked is pretty gross.
OP needs some time off of the internet.
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 04:13 PM
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake
Posted By: vometia Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake

I hated Pong. It really sucked. I'm not sure how video games ever became a thing after so many TV sets were burnt out.

Also less of the personal/edgy comments for those feeling the temptation to be personal and/or edgy.
Posted By: A Clown Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 08:27 PM
Look I understand the whole "companions are too horny" I agree! I feel like there should be more interaction or whatever!

But let's not forget that during the tiefling party from what I perceived the romance was just a mere hook up! And whether you continue to pursue a relationship with that companion is entirely up to you, or if you move on to someone else or not! Since again it was a party with alcohol and different people in that environment react in different ways!

Take lazel (I forgot her name spelling)
her and wyll at the party was definitely nothing
but one night of sleeping together, she expressed that as well



I kind of hope thats what it was! otherwise yeah please change the interactions!

Another thing I want to add to this is, I like the idea of not being restricted by race or gender! Why should it be? Theres enough restrictions in life as it is, why should there be in a simple video game? If you dont want your halfling to get funky with Gale because it wouldn't suit his preference then dont. This is dnd and everyone plays differently!
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 05/12/20 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake

I hated Pong. It really sucked. I'm not sure how video games ever became a thing after so many TV sets were burnt out.

Also less of the personal/edgy comments for those feeling the temptation to be personal and/or edgy.


Of course Pong sucked. You couldn't romance the right paddle.
Posted By: Niara Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:14 AM
Originally Posted by A Clown
Look I understand the whole "companions are too horny" I agree! I feel like there should be more interaction or whatever!

But let's not forget that during the tiefling party from what I perceived the romance was just a mere hook up! And whether you continue to pursue a relationship with that companion is entirely up to you, or if you move on to someone else or not! Since again it was a party with alcohol and different people in that environment react in different ways!


I think a lot of folks are calling what we have 'romance' because Larian are calling it romance... if it were distinctly not so (as the Fane hook-up at the beginning of D:OS2 was not), then I'd hope they wouldn't be calling it romance... but they are, so it seems that it's what we're working with, like it or not.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:09 AM
Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by A Clown
Look I understand the whole "companions are too horny" I agree! I feel like there should be more interaction or whatever!

But let's not forget that during the tiefling party from what I perceived the romance was just a mere hook up! And whether you continue to pursue a relationship with that companion is entirely up to you, or if you move on to someone else or not! Since again it was a party with alcohol and different people in that environment react in different ways!


I think a lot of folks are calling what we have 'romance' because Larian are calling it romance... if it were distinctly not so (as the Fane hook-up at the beginning of D:OS2 was not), then I'd hope they wouldn't be calling it romance... but they are, so it seems that it's what we're working with, like it or not.



Lae talks to you about entrails, but someone think this is the beginning of a "romance", okay. By the way, it was the same with Fane, only difference is that romantic pressure was exerted by player, not by Fane who did this more like interest's.


Originally Posted by A Clown

Another thing I want to add to this is, I like the idea of not being restricted by race or gender! Why should it be?



Because Astarion has a xenaphobic phrase about gnomes, and I honestly don't think his perception of dwarves or halflings is any different. "we will not offend anyone" attitude is not always good. But like you, I am against gender lock, because there are no phrases in the game that any of the companions would love only a certain gender. It will also create a lot of restrictions, too many.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:50 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Look noone should be locked out of content they want to experience based upon something like the race or gender of their chosen character. If someone is willing to associate with you and work along side you, chances are there are conditions under which they would consider sleeping with you. Not always, but often, that is why workplace romance and infidelity is so fucking common. Raise your hand if you have ever fucked around with a coworker without having planned it or intended to. That is reality.

I would love to see asexual characters who aren't interested in a relationship, with anyone, under any circumstances, but if a character is romanceable they should be romanceable for everyone. That is also life. Ever found yourself dating someone who wasn't on your radar?

The easiest way to fix what is really wrong with relationships in the game as they are now is to simply make them earned. Flings are easy, relationships take work. It would be great if the game had sufficient depth and nuance that you can fuck up what you have going with another character by moving too fast or too callously, and end up alienating or even losing them. it would also be great if they made pursuing a character you were really interested in taking effort, understanding, insight, and gestures of genuine devotion. Passing up the chance to fuck them in order to build meaningful trust, respect, and appreciation. I have made a few life long friendships with women simply because I didn't take advantage of what they offered when they were feeling vulnerable or very willing but also very wasted.

I know some of you are pretty young, and there are probably even a couple of you on this board who aren't dudes, but as a guy who spent their twenties in the service and pursuing meaningful weekend relationships in every port we hit all over south east Asia, the hunt is always better than the kill. Sex is great, but its that evening of seeing a girl who seizes your interest, impressing her and gaining her confidence, having some exciting moments, then sharing something afterward which heightens the experience and makes it memorable -well, in the short term anyway. Eventually it will all kind of blur together and fade into vague impressions but that isn't the point. My point is, sex is always good but when its great its mostly because of everything that leads up to it not simply the thing itself.

And lets face it, that Teifling party isn't. It isn't great. It isn't even a party. I mean, its tantamount to fucking middle school "parties" chaperoned by parents with Lays and Pepsi in the school gym. Nothing about it feels exciting or jubilant. That entire bit is tone deaf and utterly unconvincing, from beginning to end, every detail. The devs seriously need to get out more. Hit Ibiza, Rio, the Hope opener or one of the Jupiter Island after parties at Sint Maartin or hell even Burning Man, Coachella, and Mardi Gras which are all pretty trashy and terribly overrated. These are people who just came out the other side of certain death hanging around making small talk like they are at a corporate bbq on a mandatory fun day.


This is one of the few posts in this thread that didn't make me throw up a little in my mouth or just scratch my head in perplexity, so thanks for being sensible and decent.


Quote
it would also be great if they made pursuing a character you were really interested in taking effort, understanding, insight, and gestures of genuine devotion. Passing up the chance to fuck them in order to build meaningful trust, respect, and appreciation. I have made a few life long friendships with women simply because I didn't take advantage of what they offered when they were feeling vulnerable or very willing but also very wasted.

This especially gets my two thumbs up.


Quote
My point is, sex is always good but when its great its mostly because of everything that leads up to it not simply the thing itself.

And also this.


As for making the party seem bangin', I'm not sure how possible that even is with the tools they have. Those real parties you talk about are only fun because of physical intoxication, loud kinetic music, liberating bodily movement, and sexual energy palpable in the air. I don't know that you can really simulate any of those feelings with a cutscene. Even if they tried to show characters wildly dancing or the like, it would just look comical. A stone-cold sober person sitting still in a chair looking at pixels on a screen is never going to evoke the kind of exhilaration response of a real party. I don't remember ever seeing an exciting party in any video game. It's always just gonna be NPCs standing around waiting to deliver some unconvincing dialogue about how much fun they're having, isn't it?
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:04 AM
Originally Posted by Niara
Player-sexuality is not to be confused with "Everyone is bi"; that's not what it is. It's a statement that IF a player finds that their personal character is attracted to and wants to pursue a particular NPC that they have grown to like and would like to feel a rapport with, then that desire will be able to be met, and the game will define itself to accommodate that.

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

Making romanaceable characters player-sexual doesn't mean they don't *Have* that same definition that can be a part of who they are - it just means that it's not determined until *you* determine what it needs to be - it is and becomes a tangible truth, as needed. Those exact same characters can still have a 'default' written preference to follow if they aren't pursued by the player, but the player's needs, for the characters they feel that they want to pursue, need to override that. That may sound crass to some, but we have to remember that it's a fictional story being built with fictional characters; no-one's personal will or freedom is being taken away or denied by doing this.

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors? As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around. In tabletop, even if you hard define a character's preferences as part of your world, it's softer, since you can still supply alternatives and other options for your players... in a video game, that isn't as feasible at all; we have a limited selection of options, and that's all we have. They *Must* be able to be what players need them to be, because they are our only options. That means that, in a social romance setting, players need to be able to create the character they want, and then, to pursue the *type* of character personality they want to pursue, and know that they stand a chance of being reciprocated; anything less is shutting players down to a greater extent and loss of satisfaction than you could ever hope to gain by hard defining those specific details of the character. This doesn't mean that those NPCs can't have individual quirks or preferences alongside this - they most certainly can, and it can make for cute or amusing discussions! But overall, the player has to come first, and they need to know that, overarching whatever individual quirks or eccentricities an NPC has, inside the bedroom or out of it, that their efforts stand a chance of being reciprocated when they direct them towards the character they want to share that relationship with.

If a character's personal sexuality makes up such a large part of their personality and character depiction that it cannot change on different play-throughs as needed, then you have a bigger problem by far already. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the presentation of the character and development of their personality - it can afford to be what each individual player feels they want it to be, without detracting from the character, the world, or each person's individual experience of it.



Yes, all of this. Well-said, Niara. As you know, I don't always agree with your every opinion, but I do always appreciate how much thought you put into them, and how articulately you express them. In this case, though, I do definitely agree with you.

(Well, sliiiiiight issue with "As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around" but not gonna get into that. The core of your point there is still good.)

A video game, certainly, is for the players. Giving them more options is always good. Avoiding scenarios where someone feels left out of what they want is always good. I will always remember how sad it made one of my gay male friends that he couldn't romance Alistair in DA:O. It ruined the game for him. Some people may find that silly, but his feelings were valid, and not unique to him.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:11 AM
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
The fact that this post packed with bigotry and homophobia has seen involvement a few times from one community manage and from one official moderator and still isn't locked is pretty gross.
OP needs some time off of the internet.



+999999999999999999
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:11 AM
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake



As always, hitting the nail on the head.
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:46 AM
I agree that player-sexual companions need to be undone. I have never (and will never) subscribed to the belief that the artist's job is to "please the fans." Here is my case for why it is bad that companions are player sexual.

#1. People in the real world have preferences. In some cases these preferences are very strong, in others, less so. If it was "just so easy for everyone to change sexuality" then downright unethical practices such as conversion therapy would have worked and been considered a success. Newsflash - they were not and I think almost everyone can agree they were a monumental failure.
#2. Creating a world in which all of the companions are player sexual undermines this. It reduces the depth of characters, in order to potentially not upset the group of people who want to romance that character who would otherwise be locked out of it.
#3. By making it, "easy" for everyone to get along/romance each other, its not only not realistic, it is actually in some ways an insult to those who have had to struggle through those kinds of situations. Overcoming a personal prejudice is not easy and it does take time. Making it easy takes away from that.
#4. By giving characters defined preferences it adds that extra layer of depth to companions and makes them more "real." Viconia in BG 2 for example not being romanceable by an Elf made perfect sense in the context of her story. She has deep, racial prejudices against elves. Likewise, Shadowheart should feel the same way towards a Githyanki PC. Likewise, there should be strictly gay companions, as well as strictly straight companions.
#5. The purpose of people within the world is not to please you. If you go about in the real world and expect everyone to like you, or expect everyone to want to sleep with you, well, I think you will get a wake up call very quickly. I do not see why this expectation should suddenly exist within a fantasy world. The purposes of the characters within the game should not be to please you, they should be there to tell their own story. A well written, convincing companion is one who would seem to be their own character and not seem to be defined according to what you have done. They would have some prejudices that you would be unable to change. Its perfectly fine for the canonical ending for a game or a character to be one you do not like, because its not your story.

I do not believe that all the characters need to be gay, nor all the characters straight, nor all the characters bisexual, but if a character behaves in all of their dialogue to NPCs as if they have a certain orientation, that should not magically change when talking to the player. Asterion very much comes across as straight for example. He spends a lot of time hitting on female characters, but he does not provide the same attention to male characters. If Asterion is not straight, he needs a pretty damn convincing reason as to why he behaves differently to the PC in contrast to how he reacts to the rest of the world.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 09:37 AM

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

As for making the party seem bangin', I'm not sure how possible that even is with the tools they have. Those real parties you talk about are only fun because of physical intoxication, loud kinetic music, liberating bodily movement, and sexual energy palpable in the air. I don't know that you can really simulate any of those feelings with a cutscene. Even if they tried to show characters wildly dancing or the like, it would just look comical. A stone-cold sober person sitting still in a chair looking at pixels on a screen is never going to evoke the kind of exhilaration response of a real party. I don't remember ever seeing an exciting party in any video game. It's always just gonna be NPCs standing around waiting to deliver some unconvincing dialogue about how much fun they're having, isn't it?



I have to admit that is where I run up against my own limitations. The difficulty with video games is that while they are not as passive as traditional mediums such as film and literature they are still incredibly static. Everything is hovering in an animation loop awaiting player interaction. I don't have even the beginning of a solution to this. I am simply hopeful that my limitations are personal and that someone more clever than I can discover a solution to that which I can only see the deficiencies.

That is why I entrusted you my proxy plus one Snake Lady. You are far more clever than me though we share similar passions and perspectives. I haven't bothered to keep track of the times I have framed a response only to find you beat me to it. Hopefully someone out there will surprise us both
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:02 PM
Originally Posted by Sharp
I agree that player-sexual companions need to be undone. I have never (and will never) subscribed to the belief that the artist's job is to "please the fans." Here is my case for why it is bad that companions are player sexual.

#1. People in the real world have preferences. In some cases these preferences are very strong, in others, less so. If it was "just so easy for everyone to change sexuality" then downright unethical practices such as conversion therapy would have worked and been considered a success. Newsflash - they were not and I think almost everyone can agree they were a monumental failure.
#2. Creating a world in which all of the companions are player sexual undermines this. It reduces the depth of characters, in order to potentially not upset the group of people who want to romance that character who would otherwise be locked out of it.
#3. By making it, "easy" for everyone to get along/romance each other, its not only not realistic, it is actually in some ways an insult to those who have had to struggle through those kinds of situations. Overcoming a personal prejudice is not easy and it does take time. Making it easy takes away from that.
#4. By giving characters defined preferences it adds that extra layer of depth to companions and makes them more "real." Viconia in BG 2 for example not being romanceable by an Elf made perfect sense in the context of her story. She has deep, racial prejudices against elves. Likewise, Shadowheart should feel the same way towards a Githyanki PC. Likewise, there should be strictly gay companions, as well as strictly straight companions.
#5. The purpose of people within the world is not to please you. If you go about in the real world and expect everyone to like you, or expect everyone to want to sleep with you, well, I think you will get a wake up call very quickly. I do not see why this expectation should suddenly exist within a fantasy world. The purposes of the characters within the game should not be to please you, they should be there to tell their own story. A well written, convincing companion is one who would seem to be their own character and not seem to be defined according to what you have done. They would have some prejudices that you would be unable to change. Its perfectly fine for the canonical ending for a game or a character to be one you do not like, because its not your story.

I do not believe that all the characters need to be gay, nor all the characters straight, nor all the characters bisexual, but if a character behaves in all of their dialogue to NPCs as if they have a certain orientation, that should not magically change when talking to the player. Asterion very much comes across as straight for example. He spends a lot of time hitting on female characters, but he does not provide the same attention to male characters. If Asterion is not straight, he needs a pretty damn convincing reason as to why he behaves differently to the PC in contrast to how he reacts to the rest of the world.



I always like your posts, Sharp, even when I don't agree with them. You make good arguments and don't peddle in nonsense. (I do peddle in nonsense sometimes, but I still like people who don't.) You bring up lots of good points here, and I don't have much in the way of specific counters to what you've said. Yet I still don't agree with your conclusion (that playersexual companions need to be undone).

You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?

I don't find your statement about Astarion very convincing, either. So you have this group of six people, and Astarion doesn't show attraction to two of the men, but he can show attraction to the third man. You think he needs a "pretty damn convincing reason" for this? Couldn't he, like, just not be attracted to Gale and Wyll? Maybe he's attracted to the PC because you're the leader, because you're calling the shots and he thinks that's hot. Maybe he's actually just trying to manipulate the PC via sexuality, that would very much fit his personality and backstory, I think. Vampires gonna seduce, when there's a possible benefit in it for them.


But the main reason I'm responding to this is to ask you what you think about the idea that Niara talked about in her post. This one: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=741951#Post741951 Did you read that one? I'd cheekily call it the Schrödinger's Sexuality concept. They are potentially both sexualities, but neither one for certain. The characters aren't necessarily bisexual, it's just that their sexuality is not known until the player makes their character. Like there are alternate realities for each playthrough, and in some of them, the characters are attracted to men, and in other ones, they are attracted to women.

Now I understand that, as you say, this makes the characters less deep, but I don't think it's significantly so. Unless they are going to make the character's sexuality a big plot point and have a bunch of conversation about it. But usually people don't like it when they do that, so I doubt they would, even if the characters did have fixed sexuality. So even if they, say, made Astarion purely heterosexual, how is that going to actually impact the story? Probably not much, I'd think.

So my conclusion is that the benefit you get from giving the characters fixed sexualities is smaller than the benefit you get from offering players more options. Your points are all very solid, but I think we just weigh the relative value of realism differently in the context of a fantasy video game. Which is cool. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on what Niara said, mostly.
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:25 PM
Dial up the romance.
Posted By: EMC_V Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:26 PM
This is a complicated issue. On one hand it is true that people have fixed preferences. But in the other, when you do that youvend with 1 female straight, another bisexual, one male straight and another bixesual.

And then, people would create mods so you can get the romance anyway. Making the characters "playersexual" is just opening from the begining the option for people who doesn't want to bother with mods.

Now, what would make it more inmersive/create a clear sensation of the NPC's sexuality and preferences is banter and past history. We hear Astarion flirt with Gale and, apparently, Jaezel comment on Astarion being good at sex. That makes him bi or pansexual. He should hit on the MC before the party if he is going to offer them, but him flirting with everyone is who he is.

Wyll is clearly interested in Laezel. But that should block him from being with MC. On the other hand, we know nothing about Shadowheart excepto that she didn't liked Gale whrn they met. Gale seems straight, because Mystra and Shadowheart are both women. For him to be with a man, a conversation ir comment needs to happen, either acknowledging that MC is the first man he is attracted to or mentioning past lovers. The point is that you can make the full group bisexual or pansexual, but it works better if it is woven in the story
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:47 PM
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Dial up the romance.



We demand more sexy dials.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 01:59 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

As for making the party seem bangin', I'm not sure how possible that even is with the tools they have. Those real parties you talk about are only fun because of physical intoxication, loud kinetic music, liberating bodily movement, and sexual energy palpable in the air. I don't know that you can really simulate any of those feelings with a cutscene. Even if they tried to show characters wildly dancing or the like, it would just look comical. A stone-cold sober person sitting still in a chair looking at pixels on a screen is never going to evoke the kind of exhilaration response of a real party. I don't remember ever seeing an exciting party in any video game. It's always just gonna be NPCs standing around waiting to deliver some unconvincing dialogue about how much fun they're having, isn't it?



I have to admit that is where I run up against my own limitations. The difficulty with video games is that while they are not as passive as traditional mediums such as film and literature they are still incredibly static. Everything is hovering in an animation loop awaiting player interaction. I don't have even the beginning of a solution to this. I am simply hopeful that my limitations are personal and that someone more clever than I can discover a solution to that which I can only see the deficiencies.

That is why I entrusted you my proxy plus one Snake Lady. You are far more clever than me though we share similar passions and perspectives. I haven't bothered to keep track of the times I have framed a response only to find you beat me to it. Hopefully someone out there will surprise us both



I appreciate the compliments, DS. You're in my top five around here. For some other good posts, check out Braxton, alice_ashpool, Sharp, and Niara. They're the rest of my favorites, along with you.
Posted By: Dexai Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?


I'm sorry to cut this right out of its context but I really think this hits the heart of the argument: I don't play video games for erotic or fetish fantasies. I don't watch tv shows for fetish purposes either. I don't read books for it either. It's not the kind of entertainment I want. It's not the kind of "fantasy" I want.

Honestly, there is a big problem with how rpgs have come to be burdened with an expectation of appealing to fetishes with their "romances" these days. It's the video equivalent of blatant panty shots and ridiculous boobiting in anime. I think alice was right in invoking the Miyazaki meme but maybe not for the same reason as you. There's always been this weird, toxic fetish culture part of nerd culture but I certainly do not think it is what most people approach the media, whether anime or video game, for. It just gets a lot of attention because it's what people who spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet obsessing about media clamour for.

I don't need a video game waifu. I don't need the game to fuel my fetishes. I don't need constant sexual fan service. I don't need characters to be defined by being vehicles for my sexual fantasies. I think media suffers and becomes less good from having these as pillars of their design philosophy.

I want strong characters. Strong characters does not mean characters with muscle mass or 12+ in their Strength attribute. Strong characters mean characters with a well defined, realistic characterisation, the more depth the better. I want characters that have their own goals and aims, and that don't just lull around behind the PC regardless of what you do. I don't want characters that bend around your character like spineless sea churning.

The main problem as I see it isn't that just that the characters are player-sexual. This would in itself be a weakness of characterisation, but can be overcome with good writing (something Larian lacks). The main problem is that they are hyper-player-sexual. They're throwing themselves at the player like cats in heat, like I was actually playing an hentai harem-collecting game instead a high fantasy adventure. It's not exciting, it's certainly not romantic, and it's not even enrousing. It's laughable. These aren't characters. These are vehicles. These are anime panty-shots. The only word that can describe it is cringeworthy.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Niara
Player-sexuality is not to be confused with "Everyone is bi"; that's not what it is. It's a statement that IF a player finds that their personal character is attracted to and wants to pursue a particular NPC that they have grown to like and would like to feel a rapport with, then that desire will be able to be met, and the game will define itself to accommodate that.

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

Making romanaceable characters player-sexual doesn't mean they don't *Have* that same definition that can be a part of who they are - it just means that it's not determined until *you* determine what it needs to be - it is and becomes a tangible truth, as needed. Those exact same characters can still have a 'default' written preference to follow if they aren't pursued by the player, but the player's needs, for the characters they feel that they want to pursue, need to override that. That may sound crass to some, but we have to remember that it's a fictional story being built with fictional characters; no-one's personal will or freedom is being taken away or denied by doing this.

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors? As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around. In tabletop, even if you hard define a character's preferences as part of your world, it's softer, since you can still supply alternatives and other options for your players... in a video game, that isn't as feasible at all; we have a limited selection of options, and that's all we have. They *Must* be able to be what players need them to be, because they are our only options. That means that, in a social romance setting, players need to be able to create the character they want, and then, to pursue the *type* of character personality they want to pursue, and know that they stand a chance of being reciprocated; anything less is shutting players down to a greater extent and loss of satisfaction than you could ever hope to gain by hard defining those specific details of the character. This doesn't mean that those NPCs can't have individual quirks or preferences alongside this - they most certainly can, and it can make for cute or amusing discussions! But overall, the player has to come first, and they need to know that, overarching whatever individual quirks or eccentricities an NPC has, inside the bedroom or out of it, that their efforts stand a chance of being reciprocated when they direct them towards the character they want to share that relationship with.

If a character's personal sexuality makes up such a large part of their personality and character depiction that it cannot change on different play-throughs as needed, then you have a bigger problem by far already. It shouldn't have much of an impact on the presentation of the character and development of their personality - it can afford to be what each individual player feels they want it to be, without detracting from the character, the world, or each person's individual experience of it.



Yes, all of this. Well-said, Niara. As you know, I don't always agree with your every opinion, but I do always appreciate how much thought you put into them, and how articulately you express them. In this case, though, I do definitely agree with you.

(Well, sliiiiiight issue with "As a DM, your game world should be for your players - not the other way around" but not gonna get into that. The core of your point there is still good.)

A video game, certainly, is for the players. Giving them more options is always good. Avoiding scenarios where someone feels left out of what they want is always good. I will always remember how sad it made one of my gay male friends that he couldn't romance Alistair in DA:O. It ruined the game for him. Some people may find that silly, but his feelings were valid, and not unique to him.

So, the point here is that, your friend wanted to force his specific views, over the views or the writer that created Alistair.

My point is also this. If Alistair turned gay, it would completely shatter who he was currently, and his character would completely change.

he wants that? sure, add it in but make it a DC 20, since it is against the core character, then write a whole new script for the character because he just went through a massive life altering experience.

Do not put your personal opinions of bigotry or bias or anything on it. They really have no place and no merit. It is just your perception, and you are entitled to your perception and opinion. That doesn't make it right, and that does not make it more valid than my own.

As for the core reason of this post?

It seems there is, at least some, "demand (meant in the capitalist way)" for a different approach too what Larian has labeled as romance.

This being EA, and feedback being asked, this is what is being given.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by Dexai


I'm sorry to cut this right out of its context but I really think this hits the heart of the argument: I don't play video games for erotic or fetish fantasies. I don't watch tv shows for fetish purposes either. I don't read books for it either. It's not the kind of entertainment I want. It's not the kind of "fantasy" I want.

Honestly, there is a big problem with how rpgs have come to be burdened with an expectation of appealing to fetishes with their "romances" these days. It's the video equivalent of blatant panty shots and ridiculous boobiting in anime. I think alice was right in invoking the Miyazaki meme but maybe not for the same reason as you. There's always been this weird, toxic fetish culture part of nerd culture but I certainly do not think it is what most people approach the media, whether anime or video game, for. It just gets a lot of attention because it's what people who spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet obsessing about media clamour for.

I don't need a video game waifu. I don't need the game to fuel my fetishes. I don't need constant sexual fan service. I don't need characters to be defined by being vehicles for my sexual fantasies. I think media suffers and becomes less good from having these as pillars of their design philosophy.

I want strong characters. Strong characters does not mean characters with muscle mass or 12+ in their Strength attribute. Strong characters mean characters with a well defined, realistic characterisation, the more depth the better. I want characters that have their own goals and aims, and that don't just lull around behind the PC regardless of what you do. I don't want characters that bend around your character like spineless sea churning.

The main problem as I see it isn't that just that the characters are player-sexual. This would in itself be a weakness of characterisation, but can be overcome with good writing (something Larian lacks). The main problem is that they are hyper-player-sexual. They're throwing themselves at the player like cats in heat, like I was actually playing an hentai harem-collecting game instead a high fantasy adventure. It's not exciting, it's certainly not romantic, and it's not even enrousing. It's laughable. These aren't characters. These are vehicles. These are anime panty-shots. The only word that can describe it is cringeworthy.


Thank God they're rushing. Honestly? I'm tired of fact that I'm usually player who puts pressure on the characters. I'm tired of being a "host", I may like to see interest in me. Believe me, in games this happens very rarely, usually you (MC) "express sympathy" to the characters, and only then they expresses it to you. I want to see the other side, and it's great to have that in this game at this moment. I like that some characters find MC attractive. Because this usually doesn't happen! In other games characters don't flirt with you while you will not start.
Also, what am I doing wrong that Shadow doesn't throw a hug at me? Oh Yes, she won't, because you can't be liked by everyone, and all characters have different personalities.

For example, with Gale, I just have a friendly relationship with a high reputation, and he does not give a hint of something more. Shadow just doesn't care, she's neutral. So who attacks player like a piece of meat? Do not say "everyone", speak honestly, only Lae and Astarion, which fits into their personality and looks organic.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:32 PM
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?


I'm sorry to cut this right out of its context but I really think this hits the heart of the argument: I don't play video games for erotic or fetish fantasies. I don't watch tv shows for fetish purposes either. I don't read books for it either. It's not the kind of entertainment I want. It's not the kind of "fantasy" I want.

Honestly, there is a big problem with how rpgs have come to be burdened with an expectation of appealing to fetishes with their "romances" these days. It's the video equivalent of blatant panty shots and ridiculous boobiting in anime. I think alice was right in invoking the Miyazaki meme but maybe not for the same reason as you. There's always been this weird, toxic fetish culture part of nerd culture but I certainly do not think it is what most people approach the media, whether anime or video game, for. It just gets a lot of attention because it's what people who spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet obsessing about media clamour for.

I don't need a video game waifu. I don't need the game to fuel my fetishes. I don't need constant sexual fan service. I don't need characters to be defined by being vehicles for my sexual fantasies. I think media suffers and becomes less good from having these as pillars of their design philosophy.

I want strong characters. Strong characters does not mean characters with muscle mass or 12+ in their Strength attribute. Strong characters mean characters with a well defined, realistic characterisation, the more depth the better. I want characters that have their own goals and aims, and that don't just lull around behind the PC regardless of what you do. I don't want characters that bend around your character like spineless sea churning.

The main problem as I see it isn't that just that the characters are player-sexual. This would in itself be a weakness of characterisation, but can be overcome with good writing (something Larian lacks). The main problem is that they are hyper-player-sexual. They're throwing themselves at the player like cats in heat, like I was actually playing an hentai harem-collecting game instead a high fantasy adventure. It's not exciting, it's certainly not romantic, and it's not even enrousing. It's laughable. These aren't characters. These are vehicles. These are anime panty-shots. The only word that can describe it is cringeworthy.


Exactly this. Very well said.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?


I'm sorry to cut this right out of its context but I really think this hits the heart of the argument: I don't play video games for erotic or fetish fantasies. I don't watch tv shows for fetish purposes either. I don't read books for it either. It's not the kind of entertainment I want. It's not the kind of "fantasy" I want.

Honestly, there is a big problem with how rpgs have come to be burdened with an expectation of appealing to fetishes with their "romances" these days. It's the video equivalent of blatant panty shots and ridiculous boobiting in anime. I think alice was right in invoking the Miyazaki meme but maybe not for the same reason as you. There's always been this weird, toxic fetish culture part of nerd culture but I certainly do not think it is what most people approach the media, whether anime or video game, for. It just gets a lot of attention because it's what people who spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet obsessing about media clamour for.

I don't need a video game waifu. I don't need the game to fuel my fetishes. I don't need constant sexual fan service. I don't need characters to be defined by being vehicles for my sexual fantasies. I think media suffers and becomes less good from having these as pillars of their design philosophy.

I want strong characters. Strong characters does not mean characters with muscle mass or 12+ in their Strength attribute. Strong characters mean characters with a well defined, realistic characterisation, the more depth the better. I want characters that have their own goals and aims, and that don't just lull around behind the PC regardless of what you do. I don't want characters that bend around your character like spineless sea churning.

The main problem as I see it isn't that just that the characters are player-sexual. This would in itself be a weakness of characterisation, but can be overcome with good writing (something Larian lacks). The main problem is that they are hyper-player-sexual. They're throwing themselves at the player like cats in heat, like I was actually playing an hentai harem-collecting game instead a high fantasy adventure. It's not exciting, it's certainly not romantic, and it's not even enrousing. It's laughable. These aren't characters. These are vehicles. These are anime panty-shots. The only word that can describe it is cringeworthy.



Who was talking about fetishes? I wasn't. In fact I agree with everything you said about fetishism in gaming. I find it distasteful as well. I find fan service crass, and I grit my teeth any time someone says "waifu". (I feel dirty just having typed that word.) I think the stuff you're talking about is gross, too.

I'm just talking about, in a game which is already a massive power fantasy in every other respect, having the character your character likes also like your character seems pretty reasonable. When people fantasize about being a character in a fantasy world, they probably don't fantasize about people NOT being attracted to that character. I could be wrong, maybe there's a big subset of people craving some good rejection experiences in their RPGs.

I also agree with you about the hyper part. That's a very different thing from merely being playersexual, and I think it's definitely a problem. The part where suddenly every party member wants to sleep with you (or talk about sleeping with you) at the same time is really poorly done, in my opinion, and I hope they change it. It comes across right now as very weird.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:40 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Sharp
I agree that player-sexual companions need to be undone. I have never (and will never) subscribed to the belief that the artist's job is to "please the fans." Here is my case for why it is bad that companions are player sexual.

#1. People in the real world have preferences. In some cases these preferences are very strong, in others, less so. If it was "just so easy for everyone to change sexuality" then downright unethical practices such as conversion therapy would have worked and been considered a success. Newsflash - they were not and I think almost everyone can agree they were a monumental failure.
#2. Creating a world in which all of the companions are player sexual undermines this. It reduces the depth of characters, in order to potentially not upset the group of people who want to romance that character who would otherwise be locked out of it.
#3. By making it, "easy" for everyone to get along/romance each other, its not only not realistic, it is actually in some ways an insult to those who have had to struggle through those kinds of situations. Overcoming a personal prejudice is not easy and it does take time. Making it easy takes away from that.
#4. By giving characters defined preferences it adds that extra layer of depth to companions and makes them more "real." Viconia in BG 2 for example not being romanceable by an Elf made perfect sense in the context of her story. She has deep, racial prejudices against elves. Likewise, Shadowheart should feel the same way towards a Githyanki PC. Likewise, there should be strictly gay companions, as well as strictly straight companions.
#5. The purpose of people within the world is not to please you. If you go about in the real world and expect everyone to like you, or expect everyone to want to sleep with you, well, I think you will get a wake up call very quickly. I do not see why this expectation should suddenly exist within a fantasy world. The purposes of the characters within the game should not be to please you, they should be there to tell their own story. A well written, convincing companion is one who would seem to be their own character and not seem to be defined according to what you have done. They would have some prejudices that you would be unable to change. Its perfectly fine for the canonical ending for a game or a character to be one you do not like, because its not your story.

I do not believe that all the characters need to be gay, nor all the characters straight, nor all the characters bisexual, but if a character behaves in all of their dialogue to NPCs as if they have a certain orientation, that should not magically change when talking to the player. Asterion very much comes across as straight for example. He spends a lot of time hitting on female characters, but he does not provide the same attention to male characters. If Asterion is not straight, he needs a pretty damn convincing reason as to why he behaves differently to the PC in contrast to how he reacts to the rest of the world.



I always like your posts, Sharp, even when I don't agree with them. You make good arguments and don't peddle in nonsense. (I do peddle in nonsense sometimes, but I still like people who don't.) You bring up lots of good points here, and I don't have much in the way of specific counters to what you've said. Yet I still don't agree with your conclusion (that playersexual companions need to be undone).

You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?

I don't find your statement about Astarion very convincing, either. So you have this group of six people, and Astarion doesn't show attraction to two of the men, but he can show attraction to the third man. You think he needs a "pretty damn convincing reason" for this? Couldn't he, like, just not be attracted to Gale and Wyll? Maybe he's attracted to the PC because you're the leader, because you're calling the shots and he thinks that's hot. Maybe he's actually just trying to manipulate the PC via sexuality, that would very much fit his personality and backstory, I think. Vampires gonna seduce, when there's a possible benefit in it for them.


But the main reason I'm responding to this is to ask you what you think about the idea that Niara talked about in her post. This one: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=741951#Post741951 Did you read that one? I'd cheekily call it the Schrödinger's Sexuality concept. They are potentially both sexualities, but neither one for certain. The characters aren't necessarily bisexual, it's just that their sexuality is not known until the player makes their character. Like there are alternate realities for each playthrough, and in some of them, the characters are attracted to men, and in other ones, they are attracted to women.

Now I understand that, as you say, this makes the characters less deep, but I don't think it's significantly so. Unless they are going to make the character's sexuality a big plot point and have a bunch of conversation about it. But usually people don't like it when they do that, so I doubt they would, even if the characters did have fixed sexuality. So even if they, say, made Astarion purely heterosexual, how is that going to actually impact the story? Probably not much, I'd think.

So my conclusion is that the benefit you get from giving the characters fixed sexualities is smaller than the benefit you get from offering players more options. Your points are all very solid, but I think we just weigh the relative value of realism differently in the context of a fantasy video game. Which is cool. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on what Niara said, mostly.



Player sexual is fine in games like Witcher, where there really isn't much character variation.
In games like, one core chracter is created and written for.

Imagine if, in God of war, you could make Kratos a dwarf, or a elf, or african american, or a woman.
Would that change how the romantic scenes were scripted? Ur if you made Kratos a unic. That would screw the most recent game in the son part.

But I digress, and only type that to come to my first point. This game, one of the biggest selling points, I feel, is the custumization!
Even the game play offers so much freedom from most top downs - JUST because of jump!

What i am saying is this. If a player wants the option to turn a scripted character AWAY from their core script, fine! give it to them, BUT- again, BUT- Make it a very difficult thing to do!

I am going to make a reference to you specifically, fire, and I do not typ this to attack you, but to make a point. So please do not view this as offensive.
Imagine your gay friend, and imagine there was a woman that decided she wanted to date him.
He is gay, he is not interested. She wants him.
In game terms, she has to make 5 persausion checks at DC 25 to get him to go on one date with her, then another 3 at DC 30 for the first kiss, and a final one at DC 45 for the boyfriend/girlfriend status title.
Does that make sense?

Once again - not picking on you

My personal opinion, and I will stress this is my personal opinion, I feel media is over saturated with gender non conformity, and that it is being forced into places where it does not belong - and it makes things feel very stiff, and makes it very difficult to communicate, because every word that is said is offensive... but it goes into the "yes but no" catergory... and, in the end, simply turns into excluding those that are not of specific orientations. The orientations I personally feel are being exlcuded are those that idenitify as straight, and that idenitify as the gender on their birth cert.

Having typed all that, that has no further merit in this thread other than I have stated my opinion.
My original post still stands.

I feel the game would do good with changes to the approach to romance.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:48 PM
Originally Posted by guy

So, the point here is that, your friend wanted to force his specific views, over the views or the writer that created Alistair.

My point is also this. If Alistair turned gay, it would completely shatter who he was currently, and his character would completely change.

he wants that? sure, add it in but make it a DC 20, since it is against the core character, then write a whole new script for the character because he just went through a massive life altering experience.

Do not put your personal opinions of bigotry or bias or anything on it. They really have no place and no merit. It is just your perception, and you are entitled to your perception and opinion. That doesn't make it right, and that does not make it more valid than my own.

As for the core reason of this post?

It seems there is, at least some, "demand (meant in the capitalist way)" for a different approach too what Larian has labeled as romance.

This being EA, and feedback being asked, this is what is being given.



Fair enough, mostly.

But I don't agree with the part about Alistair being gay completely shattering who he is. I don't think it would at all. I'm not sure why you think it would.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:54 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I grit my teeth any time someone says "waifu".


I apologize for being partly responsible for the state of your teeth. I will, however, not cease to call the ridiculous tadpole apparition a "dream waifu", for that's what it is. It's imo one of those "panty shot" things Dexai mentioned that's jarring in a game that's not a dating sim or the like.

As for your other points: you say you despite the fetishism, yet you call for enabling it in BG3, since it will please people. You just use nicer words to talk about it. No matter what you call it, the game pandering to people who are in this for "sexual fan service" is just as crass.

And I may not fantasize about characters rejecting my PC, but companions hitting on it is something that DOES decrease my enjoyment of the game. By a LOT. I want companionship, camaraderie, friendship, brother/sisterhood (as kanisatha recently described it), not a horny teen party simulator.

It seems we're in agreement that the "hyper" part is utterly ridiculous though.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by guy

Player sexual is fine in games like Witcher, where there really isn't much character variation.
In games like, one core chracter is created and written for.

Imagine if, in God of war, you could make Kratos a dwarf, or a elf, or african american, or a woman.
Would that change how the romantic scenes were scripted? Ur if you made Kratos a unic. That would screw the most recent game in the son part.

But I digress, and only type that to come to my first point. This game, one of the biggest selling points, I feel, is the custumization!
Even the game play offers so much freedom from most top downs - JUST because of jump!

What i am saying is this. If a player wants the option to turn a scripted character AWAY from their core script, fine! give it to them, BUT- again, BUT- Make it a very difficult thing to do!

I am going to make a reference to you specifically, fire, and I do not typ this to attack you, but to make a point. So please do not view this as offensive.
Imagine your gay friend, and imagine there was a woman that decided she wanted to date him.
He is gay, he is not interested. She wants him.
In game terms, she has to make 5 persausion checks at DC 25 to get him to go on one date with her, then another 3 at DC 30 for the first kiss, and a final one at DC 45 for the boyfriend/girlfriend status title.
Does that make sense?

Once again - not picking on you

My personal opinion, and I will stress this is my personal opinion, I feel media is over saturated with gender non conformity, and that it is being forced into places where it does not belong - and it makes things feel very stiff, and makes it very difficult to communicate, because every word that is said is offensive... but it goes into the "yes but no" catergory... and, in the end, simply turns into excluding those that are not of specific orientations. The orientations I personally feel are being exlcuded are those that idenitify as straight, and that idenitify as the gender on their birth cert.

Having typed all that, that has no further merit in this thread other than I have stated my opinion.
My original post still stands.

I feel the game would do good with changes to the approach to romance.



I'd like to say that I appreciate the fact that you are making an effort to be more civil in your more recent posts. You said some pretty awful things further up the thread, but now you're being nice, so thank you.

Why does a character have to have a "core script" when it comes to sexuality? Why can't it just be determined when you make your character, and differ from playthrough to playthrough?

Your idea about the hard persuasion checks could be fine, if it was a specific storyline with one character. It would be weird if it applied to all the characters.

Why do you think it's being "forced" into places? Isn't it possible that the people who make these things simply have different values than you? I mean, the average values of many people have shifted quite dramatically in the last couple of decades. It could be comforting to think that all of the people who disagree with you are just being politically correct or following a fad, but what about the possibility that they just genuinely think differently than you?
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 02:59 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

So, the point here is that, your friend wanted to force his specific views, over the views or the writer that created Alistair.

My point is also this. If Alistair turned gay, it would completely shatter who he was currently, and his character would completely change.

he wants that? sure, add it in but make it a DC 20, since it is against the core character, then write a whole new script for the character because he just went through a massive life altering experience.

Do not put your personal opinions of bigotry or bias or anything on it. They really have no place and no merit. It is just your perception, and you are entitled to your perception and opinion. That doesn't make it right, and that does not make it more valid than my own.

As for the core reason of this post?

It seems there is, at least some, "demand (meant in the capitalist way)" for a different approach too what Larian has labeled as romance.

This being EA, and feedback being asked, this is what is being given.



Fair enough, mostly.

But I don't agree with the part about Alistair being gay completely shattering who he is. I don't think it would at all. I'm not sure why you think it would.



Psycology.

Personal fact about me. in 2009 I was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

Previous to that, I thought and acted in a certain way, and believed in a certain way.

When it was forcibly brought to my attention that, no, there were not animals running next to my car as I drove, and no, there were not worms crawling out of officers stomachs as they talked to me, I had to make a choice.
It was difficult, as I spent many years thinking and believing one way, and I had to completely dismantle myself and my way of thinking, to ensure I could functionally interact with society.

I am nothing like the person I used to be as a result. I have documentation supporting that.

Now, there are people that are very open to being BI, and there are those that haven't even given it a second thought because it never came up... but when the issue is forced, and they have been one way for 30 years?
In most cases, it completely destroys who they thought they were.

Now, having typed that, I will admit -it is my OPINION, given my personal experiences, that such a massive shift in character would drastically change the character.
This is where the writters and scripters come in. Ultimately, they would have to decided, based on the character they wrote for alistair, how alistair would react.

Given Al's character, and this does not need a response, but is more a metaphorical question, if you were scripting him, and story borarding him, and had his detailed life background in front of you, how would you script alistair to respond if he decided one of his core fundamental life beliefs was false?
Posted By: Verte Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:05 PM
Maybe just adding a switch to turn off romances/nudity in game would work and satisfy all, especially the streamers. I have watched vid about features in Cyberpunk and they mentioned something like that.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:05 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester

I apologize for being partly responsible for the state of your teeth. I will, however, not cease to call the ridiculous tadpole apparition a "dream waifu", for that's what it is. It's imo one of those "panty shot" things Dexai mentioned that's jarring in a game that's not a dating sim or the like.

As for your other points: you say you despite the fetishism, yet you call for enabling it in BG3, since it will please people. You just use nicer words to talk about it. No matter what you call it, the game pandering to people who are in this for "sexual fan service" is just as crass.

And I may not fantasize about characters rejecting my PC, but companions hitting on it is something that DOES decrease my enjoyment of the game. By a LOT. I want companionship, camaraderie, friendship, brother/sisterhood (as kanisatha recently described it), not a horny teen party simulator.

It seems we're in agreement that the "hyper" part is utterly ridiculous though.



I dunno, I think the dream figure is very clearly meant to be seductive for narrative reasons. Like, it is deliberately showing everyone what they want to see because it wants to seduce you to its side. I think it's relevant to the story, not just gratuitous fan service. Those scenes aren't even particularly sexy.

I'm not sure how "companions are attracted to whatever gender the PC is" equals fetishes? I like romance in RPGs for numerous reasons, but not as something to be sexually exciting. I would prefer if they didn't even have explicit sex scenes, but merely fade to black. And I do think the "hitting on" part needs to be toned way down. Maybe if ONE character is like that, it would make sense. As THAT character's personality trait. (Astarion in particular would fit this.) But when they ALL do it, it stands out glaringly and immediately feels ham-fisted.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Who was talking about fetishes? I wasn't. In fact I agree with everything you said about fetishism in gaming. I find it distasteful as well. I find fan service crass, and I grit my teeth any time someone says "waifu". (I feel dirty just having typed that word.) I think the stuff you're talking about is gross, too.

I'm just talking about, in a game which is already a massive power fantasy in every other respect, having the character your character likes also like your character seems pretty reasonable. When people fantasize about being a character in a fantasy world, they probably don't fantasize about people NOT being attracted to that character. I could be wrong, maybe there's a bit subset of people craving some good rejection experiences in their RPGs.

I also agree with you about the hyper part. That's a very different thing from merely being playersexual, and I think it's definitely a problem. The part where suddenly every party member wants to sleep with you (or talk about sleeping with you) at the same time is really poorly done, in my opinion, and I hope they change it. It comes across right now as very weird.


People are not only playing RPGs for power fantasies. I would even say those people are the minority. Story and immersion are a big part of classig RPGs in the style of Baldurs Gate and its successors like Planescape or Kingmaker. And both story and immersion get damaged by playersexual companions.
Ones gender and in fantasy worlds racial preferences are part of ones personality. Yet if all characters have to be playersexual you can't touch those parts of the personality, meaning you can only write bland cookie cutter characters which are open to everything. How do you write someone like Jubilost (Kingmaker) who is full of himself and thinks everyone is beneath him when he will have sex with low int barbarians (who he does not respect at all) just because thats what the player plays? Or Harrim (Kingmaker again) who is a disillusioned priest waiting for the universe, or at least his own life, to end. Him having a romance would completely be out of character, so why should he have one.
Even Bi characters who are by default player sexual are more memorable when being bi is part of their character and not just happens by coincidence (Octiavia and Regongar, last Kingmaker reference I promise).

And thats just gender. There are also racial preferences. Just take Shadowheart. She hates Githyanki, but will do you after a few days of knowing you because you are the player. This is just eye rollingly bad and devalues her personality.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies


I'm not sure how "companions are attracted to whatever gender the PC is" equals fetishes? I like romance in RPGs for numerous reasons, but not as something to be sexually exciting. I would prefer if they didn't even have explicit sex scenes, but merely fade to black. And I do think the "hitting on" part needs to be toned way down. Maybe if ONE character is like that, it would make sense. As THAT character's personality trait. (Astarion in particular would fit this.) But when they ALL do it, it stands out glaringly and immediately feels ham-fisted.


Think of those japanese harem style dating sims/visual novels. One guy in the middle of a group of girls who all want him and compete with each other for his affection and in the best end he gets them all.
Playersexuality is basically this.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:09 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

Player sexual is fine in games like Witcher, where there really isn't much character variation.
In games like, one core chracter is created and written for.

Imagine if, in God of war, you could make Kratos a dwarf, or a elf, or african american, or a woman.
Would that change how the romantic scenes were scripted? Ur if you made Kratos a unic. That would screw the most recent game in the son part.

But I digress, and only type that to come to my first point. This game, one of the biggest selling points, I feel, is the custumization!
Even the game play offers so much freedom from most top downs - JUST because of jump!

What i am saying is this. If a player wants the option to turn a scripted character AWAY from their core script, fine! give it to them, BUT- again, BUT- Make it a very difficult thing to do!

I am going to make a reference to you specifically, fire, and I do not typ this to attack you, but to make a point. So please do not view this as offensive.
Imagine your gay friend, and imagine there was a woman that decided she wanted to date him.
He is gay, he is not interested. She wants him.
In game terms, she has to make 5 persausion checks at DC 25 to get him to go on one date with her, then another 3 at DC 30 for the first kiss, and a final one at DC 45 for the boyfriend/girlfriend status title.
Does that make sense?

Once again - not picking on you

My personal opinion, and I will stress this is my personal opinion, I feel media is over saturated with gender non conformity, and that it is being forced into places where it does not belong - and it makes things feel very stiff, and makes it very difficult to communicate, because every word that is said is offensive... but it goes into the "yes but no" catergory... and, in the end, simply turns into excluding those that are not of specific orientations. The orientations I personally feel are being exlcuded are those that idenitify as straight, and that idenitify as the gender on their birth cert.

Having typed all that, that has no further merit in this thread other than I have stated my opinion.
My original post still stands.

I feel the game would do good with changes to the approach to romance.



I'd like to say that I appreciate the fact that you are making an effort to be more civil in your more recent posts. You said some pretty awful things further up the thread, but now you're being nice, so thank you.

Why does a character have to have a "core script" when it comes to sexuality? Why can't it just be determined when you make your character, and differ from playthrough to playthrough?

Your idea about the hard persuasion checks could be fine, if it was a specific storyline with one character. It would be weird if it applied to all the characters.

Why do you think it's being "forced" into places? Isn't it possible that the people who make these things simply have different values than you? I mean, the average values of many people have shifted quite dramatically in the last couple of decades. It could be comforting to think that all of the people who disagree with you are just being politically correct or following a fad, but what about the possibility that they just genuinely think differently than you?



Thank you for noticing my effort at being polite. It is very difficult for me, I am very direct, and I have little patience for masks or gilded cages.
However, I like too think I am a civil person.

I feel it is being forced because I personally, in having made the choice to be heterosexual ( I typed choice very specifically) and in being a white male, I have found myself hedged out of groups because of "oh, you are already entitled, you are already given everything, you don't need this too."

I can go into the mental health system with details, and the social security system, where I recieved benefits for a brief time, then WORKED and busted my rear side to get a solid job and came off of it, and can go into details about the gender non coformists, and the % recieivng social security that are under the age of 25 that, in dealing with them personally and intimately, I personally feel are taking advantage of a system with many loopholes.

But it has shaped my thought process, and opinion, that gender non confirmity is being pushed and forced into places where, previous to that, there was not thought of it at all, and that many of these people with opinions... change them after 5 to 7 years, and realize they were wrong, and that how it was before, in many cases (not in all, there are some horrific things in the past) was better and more correct.

BUT THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT THAT. I typed personal experiences, that shape my personal view. And none of that have a place in the game.

I still stand by my original post, I would like to see less playersexuality, and more character development
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:10 PM
Originally Posted by guy


Psycology.

Personal fact about me. in 2009 I was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

Previous to that, I thought and acted in a certain way, and believed in a certain way.

When it was forcibly brought to my attention that, no, there were not animals running next to my car as I drove, and no, there were not worms crawling out of officers stomachs as they talked to me, I had to make a choice.
It was difficult, as I spent many years thinking and believing one way, and I had to completely dismantle myself and my way of thinking, to ensure I could functionally interact with society.

I am nothing like the person I used to be as a result. I have documentation supporting that.

Now, there are people that are very open to being BI, and there are those that haven't even given it a second thought because it never came up... but when the issue is forced, and they have been one way for 30 years?
In most cases, it completely destroys who they thought they were.

Now, having typed that, I will admit -it is my OPINION, given my personal experiences, that such a massive shift in character would drastically change the character.
This is where the writters and scripters come in. Ultimately, they would have to decided, based on the character they wrote for alistair, how alistair would react.

Given Al's character, and this does not need a response, but is more a metaphorical question, if you were scripting him, and story borarding him, and had his detailed life background in front of you, how would you script alistair to respond if he decided one of his core fundamental life beliefs was false?



Ah, I see the misunderstanding. I didn't mean to say that Alistair should be written as a straight guy, who then TURNS gay (or bi) during the game. I simply meant that they could have made him bisexual from the outset, and wouldn't have needed to change anything else about him as a character. There is nothing in Alistair's personality or background that would be invalidated if they just decided he was bisexual. They wouldn't have to write him any different way.
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:13 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I always like your posts, Sharp, even when I don't agree with them. You make good arguments and don't peddle in nonsense. (I do peddle in nonsense sometimes, but I still like people who don't.) You bring up lots of good points here, and I don't have much in the way of specific counters to what you've said. Yet I still don't agree with your conclusion (that playersexual companions need to be undone).


Thanks! For what its worth, I like your posts as well :P
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game.

For reference, when I talk about realism, what I really mean is narrative consistency, or verisimilitude. I don't mean the world needs to be ultra realistic, otherwise I would take issue with magic existing in the first place, but I mean that every effect needs to have a plausible cause. The world needs to "make sense." And yes, even in a fantasy setting this is important. Pretty much all of the best fantasy writers will tell you that it is an important concept. Brandon Sanderson for example has a youtube series on writing and its one of the topics he covers, if you are curious, I can find a link to it. Its incidentally why I think most RPGs have awful writing (including the divinity games), because in many cases they ignore this entirely, when it should be something which is taken into account. I am perfectly fine with ignoring the story and just playing the game for the combat, but I would obviously prefer it if the writing was also good :P

Just because the setting is fantasy, doesn't mean it is allowed to be implausible within the context of that world, otherwise it ruins the suspension of disbelief. Even fantasy worlds need to have rules and within those rules what happens need to be consistent. Once your setting has established rules, you had better make sure everything operates within them.
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?

This here has less to do with my point about narrative realism and more to do with my point about how you view the creative process. There are 2 main arguments, the first is, that the creator should make things to please their audience (for example, if an artist is commissioned to make a painting, their job is to please the person who commissioned them). The second is, the creator should try to make their own vision. The story they should make is the story they want to tell. I personally hold the second point of view, I do not believe that the artist should compromise on their vision for the audience, even if it means that their art does not sell. Not a very practical perspective, I know, but you could say in some ways I am an idealist.

For those of us who hold the second view point, it doesn't matter if someone wants to romance a certain companion and they can't, we aren't making the game to please them, we are making the game to tell our own story. If people do not like that story, it is ok, there is no problem with that, because it isn't their story, it is ours. In some ways you could say it is selfish to think this way, but in my opinion, the only way you can truly see what an artist is capable of, is if you give them free reign to create the piece that they want to create. And yes, the means I am perfectly fine with the game having decisions in them which were made purely to please the artist which I do not agree with, there are plenty of those I can think of :P

You could treat video games as just a form of entertainment and that is fine, but I believe they have a potential to be a form of art as well. I would rather see the genre elevated to the level of high art, than just treated as cheap entertainment.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I don't find your statement about Astarion very convincing, either. So you have this group of six people, and Astarion doesn't show attraction to two of the men, but he can show attraction to the third man. You think he needs a "pretty damn convincing reason" for this? Couldn't he, like, just not be attracted to Gale and Wyll? Maybe he's attracted to the PC because you're the leader, because you're calling the shots and he thinks that's hot. Maybe he's actually just trying to manipulate the PC via sexuality, that would very much fit his personality and backstory, I think. Vampires gonna seduce, when there's a possible benefit in it for them.

That would be a convincing argument - provided that making passes at companions is the only time sex comes up with Astarion. He also talks about girls back in Baldur's Gate. When he is talking about his attraction towards characters which are not even present, he only talks about women. Almost everything about Astarion suggests that he is interested in women and there is very little that suggests he is interested in men. He is a very sexually overt character. Even then of course, this does not entirely rule out the fact that he may bisexual, he might just be afraid of the way people would view him if he admitted it and so does not talk about it overtly (if the world of Faerun was similarly prejudiced as the real world), but if this is the case, it should be something brought up!

My issue is not with all the companions being bisexual, being bisexual is not the same as being player sexual. You could have a group where everyone was bisexual and it would be a plausible group. The problem is that there is a disconnect between how characters behave in relation to the main character vs how they behave to the rest of the world. If this disconnect did not exist, they would not be player sexual. It makes perfect sense for all the characters to be bisexual from the perspective of trying to sell the game to as many people as possible, but if you want to do this, they need to be written as bisexual to begin with. This is not how they feel. In many cases they feel like straight characters which happen to make an exception to the rule in the case of the main character and that is what makes them player sexual.

Shadowheart should have a strong bias against a Githyanki PC and probably not treat the player as a romance option. Incidentally, as far as I could tell from her writing she does come across as someone who could be bisexual, but she does have other trust issues and to make her a more plausible companion these should be explored within her romance. Astarion should probably be straight, if he is not, he should have a good reason as to why he puts on a difference face to the world at large to the way he behaves towards the PC and it should be explained. You get the idea. The companions should be consistent. A player sexual companion is not a bisexual companion, a player sexual companion is a companion that only behaves the way it does in order to satisfy the player. If the audience for a game was 100% male and they all hated gay and bisexual companions, the player sexual companion would be characters that behave gay to the rest of the world but act straight in relation to the PC.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

But the main reason I'm responding to this is to ask you what you think about the idea that Niara talked about in her post. This one: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=741951#Post741951 Did you read that one? I'd cheekily call it the Schrödinger's Sexuality concept. They are potentially both sexualities, but neither one for certain. The characters aren't necessarily bisexual, it's just that their sexuality is not known until the player makes their character. Like there are alternate realities for each playthrough, and in some of them, the characters are attracted to men, and in other ones, they are attracted to women.

I did read Niara's post above. I think I answered some of her points in my post above, but I will respond to some things.

Originally Posted by Niara

Yes; characters in games like kingmaker have that slightly more intricate definition, because those details are defined and become a part of who they are... however, it also causes problems; suppose you are a male-preferring male, in Kingmaker, for example.... What are your options? Who can you pursue attraction to? One character, and one character *Only*, and *only* if you're okay with breaking him up with his current partner first.... Is that satisfying? No, it's not. It's not feasible to cater to all player preferences as well as character type attractions, with hard-defined characters: you'd need a homosexual male academic scholar type, a homosexual female academic scholar type, a heterosexual male academic scholar type, a heterosexual female academic scholar type, a homosexual male roguish fortune-player... etc., etc.,... it's not feasible.

I personally see no issue with the player not having a lot of options in terms of romance, in fact, I am fine with a player having no options at all if it matches the story the writer is trying to tell. If I was to make a game, I would probably not include any romances at all, because I am not sure I could write them well and even if I could I don't think they would fit well within the type of story I was trying to tell. In my opinion, its ok for someone to not be included within the story that an artist is trying to tell. Then it just so happens that that particular person is not the right audience for that particular story and that is fine. I dislike most music, it is very, very rare for me to find music that represents my personal tastes. That doesn't make that music bad, it just means that most music is not for me.
Originally Posted by Niara

Ultimately, it's about asking who the game is for: is it for the players, or is it for the world-authors?

This is what I dislike about player sexual companions, it is arguing that the purpose of the world should be to please the player, as opposed to what I believe, which is that the world should exist to tell a story and if the story it tells is not one that the player likes, then it is not a story for them. This incidentally is also why I dislike the changing of shadowheart's personality to make people happy, because it is taking the line that, "the player's internal canon is more important than our own."

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

So my conclusion is that the benefit you get from giving the characters fixed sexualities is smaller than the benefit you get from offering players more options. Your points are all very solid, but I think we just weigh the relative value of realism differently in the context of a fantasy video game. Which is cool. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on what Niara said, mostly.


I am of the opinion that sometimes, less is more. Sometimes by taking away player choices and forcing them into a narrow box, you can tell a better story.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:13 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies



I dunno, I think the dream figure is very clearly meant to be seductive for narrative reasons. Like, it is deliberately showing everyone what they want to see because it wants to seduce you to its side. I think it's relevant to the story, not just gratuitous fan service. Those scenes aren't even particularly sexy.




I think the dream is point on. needs to be very specifically player sexual in all contexts. The tadpole in in your brain, it has you figured out.

However, I will say this.

Some react to sex. some to comfort. some to pain. some to war.


Make a click option - is the char more sex base? more violent based?
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:23 PM
Originally Posted by Ixal

People are not only playing RPGs for power fantasies. I would even say those people are the minority. Story and immersion are a big part of classig RPGs in the style of Baldurs Gate and its successors like Planescape or Kingmaker. And both story and immersion get damaged by playersexual companions.
Ones gender and in fantasy worlds racial preferences are part of ones personality. Yet if all characters have to be playersexual you can't touch those parts of the personality, meaning you can only write bland cookie cutter characters which are open to everything. How do you write someone like Jubilost (Kingmaker) who is full of himself and thinks everyone is beneath him when he will have sex with low int barbarians (who he does not respect at all) just because thats what the player plays? Or Harrim (Kingmaker again) who is a disillusioned priest waiting for the universe, or at least his own life, to end. Him having a romance would completely be out of character, so why should he have one.
Even Bi characters who are by default player sexual are more memorable when being bi is part of their character and not just happens by coincidence (Octiavia and Regongar, last Kingmaker reference I promise).

And thats just gender. There are also racial preferences. Just take Shadowheart. She hates Githyanki, but will do you after a few days of knowing you because you are the player. This is just eye rollingly bad and devalues her personality.



I mean sure, the power fantasy aspect may not be the draw for a lot of people, but nearly all of these RPGs have a power fantasy at the core of their story. They're almost all about the PC being, or becoming, very powerful, and doing very powerful things like fighting god-like beings, saving the world, or ruling a kingdom, or the like.

I don't think that one's gender preference is necessarily part of one's personality. I don't think the Jane who wants to fuck both Bob and Mary has to be any different, personality-wise, than the Jane who only wants to fuck Bob. I mean she COULD be different, sure. Some people make their sexuality a big part of their identity and like to express themselves about it. But not everyone does. There are plenty of people out there quietly going about their lives being gay, and their families/coworkers/friends don't even know it.

I definitely agree with you that EVERY character does not need to be romanceable. I don't think Jubilost or Harrim are romanceable? And that's fine. Romances should only be written for the characters that would be likely to engage in one. It's fine for some of the characters to have no romance option. But if they're going to write a whole romance for a character, it's not much extra effort to make that romance work fine no matter what gender the PC is.

In the case of strong feelings about certain races, there I agree with you as well. Shadowheart opening up to a Githyanki that quickly (or at all) is inappropriate and DOES detract from her characterization.
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies


I mean sure, the power fantasy aspect may not be the draw for a lot of people, but nearly all of these RPGs have a power fantasy at the core of their story. They're almost all about the PC being, or becoming, very powerful, and doing very powerful things like fighting god-like beings, saving the world, or ruling a kingdom, or the like.

I don't think that one's gender preference is necessarily part of one's personality. I don't think the Jane who wants to fuck both Bob and Mary has to be any different, personality-wise, than the Jane who only wants to fuck Bob. I mean she COULD be different, sure. Some people make their sexuality a big part of their identity and like to express themselves about it. But not everyone does. There are plenty of people out there quietly going about their lives being gay, and their families/coworkers/friends don't even know it.

I definitely agree with you that EVERY character does not need to be romanceable. I don't think Jubilost or Harrim are romanceable? And that's fine. Romances should only be written for the characters that would be likely to engage in one. It's fine for some of the characters to have no romance option. But if they're going to write a whole romance for a character, it's not much extra effort to make that romance work fine no matter what gender the PC is.

In the case of strong feelings about certain races, there I agree with you as well. Shadowheart opening up to a Githyanki that quickly (or at all) is inappropriate and DOES detract from her characterization.



But that defeats your own argument. If its is about power fantasies and pleasing the player then all characters should be romanceable. If some are not because if doesn't fit their character, well thats the exact argument why they shouldn't be playersexual. It does not fit their character.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by guy


Thank you for noticing my effort at being polite. It is very difficult for me, I am very direct, and I have little patience for masks or gilded cages.
However, I like too think I am a civil person.

I feel it is being forced because I personally, in having made the choice to be heterosexual ( I typed choice very specifically) and in being a white male, I have found myself hedged out of groups because of "oh, you are already entitled, you are already given everything, you don't need this too."

I can go into the mental health system with details, and the social security system, where I recieved benefits for a brief time, then WORKED and busted my rear side to get a solid job and came off of it, and can go into details about the gender non coformists, and the % recieivng social security that are under the age of 25 that, in dealing with them personally and intimately, I personally feel are taking advantage of a system with many loopholes.

But it has shaped my thought process, and opinion, that gender non confirmity is being pushed and forced into places where, previous to that, there was not thought of it at all, and that many of these people with opinions... change them after 5 to 7 years, and realize they were wrong, and that how it was before, in many cases (not in all, there are some horrific things in the past) was better and more correct.

BUT THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT THAT. I typed personal experiences, that shape my personal view. And none of that have a place in the game.

I still stand by my original post, I would like to see less playersexuality, and more character development



Okay, fair enough. You have every right to express your opinion on what you think would make the game better. I disagree with this particular opinion, but I won't tell you that you're not allowed to have it, or post about it. Maybe Larian will come down on your side, who knows?
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:37 PM
I expect Larian to make a choice based on their vision, their finances, and their opinion of what the community wants, in that order smile
No hard feelings to them either way.

And a forum is a good place for open format for expression from the player base, so that one crazy idea is not lifted as the absolute player mindset.

I feel this thread is a good feel for it - there are obviously alot of opinions on this, and on origins.

Might as well get it in the open now, while Larian is in a spot where they can chew on it, and think about it.
Posted By: Sadurian Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Do not put your personal opinions of bigotry or bias or anything on it.

You would do well to heed your own advice here.

You are starting to come to the attention of Moderation team for consistently pushing the boundaries. You are entitled to an opinion, but you are also entitled to keep it to yourself when it is clearly liable to either cause others offence or to stir up ill-feeling. You have had a previous warning for the tone of your posting. You will not receive another. If you cannot say what you want to say without acting like an immature Edgelord, then do not post.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester

I apologize for being partly responsible for the state of your teeth. I will, however, not cease to call the ridiculous tadpole apparition a "dream waifu", for that's what it is. It's imo one of those "panty shot" things Dexai mentioned that's jarring in a game that's not a dating sim or the like.

As for your other points: you say you despite the fetishism, yet you call for enabling it in BG3, since it will please people. You just use nicer words to talk about it. No matter what you call it, the game pandering to people who are in this for "sexual fan service" is just as crass.

And I may not fantasize about characters rejecting my PC, but companions hitting on it is something that DOES decrease my enjoyment of the game. By a LOT. I want companionship, camaraderie, friendship, brother/sisterhood (as kanisatha recently described it), not a horny teen party simulator.

It seems we're in agreement that the "hyper" part is utterly ridiculous though.



I dunno, I think the dream figure is very clearly meant to be seductive for narrative reasons. Like, it is deliberately showing everyone what they want to see because it wants to seduce you to its side. I think it's relevant to the story, not just gratuitous fan service. Those scenes aren't even particularly sexy.

I'm not sure how "companions are attracted to whatever gender the PC is" equals fetishes? I like romance in RPGs for numerous reasons, but not as something to be sexually exciting. I would prefer if they didn't even have explicit sex scenes, but merely fade to black. And I do think the "hitting on" part needs to be toned way down. Maybe if ONE character is like that, it would make sense. As THAT character's personality trait. (Astarion in particular would fit this.) But when they ALL do it, it stands out glaringly and immediately feels ham-fisted.


(To clarify, I didn't necessarily mean "fetishist porn-watchers" by people asking for - let's call it - "romance-related" fan-service. It's also shippers who judge a game by its romance options, for example. Not just sex scenes.)

Perhaps it's not "directly" related, but making all companions playersexual makes them seem like sexbots lined up for your harem. Even if you take the "hyper" out, it's still (potentially) compromising character writing.

What's even more important is what Ixal mentioned, that every companion needs to be romanceable. You can't have any characters that for one reason or another wouldn't want to romance the PC. You can't have "childlike, naive and wholesome" characters. You can't have chaste contemplative/spiritual characters (monks and the like). You can't have widowers who will always be faithful to their wives. You can't have characters that are simply asexual. Or ones that are not interested in relationships (or flings) at this point in their lives. Married characters on a mission to save their spouse. Hell, edgy bastards of the non-horny kind. Nihilists or certain Xan-like pessimists who wouldn't be interested in hedonism or relationships. Some narcissists for whom none is worthy of them. No-nonsense grim mercenaries. And so on. All kinds of different characters. You could make a dozen or two realistically non-romanceable characters, a whole cRPG companion cast, and it wouldn't even be obvious that this is what they have in common.

And this brings me to one of the reasons I think how the tadpole vision is handled is really bad. At the start of character creation, you HAVE to choose a dream waifu for your character. And your PC could be any of the archetypes I mentioned above - for some of them it would be absolutely jarring to specify that "oh boi, would I bang THIS!" (regardless of what "this" is). Another reason is locking tadpole content behind romance(-like narrative). This is something that imo should never be done.
Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:18 PM
Originally Posted by Sadurian
Originally Posted by guy
Do not put your personal opinions of bigotry or bias or anything on it.

You would do well to heed your own advice here.

You are starting to come to the attention of Moderation team for consistently pushing the boundaries. You are entitled to an opinion, but you are also entitled to keep it to yourself when it is clearly liable to either cause others offence or to stir up ill-feeling. You have had a previous warning for the tone of your posting. You will not receive another. If you cannot say what you want to say without acting like an immature Edgelord, then do not post.


Myself included.

This is obviously a sensitive topic.

So I am politely asking we keep it constructive, as obviously, there are opinions on how romance is handled.

I do not have a good answer for how to express personal opinions without risking being offensive, but that's try without attacking each others beliefs and experiences.

Thanks in advance.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:23 PM
Originally Posted by Sharp

For reference, when I talk about realism, what I really mean is narrative consistency, or verisimilitude. I don't mean the world needs to be ultra realistic, otherwise I would take issue with magic existing in the first place, but I mean that every effect needs to have a plausible cause. The world needs to "make sense." And yes, even in a fantasy setting this is important. Pretty much all of the best fantasy writers will tell you that it is an important concept. Brandon Sanderson for example has a youtube series on writing and its one of the topics he covers, if you are curious, I can find a link to it. Its incidentally why I think most RPGs have awful writing (including the divinity games), because in many cases they ignore this entirely, when it should be something which is taken into account. I am perfectly fine with ignoring the story and just playing the game for the combat, but I would obviously prefer it if the writing was also good :P

Just because the setting is fantasy, doesn't mean it is allowed to be implausible within the context of that world, otherwise it ruins the suspension of disbelief. Even fantasy worlds need to have rules and within those rules what happens need to be consistent. Once your setting has established rules, you had better make sure everything operates within them.

This here has less to do with my point about narrative realism and more to do with my point about how you view the creative process. There are 2 main arguments, the first is, that the creator should make things to please their audience (for example, if an artist is commissioned to make a painting, their job is to please the person who commissioned them). The second is, the creator should try to make their own vision. The story they should make is the story they want to tell. I personally hold the second point of view, I do not believe that the artist should compromise on their vision for the audience, even if it means that their art does not sell. Not a very practical perspective, I know, but you could say in some ways I am an idealist.

For those of us who hold the second view point, it doesn't matter if someone wants to romance a certain companion and they can't, we aren't making the game to please them, we are making the game to tell our own story. If people do not like that story, it is ok, there is no problem with that, because it isn't their story, it is ours. In some ways you could say it is selfish to think this way, but in my opinion, the only way you can truly see what an artist is capable of, is if you give them free reign to create the piece that they want to create. And yes, the means I am perfectly fine with the game having decisions in them which were made purely to please the artist which I do not agree with, there are plenty of those I can think of :P

You could treat video games as just a form of entertainment and that is fine, but I believe they have a potential to be a form of art as well. I would rather see the genre elevated to the level of high art, than just treated as cheap entertainment.

That would be a convincing argument - provided that making passes at companions is the only time sex comes up with Astarion. He also talks about girls back in Baldur's Gate. When he is talking about his attraction towards characters which are not even present, he only talks about women. Almost everything about Astarion suggests that he is interested in women and there is very little that suggests he is interested in men. He is a very sexually overt character. Even then of course, this does not entirely rule out the fact that he may bisexual, he might just be afraid of the way people would view him if he admitted it and so does not talk about it overtly (if the world of Faerun was similarly prejudiced as the real world), but if this is the case, it should be something brought up!

My issue is not with all the companions being bisexual, being bisexual is not the same as being player sexual. You could have a group where everyone was bisexual and it would be a plausible group. The problem is that there is a disconnect between how characters behave in relation to the main character vs how they behave to the rest of the world. If this disconnect did not exist, they would not be player sexual. It makes perfect sense for all the characters to be bisexual from the perspective of trying to sell the game to as many people as possible, but if you want to do this, they need to be written as bisexual to begin with. This is not how they feel. In many cases they feel like straight characters which happen to make an exception to the rule in the case of the main character and that is what makes them player sexual.

Shadowheart should have a strong bias against a Githyanki PC and probably not treat the player as a romance option. Incidentally, as far as I could tell from her writing she does come across as someone who could be bisexual, but she does have other trust issues and to make her a more plausible companion these should be explored within her romance. Astarion should probably be straight, if he is not, he should have a good reason as to why he puts on a difference face to the world at large to the way he behaves towards the PC and it should be explained. You get the idea. The companions should be consistent. A player sexual companion is not a bisexual companion, a player sexual companion is a companion that only behaves the way it does in order to satisfy the player. If the audience for a game was 100% male and they all hated gay and bisexual companions, the player sexual companion would be characters that behave gay to the rest of the world but act straight in relation to the PC.

I did read Niara's post above. I think I answered some of her points in my post above, but I will respond to some things.

I personally see no issue with the player not having a lot of options in terms of romance, in fact, I am fine with a player having no options at all if it matches the story the writer is trying to tell. If I was to make a game, I would probably not include any romances at all, because I am not sure I could write them well and even if I could I don't think they would fit well within the type of story I was trying to tell. In my opinion, its ok for someone to not be included within the story that an artist is trying to tell. Then it just so happens that that particular person is not the right audience for that particular story and that is fine. I dislike most music, it is very, very rare for me to find music that represents my personal tastes. That doesn't make that music bad, it just means that most music is not for me.

This is what I dislike about player sexual companions, it is arguing that the purpose of the world should be to please the player, as opposed to what I believe, which is that the world should exist to tell a story and if the story it tells is not one that the player likes, then it is not a story for them. This incidentally is also why I dislike the changing of shadowheart's personality to make people happy, because it is taking the line that, "the player's internal canon is more important than our own."

I am of the opinion that sometimes, less is more. Sometimes by taking away player choices and forcing them into a narrow box, you can tell a better story.



Sure, I get that verisimilitude is important. When I'm playing games, I complain all the time about ludonarrative dissonance, asking time and again, "Why is this this way? This makes absolutely no sense! A real world wouldn't operate like this! This is so stupid and gamey!" Why the fuck does every RPG have very small sums of money tucked away in thousands of crates and barrels randomly strewn through every environment? Who is stashing all these tiny deposits of gold in all these places, and why isn't anyone else collecting them? Why can I waltz into random people's homes (in many games) and just start taking their shit, with no argument from them? Why is every Tom, Dick, and Harry bandit in the world some kind of fanatical zealot who never surrenders or flees even when their side is getting wrecked? These sorts of things, to me, destroy verisimilitude.

Personally, I don't hold video games to the writing standards of novels. Especially not to the standards of the best novelists in the genre. Usually, in a video game, the narrative plays second fiddle to the gameplay, and is often just there to support and contextualize the gameplay. There are games where the story has primacy, but they are rare, and most often smaller indie titles. I love the idea of artists not compromising their vision and all that, but I accept that that is not really possible for any game which has a big team and a big budget. A painter or a novelist can make exactly the art that springs purely from their own creative soul, because they're not investing millions of dollars into making that thing. They don't have a ton of other creatives also working on it with them, each with their own ideas. Video games can be art (I think Disco Elysium, Planescape: Torment, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Kentucky Route Zero, and others are art), but I'm skeptical that big video games can be pure art.

I agree that some more narrative underpinning should be given to Astarion's attraction to the player, but how early does it need to be given? What if you go through almost the whole game thinking that Astarion is into you, only for him to reveal near the end that he was just manipulating you, because he's a vampire and that's what he's learned to do to survive. Maybe he was straight originally, but hundreds of years as a vampire have shifted his sexuality for purely strategic reasons. Also, some people have complicated sexualities where they are almost entirely attracted to one gender, but occasionally attracted to a different one. I have a friend who is a 43-year-old gay man. He has been gay since he was a child, totally gay, unequivocally gay. He never even questioned his gayness. Attracted only to men, that was for his whole life. But just this year, he met a woman and was attracted to her and now has a girlfriend. He doesn't even understand why! (But yes, if my friend was a character in the game, it would of course make sense for all of that to be explicitly part of the story.)

I agree that making characters feel very inconsistent with their apparent attractions should be avoided, unless that very inconsistency is addressed in the narrative. I also agree about the Githyanki thing. I have no problem with characters being racially prejudiced when it comes to romance, as I don't think players care nearly as much about the fantasy race they picked as they do about their gender. (Most people do tend to play characters of their own gender, at least for first playthrough.)

I'm okay with some characters not being romanceable, or with no characters being romanceable. Lots of RPGs that I love have no romances. But I think if they're gonna have them, they might as well write them in such a way that they work no matter what gender a player picks. Sure, if they have a specific sexuality, and you make that sexuality part of the actual story, then there can be more depth there, but I don't mind a little loss of potential depth for the increased choice on the player's part. At least in a big-budget, mass-market, broadly-focused RPG like this, where the story is about other things and the romances are honestly just tacked on as a feature.

I think taking away player choices can absolutely tell a better story, if you have the luxury of making "telling the best possible story" your primary design pillar. I'm a bit of a game designer myself, and one of the projects I'm working on is an RPG in which you can only romance one character, and in fact you don't even have the option to not get into a relationship with her, as it's one of the main things the game is about. The whole story revolves around it, so player choice is not given in that instance. But I don't have to worry about the commercial viability of my product (my livelihood does not depend on it), and don't care how many people like it or don't like it. Larian Studios simply cannot afford to think that way.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Ixal

But that defeats your own argument. If its is about power fantasies and pleasing the player then all characters should be romanceable. If some are not because if doesn't fit their character, well thats the exact argument why they shouldn't be playersexual. It does not fit their character.



But if you're intentionally setting out to make the romances playersexual from the beginning, then you can write the characters in way that it does fit their character. Which is what Larian is apparently trying to do. Whether or not their writing holds up is another matter.
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Personally, I don't hold video games to the writing standards of novels. Especially not to the standards of the best novelists in the genre. Usually, in a video game, the narrative plays second fiddle to the gameplay, and is often just there to support and contextualize the gameplay. There are games where the story has primacy, but they are rare, and most often smaller indie titles.


I choose to hold games to the same standards as novels, because I think given time they can get there, but if we aren't critical of them, they never will. Not only that, but I think games are much better suited to tell stories and have better tools to convey information as well. You can, "show" a substantive amount, without doing any direct telling. A very good example of a game that does this is morrowind. People in each city, in each ashlander tribe even, have different ways of dressing, different cultural norms and react differently to the player. None of this is directly told to you as the player, it is shown to you through how they dress and how they behave. This is information you can intuit, without any text required to provide the additional context.

Games as a story telling medium have a huge potential, you can, for example, show emotion through facial features and NPC mannerisms rather than by telling the player directly. These are things which are not adequately taken advantage of by AAA games, but they really should be!

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I love the idea of artists not compromising their vision and all that, but I accept that that is not really possible for any game which has a big team and a big budget. A painter or a novelist can make exactly the art that springs purely from their own creative soul, because they're not investing millions of dollars into making that thing. They don't have a ton of other creatives also working on it with them, each with their own ideas. Video games can be art (I think Disco Elysium, Planescape: Torment, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Kentucky Route Zero, and others are art), but I'm skeptical that BIG video games can be art.


As I said, I am an idealist :P I will hold games to a higher standard than is realistically possible, because if you don't shoot for the moon, then we would never have the moon landing.
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I agree that some more narrative underpinning should be given to Astarion's attraction to the player, but how early does it need to be given? What if you go through almost the whole game thinking that Astarion is into you, only for him to reveal near the end that he was just manipulating you, because he's a vampire and that's what he's learned to do to survive. Maybe he was straight originally, but hundreds of years as a vampire have shifted his sexuality for purely strategic reasons. Also, some people have complicated sexualities where they are almost entirely attracted to one gender, but occasionally attracted to a different one.

Good questions and I am not poised to answer them, but my complaint was more about player sexual companions in general and not about Astarion. If it is explained further within the narrative, great, it isn't a problem, if not, well then we have an example of what is in my opinion, a poorly characterized character. It is better in my opinion to raise the criticism now and hope they take note of it and address it further on in the story, than not say anything at all.
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I have a friend who is a 43-year-old gay man. He has been gay since he was a child, totally gay, unequivocally gay. He never even questioned his gayness. Attracted only to men, that was for his whole life. But just this year, he met a woman and was attracted to her and now has a girlfriend. He doesn't even understand why! (But yes, if my friend was a character in the game, it would of course make sense for all of that to be explicitly part of the story.)

I have a friend who recently went through a divorce. She was married to a guy for 21 years and she got a divorce because he came out as gay. It turned out he was not interested in her at all, but he wanted to experience what it was like to have a family plus raise kids and so he went through all of that in order to have the experience. As you could imagine it was very traumatic for her, but in cases like this, there should, most of the time, be a plausible explanation.
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I'm okay with some characters not being romanceable, or with no characters being romanceable. Lots of RPGs that I love have no romances. But I think if they're gonna have them, they might as well write them in such a way that they work no matter what gender a player picks. Sure, if they have a specific sexuality, and you make that sexuality part of the actual story, then there can be more depth there, but I don't mind a little loss of potential depth for the increased choice on the player's part. At least in a big-budget, mass-market, broadly-focused RPG like this, where the story is about other things and the romances are honestly just tacked on as a feature.

I am in agreement here, but with one caveat. If the artist wants to write a character which is obviously gay or straight, they should not make the character bisexual just to please the fans, they should stick to their original vision. Dorrian in Dragon Age inquisition would not be Dorrian if he was not gay for example, it was an integral part of his character (although we could argue he is probably not very well written, but that is another story entirely).
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I think taking away player choices can absolutely tell a better story, if you have the luxury of making "telling the best possible story" your primary design pillar. I'm a bit of a game designer myself, and one of the projects I'm working on is an RPG in which you can only romance one character, and in fact you don't even have the option to not get into a relationship with her, as it's one of the main things the game is about. The whole story revolves around it, so player choice is not given in that instance. But I don't have to worry about the commercial viability of my product (my livelihood does not depend on it), and don't care how many people like it or don't like it. Larian Studios simply cannot think that way.

I am in a similar boat, except I am too lazy to actually make anything. I think procrastination is one of my primary character traits :P
Posted By: Ixal Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:47 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Ixal

But that defeats your own argument. If its is about power fantasies and pleasing the player then all characters should be romanceable. If some are not because if doesn't fit their character, well thats the exact argument why they shouldn't be playersexual. It does not fit their character.



But if you're intentionally setting out to make the romances playersexual from the beginning, then you can write the characters in way that it does fit their character. Which is what Larian is apparently trying to do. Whether or not their writing holds up is another matter.

That would require making everyone bi and open to all races by default as that is the only orientation that works for player sexuality.
Or you basically write most of a characters dialogue and characterization twice, and use the one appropriate for the player characters gender.
But that means, as the game can't know beforehand in which character the player is interested in, that all companions are either interested in males or females which looks strange and "harem style".

Not to mention, even that approach limits the stories you can tell with the companions as they can't have important relationships in the backstory when their orientation is in flux. Unless you write multiple individual stories for them.
Posted By: Icelyn Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 04:55 PM
I like how it is now with companions being bisexual or playersexual. It is fair to all. Everyone has the same number and type of romances. I like to match my pc to companions based on personality and actions/alignment. I wouldn't want a good-aligned pc to not have any good-aligned romance options. However, a companion should reject the pc if the pc has done things the companion strongly disagrees with.

They could add more companion friendship dialogue to the party. I think that would help the feeling of the party a lot.
Posted By: Verte Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:12 PM
Originally Posted by Ixal
Not to mention, even that approach limits the stories you can tell with the companions as they can't have important relationships in the backstory when their orientation is in flux. Unless you write multiple individual stories for them.


Wyll and Gale had relationships, Astarion and Laezel likes flings and Shadowheart has flarings that could prevent her from intimacy with someone
datamining says
she had those already in the past and flarings should occur during kiss scene as well - this could be the reason she asked if it hurts and said kiss was a mistake in pre-patch3 version
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:14 PM
So, I am going to summarize some of the arguments being presented and try to deal with them in an even handed and general way. I think a lot of this has to do with art and how we see it, and perhaps to a degree some misconceptions on what art is and why it even applies to this conversation.

Let me start by making it clear where I stand on the topic for those of you who haven't seen my thoughts in previous romance and writing threads on this board: I have no interest in romances personally. I cannot see, and absolutely cannot conjure up, the interest in hitting on a character. Its just not for me. I can see other people are very much attached to them, however, and that concerns me a great deal. Slash fiction has existed for at least five hundred years that I know of, probably longer than that. A couple weeks back when we were discussing armor styles I mentioned that when Mallory penned Le Morte d'Arthur in the mid 15th century nobility across Europe commissioned their own side stories, reiterations, and companion pieces inseparable from the original story but with unique variation. A number of them were also erotically charged. Most concerned Guinevere, sometimes she was chaste, sometimes she was faithful, often she was not, and in many of these bespoke works her relationship dynamics were the only thing which was altered. All of this is simply to say that personal feelings aside a significant number of individuals will always be concerned with interpersonal relationships and tales of seduction. That makes this important, regardless of our own predilections.

Set that aside for a moment, I intend to elaborate on Guinevere a bit further a bit later.

Lets speak on someone specifically who very much lived and breathed to make this matter less theoretical. It is good to consider the abstractions, but often we can be lured by specious thought into the realm of the purely imaginative. There is quite a lot to admire about the masters of art, all of them, from Meade Shaeffer to Leonardo da Vinci. You know da Vinci never finished a commission, spent a considerable amount of his life being sued by his patrons for accepting their wealth and never giving them anything in return. He liked to spend every clear morning riding and his evenings in a nearby tavern where he would drink with the locals and draw caricatures of them, as well as any passing strangers and merchants, for nothing more than their delight. If I recall correctly he refused any coin or compensation. He could draw with one hand and simultaneously paint with the other, and both works would be completely different studies. His manservant was illiterate, so when he sent him to the market it was armed with sketches of those things he wished for the man to procure and when he was 24 he was arrested along with a few other youths at an orgy and charged with sodomy. He may have been gay. May have been bisexual. May have been experimenting and unsure. May have been drinking in another room by himself waiting for his friends and their imminent flagrante delecto to resolve themselves. None of it matters. The only importance in such a matter arises from our interest in him, it can become important but only when he is important to us -and perhaps not on even then. One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole.

If knowing da Vinci may have been queer alters your perception of him, it is not because something fundamental about he himself has changed only your own feelings about him. It isn't in and of itself important, merely important to you. There can be great comfort and satisfaction, I imagine, for some people who wish to explore those aspects of another's sexuality, but ultimately they are trivial. As inconsequential as how one might prefer their eggs. Our value, as human beings, is not tied to those things which we consume. In order for that to become the measure of someone they have to have nothing else. Nothing they have created, nothing they have accomplished, nothing at all.

That would be tragic.

Now let us return to Guinevere. She is often, and best, known for her internal, titanic, struggle between the man she loved with her very being and the other she loved with her tortured heart. . .And it was all a later invention reflecting the trends of courtly -and theoretically platonic but always true- love in ascendance at the time, as with Lancelot's chastity. In the earliest poems and tales we have of each, some four centuries earlier than the best known story with which are all familiar, she was faithful while Lancelot would wed Iblis. Does this change their characters? Very much so. Not because whether they had sex with one another was important in and of itself rather because of the struggle not the sex. We are all ultimately what we do, it wasn't their attraction that was interesting, it was their attempts to resist it and their failure and what would happen as a result.


Were we playing a video game telling their story and playing one of them, whether we chose to experience that story with heterosexual preference or homosexual it would not change a God damn thing that matters






Posted By: guy Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:26 PM

Originally Posted by DistantStranger


Now let us return to Guinevere. She is often, and best, known for her internal, titanic struggle between the man she loved with her very being and the other she loved with her tortured heart. . .And it was all a later invention reflecting the trends of courtly -and theoretically platonic but always true- love in ascendance at the time, as with Lancelot's chastity. In the earliest poems and tales we have of each, some four centuries earlier than the best known story with which are all familiar, she was faithful while Lancelot would wed Iblis. Does this change their characters? Very much so. Not because whether they had sex with one another was important in and of itself rather because of the struggle not the sex. We are all ultimately what we do, it wasn't their attraction that was interesting, it was their attempts to resist it and their failure and what would happen as a result.



Yes, the point being, it does change their character, and very much so.
Now imagine that Guinevere did not have this struggle with Lancelot alone, but with every member of the round table, and every maiden at the court.

That is what the romance in the game feels like right now. All characters are altering themselves, to be with your pc, and they are being scripted to be with your pc, no matter what you do, or why you do it.

That specifically is what I am speaking against.

As you, or perhaps someone else, mentioned in a previous post.
Write the character, make their story, then script in what it would take to romance the character, if, indeed, that is a gameplay option Larian feels the community wants in the game.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:32 PM
Never thought this day would come, but I agree with Sharp, who also gave a nice Morrowind example...

Originally Posted by Sharp
I am in a similar boat, except I am too lazy to actually make anything. I think procrastination is one of my primary character traits :P


...and a painfully relatable quote.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by guy
All characters are altering themselves, to be with your pc, and they are being scripted to be with your pc, no matter what you do, or why you do it.

That specifically is what I am speaking against.



A separate issue outside the scope of my observations here.

For what its worth I am in complete agreement. I am not interested in RPG romances myself. In as much as I am interested, however, it is in that they are so tastelessly and terribly written. I would like to see them more carefully executed even if it is content I would never bother with myself. I have spoken about the issue of every companion dry fucking the protagonist's leg in a separate thread, however, which is why I feel little necessity to discuss it any further here.

In this conversation, I am solely focused on whether NPCs should be pursued romantically, by whom, and to what extent. I think virtually everyone would be satisfied if NPCs did not initiate romances but responded rather to the direction and desire of the individual playing. If you do not care for romances, then you would never see them. If you wish to pursue someone, then you have the ability to do so and may even be successful -regardless of what you are playing and how.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 06:40 PM
Originally Posted by Sharp
[I think given time they can get there, but if we aren't critical of them, they never will.




I agree with everything you said this time, but the quoted line is a particularly good point. You're right, we can't advance the medium without criticizing it.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 06:45 PM
Originally Posted by Icelyn
I like how it is now with companions being bisexual or playersexual. It is fair to all. Everyone has the same number and type of romances. I like to match my pc to companions based on personality and actions/alignment. I wouldn't want a good-aligned pc to not have any good-aligned romance options. However, a companion should reject the pc if the pc has done things the companion strongly disagrees with.

They could add more companion friendship dialogue to the party. I think that would help the feeling of the party a lot.



Agreed. I really like the idea of more relationship-building-but-not-romantic dialogues with companion characters, too. It shouldn't just be "do the romance to get a lot of extra story content with this character, or get nothing". There should always be some alternate type of relationship you can pursue with them that isn't sexual. Like becoming good friends, or some kind of mentor/student thing, or like a protector/protectee thing (like Minsc and Aerie), or even rivals who compete over everything.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 07:04 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I really like the idea of more relationship-building-but-not-romantic dialogues with companion characters, too. It shouldn't just be "do the romance to get a lot of extra story content with this character, or get nothing". There should always be some alternate type of relationship you can pursue with them that isn't sexual. Like becoming good friends, or some kind of mentor/student thing, or like a protector/protectee thing (like Minsc and Aerie), or even rivals who compete over everything.


With this I completely agree. I'd love some possible non-romantic relationships that aren't simply "I'm nice to you because my approval rating is high". Like the examples you mentioned.
Posted By: Some_Twerp753 Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by Innateagle
I like the idea of characters' sexuality being influenced by the players' willingness to pursue them. I'm gonna be a little shit, though, and say it's 2020. People apparentely got into an uproar over female Mandalorian armor. Strong independent lesbian character turning straight because male would attract all kinds of crazies.

I remember a lot of people getting angry because you couldn't do that with e.g. Sera in Inquisition and suspect that was the likely source of a lot of the hate for her, which was often excused as not liking her "stubborn" attitude.

As one of the people who had an intense dislike for Sera; for me it was the personality. It felt like they'd taken internet humour and dropped it into a fantasy setting. It did. Not. Work. The lighting engine making everyone look greasy didn't help; for some reason it really didn't look good on her especially.
Anyways, my opinion on BG3: I would personally prefer fade-to-blacks for intimate scenes, and if the characters had specific likes/dislikes with what's between their partner's legs, though I can see it perhaps falling over sometimes.
Have specific preferences could be interesting beyond characterising the npcs though; Astarion for example was (I'm assuming) forced to seduce anyone his master took a fancy to. There could be interesting things with that; instead of "let's make the gay character straight" or vice versa, emotional conflict could be mined from it; how much of his attraction to the player character is simply due to Cazador's forcing him, conditioning him to go after that gender as well, and how much is genuine attraction? I think that would cost too much in devtime to do anything with even if I think it's got an interesting 'hook' to it.

Bit rambly there, sorry. I prefer Shadowheart's most right now because she's so... standoffish? She's interested in you, but even now after several full playthroughs, a few partials and yakking away on this forum, if it wasn't for reading somewhere every party member is romanceable, I honestly wouldn't say for sure if she was feeling you out as a potential friend or lover, if not for that kiss at the end of the celebration at camp. I've had lots of fun chatting with her, despite (more likely because of) the little ray of sunshine she is. I really enjoy those moments with all the characters, the ones where you're talking about stuff. When I learned there wouldn't be fade-to-blacks I was rather surprised (not pleasantly or unpleasantly, just surprised).
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753

Have specific preferences could be interesting beyond characterising the npcs though; Astarion for example was (I'm assuming) forced to seduce anyone his master took a fancy to. There could be interesting things with that; instead of "let's make the gay character straight" or vice versa, emotional conflict could be mined from it; how much of his attraction to the player character is simply due to Cazador's forcing him, conditioning him to go after that gender as well, and how much is genuine attraction? I think that would cost too much in devtime to do anything with even if I think it's got an interesting 'hook' to it.



Absolutely, and someone with that sort of history could go in a lot of directions, many of them quite interesting. He could engage in compulsive sexuality while being emotionally dead to anything beyond that or conversely he could be entirely disinterested in the subject of sex at all, or even traumatized to the point that he could not bring himself to share any aspect of himself with anyone ever again.

If the writing were of that caliber conceptually and carried out with equal excellence I would defend such decisions however Lorian chose to ultimately implement them whatever the restriction they might bring. This is the sort of specificity which would make the exceptions to my general rule. I don't mind a character whose romance is restricted to a single orientation providing there is justification for that beyond some arbitrary bias. No matter what shape the narrative may take, quality writing will always have my absolute devotion.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 07:53 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
So, I am going to summarize some of the arguments being presented and try to deal with them in an even handed and general way. I think a lot of this has to do with art and how we see it, and perhaps to a degree some misconceptions on what art is and why it even applies to this conversation.

Let me start by making it clear where I stand on the topic for those of you who haven't seen my thoughts in previous romance and writing threads on this board: I have no interest in romances personally. I cannot see, and absolutely cannot conjure up, the interest in hitting on a character. Its just not for me. I can see other people are very much attached to them, however, and that concerns me a great deal. Slash fiction has existed for at least five hundred years that I know of, probably longer than that. A couple weeks back when we were discussing armor styles I mentioned that when Mallory penned Le Morte d'Arthur in the mid 15th century nobility across Europe commissioned their own side stories, reiterations, and companion pieces inseparable from the original story but with unique variation. A number of them were also erotically charged. Most concerned Guinevere, sometimes she was chaste, sometimes she was faithful, often she was not, and in many of these bespoke works her relationship dynamics were the only thing which was altered. All of this is simply to say that personal feelings aside a significant number of individuals will always be concerned with interpersonal relationships and tales of seduction. That makes this important, regardless of our own predilections.

Set that aside for a moment, I intend to elaborate on Guinevere a bit further a bit later.

Lets speak on someone specifically who very much lived and breathed to make this matter less theoretical. It is good to consider the abstractions, but often we can be lured by specious thought into the realm of the purely imaginative. There is quite a lot to admire about the masters of art, all of them, from Meade Shaeffer to Leonardo da Vinci. You know da Vinci never finished a commission, spent a considerable amount of his life being sued by his patrons for accepting their wealth and never giving them anything in return. He liked to spend every clear morning riding and his evenings in a nearby tavern where he would drink with the locals and draw caricatures of them, as well as any passing strangers and merchants, for nothing more than their delight. If I recall correctly he refused any coin or compensation. He could draw with one hand and simultaneously paint with the other, and both works would be completely different studies. His manservant was illiterate, so when he sent him to the market it was armed with sketches of those things he wished for the man to procure and when he was 24 he was arrested along with a few other youths at an orgy and charged with sodomy. He may have been gay. May have been bisexual. May have been experimenting and unsure. May have been drinking in another room by himself waiting for his friends and their imminent flagrante delecto to resolve themselves. None of it matters. The only importance in such a matter arises from our interest in him, it can become important but only when he is important to us -and perhaps not on even then. One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole.

If knowing da Vinci may have been queer alters your perception of him, it is not because something fundamental about he himself has changed only your own feelings about him. It isn't in and of itself important, merely important to you. There can be great comfort and satisfaction, I imagine, for some people who wish to explore those aspects of another's sexuality, but ultimately they are trivial. As inconsequential as how one might prefer their eggs. Our value, as human beings, is not tied to those things which we consume. In order for that to become the measure of someone they have to have nothing else. Nothing they have created, nothing they have accomplished, nothing at all.

That would be tragic.

Now let us return to Guinevere. She is often, and best, known for her internal, titanic, struggle between the man she loved with her very being and the other she loved with her tortured heart. . .And it was all a later invention reflecting the trends of courtly -and theoretically platonic but always true- love in ascendance at the time, as with Lancelot's chastity. In the earliest poems and tales we have of each, some four centuries earlier than the best known story with which are all familiar, she was faithful while Lancelot would wed Iblis. Does this change their characters? Very much so. Not because whether they had sex with one another was important in and of itself rather because of the struggle not the sex. We are all ultimately what we do, it wasn't their attraction that was interesting, it was their attempts to resist it and their failure and what would happen as a result.


Were we playing a video game telling their story and playing one of them, whether we chose to experience that story with heterosexual preference or homosexual it would not change a God damn thing that matters



This is a very nice post, filled with thoughtful commentary and analysis, and with a lot of information to share as well. There's really only one sentence that I take specific issue with, but we'll get to that.


I'm now probably going to use the word "fucking" a lot. When I say "fucking", in this context, I don't necessarily mean just fucking. I don't necessarily mean fucking at all. I mean all romantic or sexual interaction between two people, whether it includes actual fucking or not. It's just a shorthand I'm going to use for a wide range of experiences, mostly because I just like the word "fucking".


For me, the reason I prefer RPGs to have romances is because when they are absent, it feels completely wrong. The whole dynamic of the group feels fake and weird. I don't know about anyone else, but in my life experience, people like fucking. They like it a whole lot. In fact, it's one of the main things they think about, talk about, and seek to do. In any group of people I've been a part of, whether social, professional, educational, or other, people within that group were flirting, thinking about their relationships with each other, talking about their relationships with each other, hooking up (whether secretly or openly), dating and breaking up, and in general, doing a lot of fucking. Theoretically, co-workers aren't supposed to fraternize in that way, in a lot of cases, but let's be real: they do. In my life experience, you put some people together (who are capable of being attracted to one another) for any length of time, and at least some of them are gonna start fucking each other.

When I see a party of adventurers in an RPG and there's no romantic stuff, I feel like these are strangely asexual beings. I mean, if being asexual is specifically part of their character, then that's fine. Nothing wrong with being asexual. But most of the time, these people are not presented as asexual. They're presented as regular old red-blooded (usually) young, (usually) good-looking men and women. And they're facing death together. Every day. Narrowly escaping death. Every day. And saving each other's lives. Every day. And spending all their time together. And sleeping in close quarters. Probably treating each others' wounds which will often involve some state of undress and touching. Possibly changing clothes in front of each other, possibly bathing in front of each other, But even if neither of those things are true, in some respect being in a party like that involves a certain level of intimacy. By my assessment of how human beings behave, there's just no way some of those adventurers wouldn't be hooking up. Unless they're some highly-disciplined unit of intense professionals or some monastic group with a strict religious or philosophical proscription on "that sort of thing".

From a story perspective, I find it weird when a story is willing to go into extreme amounts of depth, detail, and quantity about who is killing who, but not who is fucking who. (Should some of those have been "whom"? I dunno.) In my casual observation of the human species, we do a lot more fucking than killing. I think if we didn't, we would be extinct. Most people (probably everyone I know) have fucked more often than they've killed. Probably a whole LOT more. And they've definitely TALKED a lot more about fucking than about killing. I think it's safe to assume that in the privacy of their thoughts, they've also THOUGHT about fucking more than killing. There could be some exceptions, but I have to think (and hope) that they are rare. So why are stories about killing more interesting than stories about fucking? A story that dwells at great length on violence, but not at all on love, seems like a very inhuman story to me. And one that does not represent the actual motivations of people as I understand them.

So when you're in a party with these people going through all this shit together, and literally NO ONE in the group is ever like, "Hey, we should fuck off some of this stress, eh?" or "Hey, our close proximity and shared intense experiences have caused me to develop some feelings for you", for me it hugely strains credulity. It breaks my immersion. It makes me think, "this is not how the dynamic would be in any believable group of people". So that's why I think RPGs, in particular, should have at least a little bit of intra-party romance as part of their stories. Because without it, the characters don't feel real to me. The situation doesn't feel real to me. Like an entire (major) dimension of humanity has been stripped away from these characters, and its absence is glaring.

Now, it doesn't HAVE to be romance involving the PC. It could be NPC + NPC romance, and that satisfies my verisimilitude test. In The Outer Worlds, you can't romance any companions, but one of the companions DOES have a major subplot entirely devoted to her love life, and her budding relationship with an NPC outside the party. It's cute, and more importantly, it forestalls the feeling of "why don't ANY of these people have genitals and/or hearts?" because at least one person is showing a normal, relatable interest in fucking. (Although, the specific character and specific questline in that game is so sweet and wholesome it kinda makes me feel bad for using "fucking" there.) I think it's probably BETTER, in a lot of cases, to have some of the romance involve the PC, though, because that's something that draws their character more into the story and particularly into the sense of relationship with these party members. Also, if you have all the other characters hooking up, but no one wants to hook up with the PC, it kinda makes you wonder what's wrong with your character. "Am I playing an uggo here or what?"

Obviously it can be overdone. It can be done badly. It has definitely been done VERY badly at times. And particularly ham-fisted romance is generally worse than no romance at all. But I don't think it takes MUCH to make it at least passably decent. The NPCs don't need to be overly aggressive about it. They don't need to hit on the PC. For various reasons, it's probably best to let the PC do all the initiating. (Some people already receive too much unwanted sexual attention in real life, and don't want to deal with that shit in a game, too.) So when people say, "man this party scene where suddenly all my companions tried to get in my pants felt really weird and bad", I can totally see why. It's not well-done. It needs improvement. But at least it's somewhat believable, to me. I've been to plenty of parties IRL where practically everyone was trying to get laid with SOMEONE, and desperately so. Especially when everyone's drinking. But the scene is still too much.


Now, Stranger, to the one thing you said that I was like "hold up, there" to. It was this: "One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole."

That's painting with a pretty broad brush there, my friend. That . . . assumes a lot. Maybe that's true for some people, but for others, their sexuality is a very large facet of who they are, and much more than the least part. Especially people whose sexuality has been demonized or outlawed or subject to social opprobrium. People who have been hated specifically for their sexuality, people who have had to fight for basic rights denied them specifically due to their sexuality, people who have been in fear for their life, just because of their sexuality. For such people, their sexuality is not some trivial little detail, some irrelevant line on a form somewhere. It could be pretty central to their whole life experience.

And of course, sex itself is of greater or lesser importance to different people. You have asexuals and demisexuals, who mostly don't give a fuck about fucking, and then you have nymphomaniacs and sex addicts and sexual predators, whose thoughts may be almost entirely consumed with matters of fucking. Sexuality, AND the importance of it, is a deeply individual thing, and I don't think we can blithely say that it's just "the smallest facet of a person" indiscriminately.

I object to that sentence, but I don't find it, or you, offensive. I'm sure you didn't mean anything harmful by it. So we cool.
Posted By: Dexai Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
(just quotes for context)
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
You talk a lot here about realism, it's kind of your central thesis as I can tell. But I don't know that we need realism in a fantasy video game. I mean, the word fantasy is right there. I dunno about you, but in my fantasies, everyone I'm attracted to is also attracted to me. I don't sit and fantasize about someone saying, "Sorry, I'm not into you." Also video game. Which is a form of entertainment, right? So when you say the purpose of "people" in the "world" is not to please you, I think maybe it kind of is? In a video game? Now of course different people will be "pleased" by different things, and it's impossible to please everyone. So I think they have to try to assess which option pleases more people. And I don't know which one it is. But it might be playersexual characters, mightn't it?


I'm sorry to cut this right out of its context but I really think this hits the heart of the argument: I don't play video games for erotic or fetish fantasies. I don't watch tv shows for fetish purposes either. I don't read books for it either. It's not the kind of entertainment I want. It's not the kind of "fantasy" I want.

Honestly, there is a big problem with how rpgs have come to be burdened with an expectation of appealing to fetishes with their "romances" these days. It's the video equivalent of blatant panty shots and ridiculous boobiting in anime. I think alice was right in invoking the Miyazaki meme but maybe not for the same reason as you. There's always been this weird, toxic fetish culture part of nerd culture but I certainly do not think it is what most people approach the media, whether anime or video game, for. It just gets a lot of attention because it's what people who spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet obsessing about media clamour for.

I don't need a video game waifu. I don't need the game to fuel my fetishes. I don't need constant sexual fan service. I don't need characters to be defined by being vehicles for my sexual fantasies. I think media suffers and becomes less good from having these as pillars of their design philosophy.

I want strong characters. Strong characters does not mean characters with muscle mass or 12+ in their Strength attribute. Strong characters mean characters with a well defined, realistic characterisation, the more depth the better. I want characters that have their own goals and aims, and that don't just lull around behind the PC regardless of what you do. I don't want characters that bend around your character like spineless sea churning.

The main problem as I see it isn't that just that the characters are player-sexual. This would in itself be a weakness of characterisation, but can be overcome with good writing (something Larian lacks). The main problem is that they are hyper-player-sexual. They're throwing themselves at the player like cats in heat, like I was actually playing an hentai harem-collecting game instead a high fantasy adventure. It's not exciting, it's certainly not romantic, and it's not even enrousing. It's laughable. These aren't characters. These are vehicles. These are anime panty-shots. The only word that can describe it is cringeworthy.



Who was talking about fetishes? I wasn't. In fact I agree with everything you said about fetishism in gaming. I find it distasteful as well. I find fan service crass, and I grit my teeth any time someone says "waifu". (I feel dirty just having typed that word.) I think the stuff you're talking about is gross, too.

I'm just talking about, in a game which is already a massive power fantasy in every other respect, having the character your character likes also like your character seems pretty reasonable. When people fantasize about being a character in a fantasy world, they probably don't fantasize about people NOT being attracted to that character. I could be wrong, maybe there's a bit subset of people craving some good rejection experiences in their RPGs.

I also agree with you about the hyper part. That's a very different thing from merely being playersexual, and I think it's definitely a problem. The part where suddenly every party member wants to sleep with you (or talk about sleeping with you) at the same time is really poorly done, in my opinion, and I hope they change it. It comes across right now as very weird.


Perhaps I should have avoided the word fetish, it is perhaps a little too negatively loaded, but I can't think of a better way to express the kind of sexually loaded fanservice it appears to me as. The act of making characters player-sexual reduces them to vehicles for the player's sexual fantasy in that aspect.

But I do, even if I dislike it, understand the resource argument which I believe is the main reason they make it like that. I went on a bunch about it before because I guess I had some hot air to vent about it, but the main reason I decided to post in this thread wasn't the player-sexuality in itself but said hyper-ism of it, like you say. When I saw this thread's title, "dial back the romance", that to me means first are foremost make it less hyper. Player-sexuality can stay for all I care, it's not the worst. But the cringeworthy party scenes, I really do wish they rewrote that part.

The bolded part -- I am currently replaying the DA games, now I'm at DA2 (currently romancing Anders, by the way, speaking of cringeworthy dialogue -- the player character really acts like the most horrible douche if you select the romance dialogue choices for him) and during it I remembered how one of my favourite things -- maybe because of how everyone else are just at your whim -- from it was selecting the romance dialogue option with Aveline and having her repeatedly pass on the hot hot piece of mass murdering asshole I was wink

But that is just a fun story. I don't think I would like rejection simulator either. You have a point in that, but to me that does not outweigh my wish to have characters rather than vehicles.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by Dexai

Perhaps I should have avoided the word fetish, it is perhaps a little too negatively loaded, but I can't think of a better way to express the kind of sexually loaded fanservice it appears to me as. The act of making characters player-sexual reduces them to vehicles for the player's sexual fantasy in that aspect.



I think it depends on how the characters are written. Any character COULD be written as merely a vehicle for the player's sexual fantasy, even if they had a fixed sexuality. But you could also write rich, detailed characters with much more to their personality and their story than the romance aspect, and then they wouldn't be that.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 06/12/20 09:31 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

This is a very nice post, filled with thoughtful commentary and analysis, and with a lot of information to share as well.


Ditto.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I'm now probably going to use the word "fucking" a lot. When I say "fucking", in this context, I don't necessarily mean just fucking. I don't necessarily mean fucking at all. I mean all romantic or sexual interaction between two people, whether it includes actual fucking or not. It's just a shorthand I'm going to use for a wide range of experiences, mostly because I just like the word "fucking".


I assume this is for other people reading this because I am rather fond of swearing myself. But for me its usually playful. When I am concentrating I use a lot less profanity. I did appreciate the clarification of terms though, kept me from being distracted by word choice. Sometimes intuiting the intentions of others, especially with no other cues to go off of, can be incredibly difficult. Language is a poor tool for communication, it is at best never more than approximate. Not to pursue a rabbit trail too far, but consider all the ways you might describe a ball. By color, by size, condition, composition or comparative distance, age and manufacture. . . and then consider how to convey how much you love someone. I love you. I love you a lot. Anything beyond the second line is simply another variation of it. Part of that has to do with the fact that emotion comes the limbic portion of the brain, and language from the neocortex, and so emotion exists outside linguistic constraints. Which is interesting, but we were talking about fucking. I bring it up now because I might dovetail back into it, I haven't decided yet, but I really want to get down to fucking.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

For me, the reason I prefer RPGs to have romances is because when they are absent, it feels completely wrong.


So my time in the military shaped an incredibly amount of the person I grew into and am now, and will probably persist in being for several decades hence. We probably spent our 20s in similar ways I image, in regard to relationships with others, given your general ease and comfort with the subject when discussing intimacy with total strangers. I think that comes from a certain level of familiarity. I hope that inference won't be taken as a slight in any way. For me however, it was something that became contextualized. Something I thought about and pursued when I wasn't busy with my duties and responsibilities. It was on liberty and leave, it was on those days I was out of uniform and drinking with friends and strangers. When we were tasked, when we were deployed, fuck around time was secured. It was the objective and nothing else. Sure, there was banter, and grab ass, and that happened pretty much all the time, but none it was anything you focused on. In a way it was distant and sort of rote. You did those things because it just part of the rapport you had with those people based upon other moments that would matter again when you weren't operational. But your mind usually wasn't on it even while you were doing it. It was reflexive. Maybe at first, when you are new to the service it is more sincere, but after awhile that sort of thing just kind of evaporates until you are consumed by what is required of you until the point you can pass those burden on to someone else.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

When I see a party of adventurers in an RPG and there's no romantic stuff, I feel like these are strangely asexual beings.


I get it, and I wouldn't want that for anyone. I wouldn't want anyone to even be viewed in those terms because it is our mutual attraction which brings us together as a species -even when it stops far short of assuming any sexual connotation.


Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

And they're facing death together. Every day. Narrowly escaping death. Every day. And saving each other's lives. Every day. And spending all their time together. And sleeping in close quarters. Probably treating each others' wounds which will often involve some state of undress and touching. Possibly changing clothes in front of each other, possibly bathing in front of each other, But even if neither of those things are true, in some respect being in a party like that involves a certain level of intimacy. By my assessment of how human beings behave, there's just no way some of those adventurers wouldn't be hooking up. Unless they're some highly-disciplined unit of intense professionals or some monastic group with a strict religious or philosophical proscription on "that sort of thing".


You would be surprised. They could be stressed out, burnt up, exhausted, and distracted by other thoughts. The funny thing, there is a certain point that one gets to pretty quickly, usually right after something significant happens, where that fear of death stops being a concern. Its difficult to explain and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you really can get to the point where you just arrive at this indifference to the prospect of dying. It also helps when the conditions you are living under aren't all that great to begin with. But you are dead on about the intimacy of that proximity and the subtle sexual tension that can arise, but its sort of like realizing you are hungry while you are busy doing something, it occurs to you, but if you don't stop what you are doing you will forget about it until much later when opportunities present themselves and you are satisfied with the state of what you are doing. For me anyway, individual mileage may vary. Slight aside. The funny thing is, and what most people don't realize about PTSD, is that overwhelming majority of people who suffer from it are those who never actually saw combat. Some people are traumatized by events, to one degree or another, but even more have trouble transitioning from that state of constant readiness to relaxation without experiencing the catharsis of conflict. Its the fear of combat more than the combat itself that often fucks people up -which, again, it goes without saying that experiences in combat can absolutely leave your scarred

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

From a story perspective, I find it weird when a story is willing to go into extreme amounts of depth, detail, and quantity about who is killing who, but not who is fucking who.


We could argue about this next proposition, and I think it would be a lot of fun, but fantasy as the genre we know it began with Tolkien -who was a veteran of World War 1 and was working through a lot of his conflicting feelings and fears which he came away from that war with. Prior to that, its roots are found in the most contentious and violent periods of human history where shit was hard, everything was scarce, and life offered no guarantees. I think it is important to remember the nature of the world we clawed out way out of. We have tamed this planet and put ourselves in very good position as a species, but it is useful to remember our primacy is both precarious and hard kept. Fortunately, RPGs can be many things, which is why I always try to advocate for breadth as well as depth.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Now, it doesn't HAVE to be romance involving the PC. It could be NPC + NPC romance, and that satisfies my verisimilitude test. In The Outer Worlds, you can't romance any companions, but one of the companions DOES have a major subplot entirely devoted to her love life, and her budding relationship with an NPC outside the party. It's cute, and more importantly, it forestalls the feeling of "why don't ANY of these people have genitals and/or hearts?" because at least one person is showing a normal, relatable interest in fucking. (Although, the specific character and specific questline in that game is so sweet and wholesome it kinda makes me feel bad for using "fucking" there.) I think it's probably BETTER, in a lot of cases, to have some of the romance involve the PC,


Agreed on all points. The engineer was unbelievably attractive in her nakedly honest feelings and the clumsy ineptitude of trying to express them. To be honest, most of my (few, fragmented, and unreliable if) fondest memories of former flames usually concern those things that went wrong which we found joy in anyway, rather than those perfect nights. But I also like a little bit of playful aggression in my relationships. I am the sort of guy who sneak up you in the shower and pours ice water over your head at six in the morning, and I hope like hell you are the kind of girl that will take all of my clothes and all of the towels and all of the linens and even the goddamn curtains and put them in a trash bags hidden in the trunk of your car as you leave for work knowing I won't wake up for my shift for another hour. . .And make me get them myself when you get home (I wore the sheets in a toga like a fuck damn Greecian god).

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Obviously it can be overdone. It can be done badly. It has definitely been done VERY badly at times. And particularly ham-fisted romance is generally worse than no romance at all. But I don't think it takes MUCH to make it at least passably decent. The NPCs don't need to be overly aggressive about it. They don't need to hit on the PC. For various reasons, it's probably best to let the PC do all the initiating. (Some people already receive too much unwanted sexual attention in real life, and don't want to deal with that shit in a game, too.) So when people say, "man this party scene where suddenly all my companions tried to get in my pants felt really weird and bad", I can totally see why. It's not well-done. It needs improvement. But at least it's somewhat believable, to me. I've been to plenty of parties IRL where practically everyone was trying to get laid with SOMEONE, and desperately so. Especially when everyone's drinking. But the scene is still too much.


Quite so.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Now, Stranger, to the one thing you said that I was like "hold up, there" to. It was this: "One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole."

That's painting with a pretty broad brush there, my friend.


To be clear, I am speaking less to the specific person and more to the massive scale of human potential. Sexuality certainly is important to some people, dearly so, but its a very personal importance and no matter what one chooses to do with it, it is never going to be rival other things which the human spirit is capable of. I am not so certain we would disagree on that, but as always I take great pleasure in your thoughts.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

So we cool.


And I hope we always will be, but really, I can't imagine we would find ourselves in anything more serious than respectful disagreement.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 12:50 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Ditto.



Honestly I just love profanity. Well, most of it. There are a few words that are on my shitlist, because I find them too hostile to specific groups of people. I can force myself to speak or write at length without using profanity, but I resent having to do it. I love it when these jokers are like, "People who use foul language just have poor communication skills and/or a weak vocabulary." Motherfucker, my vocabulary could choke a horse. With words. Very asphyxiating words. Like 'emphysematous'. Suck that one down, Trigger. But bad words are more visceral. Saying "these contemporaneous vicissitudes are deplorably deleterious" is not really very satisfying. Saying "fuck this shit" is.

I really like to think about things like the intersection of emotion and language, about how we try to construct symbols that represent ineffable experiences but which inevitably fail to do so. I find that describing strong emotions works best for me when I just give specific examples of how what I'm feeling makes me want to ACT. That still doesn't always get the exact point across, but it's better than "I like it a LOT."

Your inference is in no way a slight.

I can't relate to the military thing, as I've never served, but I have had a couple of very close friends who did, so they shared a little of their experiences with me. I definitely wouldn't consider a military story in the same light as a typical fantasy adventure story. I wouldn't expect romance to be prevalent in that circumstance. I think the experience of being a soldier, in a very strict hierarchy with an ironclad chain of command and a compulsory code of conduct, would be quite different from being a member of a standard D&D adventurer party. A soldier probably spends a lot of time doing exactly the thing that they are required to do, in a very focused way, as you've described, whereas a fictional fantasy "hero" mostly does whatever the fuck they want, and doesn't really answer to anyone. I wouldn't expect romance in a cop story, either. I mean, I didn't think that there should be romance in Disco Elysium, as that was about two detectives trying to solve a murder within a very short time frame. If there was an RPG about being in a modern military unit, it wouldn't feel weird to me if romance was never a factor.

That's really interesting about PTSD, I didn't know that. I can see it, though. Trauma is a real tricky thing. I kinda wish it was a topic that more RPGs explored, actually. It would have to be done carefully, of course.

"To be honest, most of my (few, fragmented, and unreliable if) fondest memories of former flames usually concern those things that went wrong which we found joy in anyway, rather than those perfect nights." Oh hell yeah, THIS. I fuckin love disasters, that's where I really bond with people and have the most fun. It sounds crazy to say that disasters are the most fun, but I'm kind of messed up anyway. I get weirdly gleeful when shit starts going horribly wrong. Especially if I'm with someone, and then I can try to lift their spirits about the whole thing. "It's an adventure!"

Well, okay the massive scale of human potential, sure. I mean I guess on a grand enough scale, most anything can be considered insignificant. But I think most humans don't really do much with all that potential. Most of them probably don't contribute much to the world beyond reproducing. Some not even that. I do like the IDEA of that potential, though. I am always wanting humanity to evolve to new and greater heights. It seems slow-going, though.
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 01:13 AM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies


I can't relate to the military thing, as I've never served, but I have had a couple of very close friends who did, so they shared a little of their experiences with me. I definitely wouldn't consider a military story in the same light as a typical fantasy adventure story. I wouldn't expect romance to be prevalent in that circumstance. I think the experience of being a soldier, in a very strict hierarchy with an ironclad chain of command and a compulsory code of conduct, would be quite different from being a member of a standard D&D adventurer party. A soldier probably spends a lot of time doing exactly the thing that they are required to do, in a very focused way, as you've described, whereas a fictional fantasy "hero" mostly does whatever the fuck they want, and doesn't really answer to anyone. I wouldn't expect romance in a cop story, either. I mean, I didn't think that there should be romance in Disco Elysium, as that was about two detectives trying to solve a murder within a very short time frame. If there was an RPG about being in a modern military unit, it wouldn't feel weird to me if romance was never a factor.

That's really interesting about PTSD, I didn't know that. I can see it, though. Trauma is a real tricky thing. I kinda wish it was a topic that more RPGs explored, actually. It would have to be done carefully, of course.

"To be honest, most of my (few, fragmented, and unreliable if) fondest memories of former flames usually concern those things that went wrong which we found joy in anyway, rather than those perfect nights." Oh hell yeah, THIS. I fuckin love disasters, that's where I really bond with people and have the most fun. It sounds crazy to say that disasters are the most fun, but I'm kind of messed up anyway. I get weirdly gleeful when shit starts going horribly wrong. Especially if I'm with someone, and then I can try to lift their spirits about the whole thing. "It's an adventure!"

Well, okay the massive scale of human potential, sure. I mean I guess on a grand enough scale, most anything can be considered insignificant. But I think most humans don't really do much with all that potential. Most of them probably don't contribute much to the world beyond reproducing. Some not even that. I do like the IDEA of that potential, though. I am always wanting humanity to evolve to new and greater heights. It seems slow-going, though.

How characters handle visceral violence is something which I feel is handled exceptionally poorly in almost all games (I actually cannot think of a single game that handles it well, but because I haven't played every game I will use the word almost just in case 1 exists). Games go to a lot of effort to provide a multitude of ways for you to kill, maim or dismember enemies, but next to no emphasis is put onto the emotional toll this would take on the character. In my opinion, this is a sorely missed opportunity. To be fair, I cannot blame games entirely for this, most fantasy novels avoid dealing with this topic as well, it isn't easy to write about and it doesn't make for fun reading either, even if it is deeply thought provoking and emotionally moving.

There is a great book called Crime and Punishment which deals with the mental anguish of the protagonist, following on from him murdering a pawnbroker. It doesn't make for light reading, but the depth of the characterization there really does make the reader stop and think for a bit. I am not sure how a similar effect could be conveyed in a game, maybe with dream sequences over the people you kill, or something like that. Either way, dealing with human suffering in the video game format is hard. I don't think Faerun would even be the right setting to attempt to do something like that, not without having a much more focused campaign. For such a story to be effective, you would probably need to first convince the player to view the NPCs within the world as real people, then make them emotionally attached to those people, then force the player to kill them off.

Even if you could do something like this successfully in a tactful manner however, there is a question of whether you would even want to. Most people play games to blow off steam and relax, not to stop and think about complicated moral dilemmas.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 01:29 AM
Originally Posted by Sharp

How characters handle visceral violence is something which I feel is handled exceptionally poorly in almost all games (I actually cannot think of a single game that handles it well, but because I haven't played every game I will use the word almost just in case 1 exists). Games go to a lot of effort to provide a multitude of ways for you to kill, maim or dismember enemies, but next to no emphasis is put onto the emotional toll this would take on the character. In my opinion, this is a sorely missed opportunity. To be fair, I cannot blame games entirely for this, most fantasy novels avoid dealing with this topic as well, it isn't easy to write about and it doesn't make for fun reading either, even if it is deeply thought provoking and emotionally moving.

There is a great book called Crime and Punishment which deals with the mental anguish of the protagonist, following on from him murdering a pawnbroker. It doesn't make for light reading, but the depth of the characterization there really does make the reader stop and think for a bit. I am not sure how a similar effect could be conveyed in a game, maybe with dream sequences over the people you kill, or something like that. Either way, dealing with human suffering in the video game format is hard. I don't think Faerun would even be the right setting to attempt to do something like that, not without having a much more focused campaign. For such a story to be effective, you would probably need to first convince the player to view the NPCs within the world as real people, then make them emotionally attached to those people, then force the player to kill them off.

Even if you could do something like this successfully in a tactful manner however, there is a question of whether you would even want to. Most people play games to blow off steam and relax, not to stop and think about complicated moral dilemmas.



The closest game I can think of off hand is Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. The protagonist seems pretty compellingly traumatized in that game, and it also deals with psychotic mental illness in a pretty satisfying way. (Speaking as someone who has struggled with psychosis myself.)

I love Crime and Punishment! Dostoyevsky is one of my favorite authors of all time. Raskolnikov's psychological journey is definitely fascinating.

Personally, I'd love to play games to think about complicated moral dilemmas, if more games offered that option.
Posted By: KillerRabbit Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 01:40 AM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
So, I am going to summarize some of the arguments being presented and try to deal with them in an even handed and general way. I think a lot of this has to do with art and how we see it, and perhaps to a degree some misconceptions on what art is and why it even applies to this conversation.

Let me start by making it clear where I stand on the topic for those of you who haven't seen my thoughts in previous romance and writing threads on this board: I have no interest in romances personally. I cannot see, and absolutely cannot conjure up, the interest in hitting on a character. Its just not for me. I can see other people are very much attached to them, however, and that concerns me a great deal. Slash fiction has existed for at least five hundred years that I know of, probably longer than that. A couple weeks back when we were discussing armor styles I mentioned that when Mallory penned Le Morte d'Arthur in the mid 15th century nobility across Europe commissioned their own side stories, reiterations, and companion pieces inseparable from the original story but with unique variation. A number of them were also erotically charged. Most concerned Guinevere, sometimes she was chaste, sometimes she was faithful, often she was not, and in many of these bespoke works her relationship dynamics were the only thing which was altered. All of this is simply to say that personal feelings aside a significant number of individuals will always be concerned with interpersonal relationships and tales of seduction. That makes this important, regardless of our own predilections.

Set that aside for a moment, I intend to elaborate on Guinevere a bit further a bit later.

Lets speak on someone specifically who very much lived and breathed to make this matter less theoretical. It is good to consider the abstractions, but often we can be lured by specious thought into the realm of the purely imaginative. There is quite a lot to admire about the masters of art, all of them, from Meade Shaeffer to Leonardo da Vinci. You know da Vinci never finished a commission, spent a considerable amount of his life being sued by his patrons for accepting their wealth and never giving them anything in return. He liked to spend every clear morning riding and his evenings in a nearby tavern where he would drink with the locals and draw caricatures of them, as well as any passing strangers and merchants, for nothing more than their delight. If I recall correctly he refused any coin or compensation. He could draw with one hand and simultaneously paint with the other, and both works would be completely different studies. His manservant was illiterate, so when he sent him to the market it was armed with sketches of those things he wished for the man to procure and when he was 24 he was arrested along with a few other youths at an orgy and charged with sodomy. He may have been gay. May have been bisexual. May have been experimenting and unsure. May have been drinking in another room by himself waiting for his friends and their imminent flagrante delecto to resolve themselves. None of it matters. The only importance in such a matter arises from our interest in him, it can become important but only when he is important to us -and perhaps not on even then. One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole.

If knowing da Vinci may have been queer alters your perception of him, it is not because something fundamental about he himself has changed only your own feelings about him. It isn't in and of itself important, merely important to you. There can be great comfort and satisfaction, I imagine, for some people who wish to explore those aspects of another's sexuality, but ultimately they are trivial. As inconsequential as how one might prefer their eggs. Our value, as human beings, is not tied to those things which we consume. In order for that to become the measure of someone they have to have nothing else. Nothing they have created, nothing they have accomplished, nothing at all.

That would be tragic.

Now let us return to Guinevere. She is often, and best, known for her internal, titanic, struggle between the man she loved with her very being and the other she loved with her tortured heart. . .And it was all a later invention reflecting the trends of courtly -and theoretically platonic but always true- love in ascendance at the time, as with Lancelot's chastity. In the earliest poems and tales we have of each, some four centuries earlier than the best known story with which are all familiar, she was faithful while Lancelot would wed Iblis. Does this change their characters? Very much so. Not because whether they had sex with one another was important in and of itself rather because of the struggle not the sex. We are all ultimately what we do, it wasn't their attraction that was interesting, it was their attempts to resist it and their failure and what would happen as a result.


Were we playing a video game telling their story and playing one of them, whether we chose to experience that story with heterosexual preference or homosexual it would not change a God damn thing that matters



Spoiler for length. I find myself agreeing with nearly all of @firesnakearies' points. [ as I tend to do unless we are talking about rulesets -- how can someone who is so right about about so much be wrong about 5e? smile ] If anything this only an adjunct / additional angle to the points they have made.

Likewise with @distant stranger I am torn between my desire to agree because with the points made because they were made so eloquently and, well, the fact that disagree with some of your points so profoundly.

On this point about Davinci:

Quote
None of it matters. The only importance in such a matter arises from our interest in him, it can become important but only when he is important to us -and perhaps not on even then. One's sexuality is but the smallest facet of whom they are as a person, the least part of a compelling whole.


Let's agree that it matters when we are interested in him. We get to see the man behind the mask and both of your examples -- the man of the people who upset his patrons, the person who partook in the decadence of renaissance Italian. But it also helps us understand the time that much better. Why did zealots like Savonarola burn painting in large bonfires? What, in Savonarola's mind, was the connection between art, decadence and corruption? Knowing that the famed painter was caught in vice raid helps that. I also helps me understand the deep sensuality of his portrait of John the Baptist. Knowing the painter was thirsting helps me interpret the artwork that much better.

In terms of the game the authors seem to be going for the "man behind the mask" Wyll, the folk hero, has a dark secret. You, his confidant, get a peek and the man behind the mask and can pledge to free him from his bonds. Wyll has a unique model and you can see the results of Spike's torture when he removes his shirt. Nudity is revealing -- his story is written on his body and when he naked before the main character he is vulnerable.

This is even more true of Astarian since his scars literally take the form of words. He is a seducer, one who doesn't even remove his mask in the bedroom, someone who is capable of appearing clothed even while naked. But we see the mask slip the next morning. We seem him basking in the sunlight and we touch a sensitive spot when we notice the scars. Astarian is someone who is -- quite literally -- incapable of looking the in mirror. Without his master he's lost, perhaps he will come to understand himself when he sees himself reflected in Tav's eyes.

Both romances move the story forward and makes the associated quests a bit deeper than Mario-princess story or Cazador as an end boss.

So I want to dial up the romance. I want more interactions, more conversations and more text. (and I know this Larian and not J.E. Sawyer but please give me a wall of text. Letters? Diary entries? A literal wall with writing on it?)
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 02:00 AM
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit

Let's agree that it matters when we are interested in him. We get to see the man behind the mask and both of your examples -- the man of the people who upset his patrons, the person who partook in the decadence of renaissance Italian. But it also helps us understand the time that much better. Why did zealots like Savonarola burn painting in large bonfires? What, in Savonarola's mind, was the connection between art, decadence and corruption? Knowing that the famed painter was caught in vice raid helps that. I also helps me understand the deep sensuality of his portrait of John the Baptist. Knowing the painter was thirsting helps me interpret the artwork that much better.

In terms of the game the authors seem to be going for the "man behind the mask" Wyll, the folk hero, has a dark secret. You, his confidant, get a peek and the man behind the mask and can pledge to free him from his bonds. Wyll has a unique model and you can see the results of Spike's torture when he removes his shirt. Nudity is revealing -- his story is written on his body and when he naked before the main character he is vulnerable.

This is even more true of Astarian since his scars literally take the form of words. He is a seducer, one who doesn't even remove his mask in the bedroom, someone who is capable of appearing clothed even while naked. But we see the mask slip the next morning. We seem him basking in the sunlight and we touch a sensitive spot when we notice the scars. Astarian is someone who is -- quite literally -- incapable of looking the in mirror. Without his master he's lost, perhaps he will come to understand himself when he sees himself reflected in Tav's eyes.

Both romances move the story forward and makes the associated quests a bit deeper than Mario-princess story or Cazador as an end boss.

So I want to dial up the romance. I want more interactions, more conversations and more text. (and I know this Larian and not J.E. Sawyer but please give me a wall of text. Letters? Diary entries? A literal wall with writing on it?)



Oh damn, this is a good post.
Posted By: HustleCat Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 02:58 AM
I don't want to take away romance options for people or scenarios like @KillerRabbit brought up. I'd like for there to be non-sexual romance in the game in addition. I'd also settle for just good friends. I don't want developing connections with the characters and learning more of backstory walled behind sex. If Larian did happen to make one of the future companions asexual, that would be great for me.
Posted By: MarcoNeves Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 03:01 AM
Originally Posted by guy
Lae'zal will **** anything that moves. so will asterion. so will shadowheart. So will Gale.

Roll it back.
For example, if yo aren't gith, Lae'zal won't touch you.

Shadowheart romace DC for women is 10, and for men is 20.

Asterion has racial preferences and won't touch certain races.

Gale has a CHA requirement.

ETC.

To add a depth to the game that makes you want to roll a character just to explore the depth you can't get if you play a certain way.

That would be closer to how the Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 approached it. Not exactly... but this is BG3. not divinity. And I will compare this game to BG, and not divinity.
As will many here, that are here because they fell in love with BG.


NO! to all of this. Sorry.
Posted By: MrDioneo Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 05:42 AM
OP is very correct. I'm fine with romance, but make players work for it a bit at least!
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 06:10 AM
this game is very horny indeed, however my friends opinion after a co-op playthrough has been that this game is in fact not horny enough! so larian, lean into the horny! It's a sure fire way to get the mass effect crowd lol
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by HustleCat
I don't want developing connections with the characters and learning more of backstory walled behind sex.


I was about to say that in response to what KillerRabbit said. There were good points about getting to know the characters better and discovering their backstories... but why does it need to be hidden behind romance? I'm strongly against locking non-romance content behind romance. Same goes for dream waifu.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Let's agree that it matters when we are interested in him. We get to see the man behind the mask and both of your examples -- the man of the people who upset his patrons, the person who partook in the decadence of renaissance Italian. But it also helps us understand the time that much better. Why did zealots like Savonarola burn painting in large bonfires? What, in Savonarola's mind, was the connection between art, decadence and corruption? Knowing that the famed painter was caught in vice raid helps that. I also helps me understand the deep sensuality of his portrait of John the Baptist. Knowing the painter was thirsting helps me interpret the artwork that much better.


I hate to break your heart on this, but like Michelangelo, there is no real evidence he ever did anything with anyone. Not even so much as a real accusation or credible insinuation, which in and of itself is unusual for the period and place they two lived in (they were contemporaries after all). In many ways, humanity is very consistent and celebrity then as now was obsessed over and fueled constant speculation but da Vinci lived a life like an open book constantly in the company of others but never with attachment while Michelangelo would turn whatever premises he was laboring at into sanctuaries against the outside world. Literally. He was notorious for turning churches under his commission into fortresses (sealing windows and barring doors against entry, often leaving only rooftop accesses which only he and those with him knew of) and turning out the priests and adjuncts who worked there, and sometimes lived there, until his work was complete. Noone would be allowed entry except those who would fetch his tools and mix his paints and even they had to remain still and mute unless directed otherwise as he toiled tirelessly, though in near constant agony toward the later years of his all too brief existence, for as much as twenty hours a day without ceasing. However, in his case, there was one particular lady with whom he corresponded regularly and her name escapes me, but the love they shared in those letters, though nothing in them ever spoke of love per se, would fill you with envy to read them. Complete understanding, complete acceptance. A rare thing indeed.

For the moment though lets grant your supposition full authority because though speculative it is interesting, if true that da Vinci was homosexual or learning toward that end, I still cannot see it as important. Its only value lies in that it might possibly explain other things which are interesting to us, or lend itself to greater insights of the attitudes of others or life of the time, perhaps even open a small window into the complexities and turmoil of his own existence. . .But the thing itself means very little outside of its relation to other things. A key is useful to get through a door, but it is what is in the room which is important, or else we would be unconcerned with the door and untroubled with the lack of its key.

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
In terms of the game the authors seem to be going for the "man behind the mask" Wyll, the folk hero, has a dark secret. You, his confidant, get a peek and the man behind the mask and can pledge to free him from his bonds. Wyll has a unique model and you can see the results of Spike's torture when he removes his shirt. Nudity is revealing -- his story is written on his body and when he naked before the main character he is vulnerable.

This is even more true of Astarian since his scars literally take the form of words. He is a seducer, one who doesn't even remove his mask in the bedroom, someone who is capable of appearing clothed even while naked. But we see the mask slip the next morning. We seem him basking in the sunlight and we touch a sensitive spot when we notice the scars. Astarian is someone who is -- quite literally -- incapable of looking the in mirror. Without his master he's lost, perhaps he will come to understand himself when he sees himself reflected in Tav's eyes.

Both romances move the story forward and makes the associated quests a bit deeper than Mario-princess story or Cazador as an end boss.

So I want to dial up the romance. I want more interactions, more conversations and more text. (and I know this Larian and not J.E. Sawyer but please give me a wall of text. Letters? Diary entries? A literal wall with writing on it?)


I wish I had your confidence, but I am afraid they might be aspiring more for JJ Abrams' "Mystery Box." I have a friend who worked a few different sets with him and Abrams' approach to writing hinges upon the concept of story beats. Three scenes roughly at the beginning, middle, and end of a movie, always revolving around large kinetic action, then he kicks those off to his script writers to figure out how to craft a narrative that will land appropriately at each beat. Sort of like coming up with a hook for the chorus of a song, then composing everything else around that. He's a director though, and a competent one, that he knows little about quality writing and cares less is unfortunate but not a deficiency. Michael Bay has been wildly successful making movies in which story was just an excuse to film something, but his only aspiration is to make something people will enjoy for a couple hours and allow them to leave their lives and all their troubles behind for awhile. There is something noble in that, and while I don't care for his films either I am grateful that he is successful in bringing enjoyment to others and he is a very effective director if a bit of a dick at times. However, their approaches to story telling explain why their films are so often forgettable, but it isn't an indictment against them, their audiences, or the industry. Many contemporaries, in their arrogance, love to believe they are somehow superior to those whom lived in the earliest periods of recorded history, but the reason why the classics of antiquity remain with us when so many other periods cycle through popularity and neglect is because of how well they reflect humanity at any time -and we only know of it because of the stories. History itself, which they gave us the concept of, is simply distilling events into stories and storytelling was arguably our first art. Even the cave pictures of early man told stories. It is very much a part of who we are as a species and I believe we will always respond to quality narrative even if most of us are not troubled by poor ones.

I don't know whether you follow game developer talks or attend gaming conventions where they discuss post mortems and future potential, but the overwhelming consensus amongst developers is also that writing doesn't matter and never has. Consider this:

Originally Posted by Ben Kuchera
After so many games of nearly incomprehensible stories and lore that requires terminals and study outside of the core gaming experience I’ve decided to give up on the story of Halo. Not that it ever showed anything interesting outside of a few neat, big ideas that no one seemed to know how to develop into a working narrative. If you want a great story and interesting characters let’s stop pretending the game starring a faceless, gravelly voiced super-soldier is going to provide it. Even Nathan Fillion, who punches well above his weight class when struggling under bad scripts, only makes a slight impression here.

It’s not that I’m not upset Halo 5 couldn’t deliver a workable story with a beginning, middle, and end. I am. It’s just that between the fun to be had in the pure expression of play within Halo 5 and the many multiplayer options the lack of story is a very small detail in a very large package that’s being sold for $60. You’re going to get your money’s worth, and my personal journey with the game has only begun. I can’t wait to play more, and to master the higher level tactics and the interesting Warzone mode.


And of course there is always this old saw
Originally Posted by John Carmack
It's been said that a story in a video game is like a story in pornography—it doesn't matter how good it is, but you notice if it isn't there.


A story which is engineered for effect has no art, it will always be superficial. Art is created by people who have something they need to say, that is why da Vinci so often failed in his contracts with others. He could not bring himself to work on something that was no more than merely beautiful. He would try to motivate himself by taking works which were interesting or complex, but once he had worked out how the thing could be done to his satisfaction he lost all interest in it. It was meaningless and he refused to a waste so much as a minute of his life on something which did not matter. Artists today have never been more technically proficient and yet few of them have anything to say. As beautiful as the things they create are, I would trade all of it for the works of El Greco whom I don't even care for but was at least driven in his work toward something greater than himself which he could not communicate in any other way. Of course, that is purely personal preference and hardly an objective argument. Disagree all you like, its not worth arguing over.

All of which is to say I hope you are right, but I fear you are not, and so I will continue my lonely crusade. I do agree with you, however, there is some potential within this work. if it were otherwise I would not even be here. I do not waste my time lightly.

edit:

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Spoiler for length. I find myself agreeing with nearly all of @firesnakearies' points. [ as I tend to do unless we are talking about rulesets -- how can someone who is so right about about so much be wrong about 5e? smile ] If anything this only an adjunct / additional angle to the points they have made.


I was going through making sure there wasn't anything in any of these posts that I missed and decided to give a run at this bit. Most artists think conceptually, they deal with ideas and not details. Eventually, if hey are dedicated to a project, they will eventually obsess over those details but it isn't where many of them start. Engineers are all about details. This is why you will always see writers dedicating their books to their editors. Artists are often lost without suitable structure. Having dealt with enough creatives, I am pretty confident in my judgment that she is clearly one even if she has never pursued it or cultivated her potential. I don't know if you have children or not, but however you try to raise them, no matter how carefully you try to control those factors they come into contact with and will ultimately influence them, there is some firmware there which you will never be able to do more than update. At the point they are toddlers and have the ability to express their opinions and priorities, you will begin seeing aspects of the inherent nature will come to define them in later years. Its sort of great actually. Anyway, yeah, like myself I think she will always be more comfortable dealing with ideas than anything else
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 10:34 AM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Your inference is in no way a slight.




I don't often have the excuse to engage you in a discussion so I am sad to see this end, even more so because in two days Cyberpunk 2077 comes out so this may very well be the last time we discuss anything since between work and home life and a game arising out of my favorite genre (who doesn't love dystopian corporate centered sci fi?) soon I won't be giving this project any further attention.

But I am going to miss you little lady. I hope you continue keeping these bastards here to your impressively high standards. We will all be better for it
Posted By: andreasrylander Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by guy

yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.



It's 2020. Almost 2021. It would appear that the world has moved on without you. I invite you to catch up.



Cheers! smile
Posted By: EMC_V Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by HustleCat
I don't want developing connections with the characters and learning more of backstory walled behind sex.


I was about to say that in response to what KillerRabbit said. There were good points about getting to know the characters better and discovering their backstories... but why does it need to be hidden behind romance? I'm strongly against locking non-romance content behind romance. Same goes for dream waifu.


I agree that it is important to also develop friendships andvother relationships and that not everything should be romantic. Also, romance works better if there are previous interactions.
Posted By: KillerRabbit Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Your inference is in no way a slight.




I don't often have the excuse to engage you in a discussion so I am sad to see this end, even more so because in two days Cyberpunk 2077 comes out so this may very well be the last time we discuss anything since between work and home life and a game arising out of my favorite genre (who doesn't love dystopian corporate centered sci fi?) soon I won't be giving this project any further attention.

But I am going to miss you little lady. I hope you continue keeping these bastards here to your impressively high standards. We will all be better for it


No time for full reply but just a note to say I enjoyed your posts, sorry to see you go.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 07:21 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger

I don't often have the excuse to engage you in a discussion so I am sad to see this end, even more so because in two days Cyberpunk 2077 comes out so this may very well be the last time we discuss anything since between work and home life and a game arising out of my favorite genre (who doesn't love dystopian corporate centered sci fi?) soon I won't be giving this project any further attention.

But I am going to miss you little lady. I hope you continue keeping these bastards here to your impressively high standards. We will all be better for it




I'm pretty hyped for Cyberpunk, too. Probably gonna let it cool for a few weeks though before I play it, let them get some immediate bug fix patches in. I played the old Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game when I was younger, it was cool. Always been a big fan of the genre. William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, good shit.

My standards aren't that high, really. I just like to run my mouth.

See ya around, Stranger.
Posted By: DistantStranger Re: Dial back the romance. - 07/12/20 10:54 PM
Appreciated you two. It's been great. Just noticed the preload is up for anyone who might be interested.

Ciao ;P




[Linked Image]DL by Cody Young
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 08/12/20 10:03 AM
I think this thread went off the rails once or twice, but to get back to the original message. Yes please, let the ingame characters have sexual, racial, and character trait preferences. And please give the AI, the most beautiful and important ability that can make an AI seem most human is...the right to say no.

It should be a solid thing for a game character to say no. That shouldn't mean that the player can't try their hardest to romance a character. It could be great role play for the player to really want to romance a game character but because of xyz that character is ultimately gonna say no. But that doesn't mean its the end.

I guess what im getting at is that there should be ingame friendzoning lol. Player freedom is important, but so is immersion. Some people (AI) just don't wanna take relationships that way haha.
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 08/12/20 10:55 AM
I think that certain characters should reject you based on you race at the very least.
I just don't see SH going for a gith, nor do I see Astarion considering any of the short races for romance, but at the very least not gnomes and dwarves. Haflings could get a pass.
I can see Wyll, Gale and Lae going for anything though.
Posted By: vometia Re: Dial back the romance. - 08/12/20 12:30 PM
Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Appreciated you two. It's been great. Just noticed the preload is up for anyone who might be interested.

Just finished grabbing it myself. I look forward to destabilising it further with my inept modding!
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 10/12/20 08:33 PM
Holy moly...just finished my first playthru and the whole romance thing is no joke...wth is everyone all horned dogged at the camp party!? They all need to go to horny jail. It started feeling weird just talking with the companions because the conversation option of being "fancy" with one another was always there.

Can we please have just some serious bro/girlmances that lead to really rememberable friendships. I'm not trying to accidentally seduce any characters haha. Make those conversation options more meaningful and subtlety direct if that makes sense haha. Like I can earnestly just care about Gale and shadowheart without them giving me sexy eyes.

And its not so much on the PC needing to be told "sorry sugar but you missed out". The companions need to go to horny jail rehab lol.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 10/12/20 11:28 PM
To be honest, I now see situation with romance in cyberpunk, and it is terrible. There are 4 romantic characters in total. There is not a single bisexual among them, so if you are not bisexual yourself, then you have only 1 option + prostitutes...

This is what I'm talking about, orientation reduces your options too much, in a game like cyberpunk, you don't even have a choice... You are either with the one you are given, or alone, or forced to change gender of your character. But what if I don't want to play a male character at all? What if I don't like the one character that the developers thought I should have liked?

That's why "all bisexuals" is a great, optimal option that gives everyone a choice. It's better to have some kind of romance with a character that you like than no romance or romance with a character who just fits your gender...

I still think that in BG3 you can make a lock race, but not gender.
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 12:32 AM
I think that's just an argument for why romance should not neccessarily be a central selling point of a video-game. People get their hopes up too much and then they are disappointed, even though the game was never supposed to be a dating sim in the first place. Again, I'm not against romances, but at this point they became so central to how we judge a game that it's positively unhealthy.

Companies should sell an adevnture first and foremost and then sprinkle romance on top.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 01:04 AM
Originally Posted by Bruh
I think that's just an argument for why romance should not neccessarily be a central selling point of a video-game. People get their hopes up too much and then they are disappointed, even though the game was never supposed to be a dating sim in the first place. Again, I'm not against romances, but at this point they became so central to how we judge a game that it's positively unhealthy.

Companies should sell an adevnture first and foremost and then sprinkle romance on top.



I think it's not up to you to decide what's unhealthy and what's not. This is just a function, and yes, someone play game just for sake of this function, just as some play only for sake of beautiful graphics etc.

For me, the possibility of romance in game is one of the most important, and I do not consider it something "unhealthy". I just love this function. Of course, I don't play game just for it, otherwise I would never have played Tyranny, lol. But this is on top of "importance" for me, it's like in top3. I'm much more attached to games if there are romance. And I think it's not just about me, there are many such people. BG3 was never marketed as a "dating simulator", but romance are most talked about topic among people... The expected interest.

I don't understand why people like you should deprive me of fun just because you think it's least important or "unhealthy" for judge a game.
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 01:16 AM
Originally Posted by Nyloth


I think it's not up to you to decide what's unhealthy and what's not. This is just a function, and yes, someone play game just for sake of this function, just as some play only for sake of beautiful graphics etc.

For me, the possibility of romance in game is one of the most important, and I do not consider it something "unhealthy". I just love this function. Of course, I don't play game just for it, otherwise I would never have played Tyranny, lol. But this is on top of "importance" for me, it's like in top3. I'm much more attached to games if there are romance. And I think it's not just about me, there are many such people. BG3 was never marketed as a "dating simulator", but romance are most talked about topic among people... The expected interest.

I don't understand why people like you should deprive me of fun just because you think it's least important or "unhealthy" for judge a game.



Hey now, don't get touchy, if you can say that you don't like a romance, I can say that I think it's unhealthy to base the goodness of a game on whether or not it has romances.
Also they are not even finished yet so just keep calm and see where it goes. As I said I'm not against romances, but the way some people act as if they should be central to BG3 is ridicolous especially given how they are completely optional. Again, nothing wrong with options, but let's not act like everything depends on this.
Also me and "people like me " (lol) are not depriving you of anything, you are clearly getting your romance, and if anything you are trying to bully me into silence because I have an opinion about romance-plots in general that you don't like.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by Bruh
Originally Posted by Nyloth


I think it's not up to you to decide what's unhealthy and what's not. This is just a function, and yes, someone play game just for sake of this function, just as some play only for sake of beautiful graphics etc.

For me, the possibility of romance in game is one of the most important, and I do not consider it something "unhealthy". I just love this function. Of course, I don't play game just for it, otherwise I would never have played Tyranny, lol. But this is on top of "importance" for me, it's like in top3. I'm much more attached to games if there are romance. And I think it's not just about me, there are many such people. BG3 was never marketed as a "dating simulator", but romance are most talked about topic among people... The expected interest.

I don't understand why people like you should deprive me of fun just because you think it's least important or "unhealthy" for judge a game.



Hey now, don't get touchy, if you can say that you don't like a romance, I can say that I think it's unhealthy to base the goodness of a game on whether or not it has romances.
Also they are not even finished yet so just keep calm and see where it goes. As I said I'm not against romances, but the way some people act as if they should be central to BG3 is ridicolous especially given how they are completely optional. Again, nothing wrong with options, but let's not act like everything depends on this.
Also me and "people like me " (lol) are not depriving you of anything, you are clearly getting your romance, and if anything you are trying to bully me into silence because I have an opinion about romance-plots in general that you don't like.




You mean 'like'.... In that case I'm very interested in why you came to topic where romance are discussed. To say that it's not that important? LUL
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 03:40 AM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
To be honest, I now see situation with romance in cyberpunk, and it is terrible. There are 4 romantic characters in total. There is not a single bisexual among them, so if you are not bisexual yourself, then you have only 1 option + prostitutes...

This is what I'm talking about, orientation reduces your options too much, in a game like cyberpunk, you don't even have a choice... You are either with the one you are given, or alone, or forced to change gender of your character. But what if I don't want to play a male character at all? What if I don't like the one character that the developers thought I should have liked?

That's why "all bisexuals" is a great, optimal option that gives everyone a choice. It's better to have some kind of romance with a character that you like than no romance or romance with a character who just fits your gender...

I still think that in BG3 you can make a lock race, but not gender.

Umm no. Stories should not be pansexual friendly. Stories should be stories and characters should be characters. Having all characters be mind wide open to any and every attraction, it takes away from their character. The PC is the only important character that can be pansexual, because that's you, you are your character.

I said this comment before, but characters need preference, not because they need preference, but because they need character. Lae zel is a hard warrior women, it only makes sense that she finds her attraction to a bad ass warrior as well. But that shouldn't stop a PC to pursue her anyways. Maybe there is a chance if PC can accomplish xyz to win her attraction.

I dont want to make too many comparisons to real life to our game but, even in real life. Some people will just not like you like that, because you are just who you are. You can't fault characters for their preferences. This is a fighting adventure "fantasy" game, not a "fantasy" date sim. The camp scene really made this game go from a fellowship to a harem.
Posted By: NorimizuRintarou Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 04:12 AM
Really? To give a concrete example: I played through Dragon Age Inquisition with no romances. Cassandra was one of the better characters for me; I did all her content and always talked to her. I felt I had a solid grasp of her character and that she was relatively deep. But now I find that at no point was I looking at a fully fleshed character: am I to believe that I only really understood her when I watched the 1 minute long scene on YouTube where she says 'the flirting has to stop' to a female PC? That's nonsense. Characters don't 'need' to have a sexuality to be fleshed out, certainly not in this game where it's already not an important part of any of their arcs.

I don't know about being unhealthy or whatever. But I would say that the interest in romances certainly seems disproportionate to the time you spend actually in the scenes in-game; this is in my opinion more like a proxy for the amount of interest in companion interactions in general. I definitely agree that romance comes too hard and fast (perhaps because they felt compelled to put some in EA) and a slower process would be good. But I see no reason to go back from the playersexuality thing.
Posted By: mrfuji3 Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 04:39 AM
Originally Posted by YT-Yangbang
Originally Posted by Nyloth
To be honest, I now see situation with romance in cyberpunk, and it is terrible. There are 4 romantic characters in total. There is not a single bisexual among them, so if you are not bisexual yourself, then you have only 1 option + prostitutes.
[...]

Umm no. Stories should not be pansexual friendly. Stories should be stories and characters should be characters. Having all characters be mind wide open to any and every attraction, it takes away from their character. The PC is the only important character that can be pansexual, because that's you, you are your character.

I said this comment before, but characters need preference, not because they need preference, but because they need character. Lae zel is a hard warrior women, it only makes sense that she finds her attraction to a bad ass warrior as well. But that shouldn't stop a PC to pursue her anyways. Maybe there is a chance if PC can accomplish xyz to win her attraction.

I dont want to make too many comparisons to real life to our game but, even in real life. Some people will just not like you like that, because you are just who you are. You can't fault characters for their preferences. This is a fighting adventure "fantasy" game, not a "fantasy" date sim. The camp scene really made this game go from a fellowship to a harem.

There is a range between "every companion being attracted to a single gender" (Cyberpunk I guess?) and "all companions being player-/pansexual" (BG3). Both extremes have negatives: the former harms player ability to romance a character they actually like and the latter (arguably) breaks immersion and/or detracts from NPC characterization. Cyberpunk's problem seems to be the limited number of romanceable options, which strongly restricts player choice and thus fun. BG3, on the other hand, I think went too far. With the 8(+ allegedly?) companions, it would be more fine if each companion had defned sexual preferences. The player would still have the choice of 2-4 companions no matter their gender/orientation.

I agree that NPC characterization is important in crafting a believable NPC, but why can't bi(or pan)-sexuality be one of those traits? In your Lae'zel example, it would be perfectly in character for her to be straight, gay, bisexual, or +, as long as she still only goes for strong people.
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 05:49 AM
I feel like I confused what I was saying in my comment. The o ly player that should be pan sexual is the PC because that is the player's freedom to choose whom and all they want to pursue.

To reiterate my point, I believe story characters, (NPC's, companions, etc) should have a sexuality. Because they are a story based character. They need to be who they are. Not someone that can just fit the PC's narrative, unless you play your cards right and you truly appeal to the story character's story.

If Larian can make a masterful RPG story, there should be romantic options for everyone because that's a player's freedom to behave. But not all story characters should just be openly receptive to any and every player character, with certain checks and proper advances.

It would be more compelling to play my PC and pursue a companion I liked, to maybe find out that he does swing my way. But thru our story and adventures, he'll always love me and accept me for our fellowship. I made a life long friend that accepts me for me, and I likewise to him.

Better friendship stories are better than fluid relationships (unless that is a certain story character's story).
Posted By: Choosen of KEK Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 05:56 AM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
To be honest, I now see situation with romance in cyberpunk, and it is terrible. There are 4 romantic characters in total. There is not a single bisexual among them, so if you are not bisexual yourself, then you have only 1 option + prostitutes...

Looking at BG3, it seems to be pretty much the industry standard now. We got
1) Lae'zel where wiki says "Githyanki reproduced by laying eggs. It was unknown whether this trait had been acquired during their period of enslavement or as a result of exposure to the Astral Plane". That's an interesting romance candidate, lol. How do you like it? Sunny side up!
2) Shadowheart who is OK I guess if you are into goth chicks
3) .... ?

But that f-ng vampire is trying to screw you at every opportunity. Not cool.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 09:34 AM
Originally Posted by Bruh
I think that's just an argument for why romance should not neccessarily be a central selling point of a video-game. People get their hopes up too much and then they are disappointed, even though the game was never supposed to be a dating sim in the first place. Again, I'm not against romances, but at this point they became so central to how we judge a game that it's positively unhealthy.

Companies should sell an adevnture first and foremost and then sprinkle romance on top.


This.
Posted By: JustAnotherBaldu Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 10:14 AM
Romance? Hmmmm, more like RAW, VULGAR SEX !! grin

Gale - sweegedi swooty he came for Mystras booty!
Wyll - we all know why Wyll truly said 'yes' (LoL)

Lae'zel - her flail and black latex outfit is missing
Astarion - sex, drugs and "succs"

Sassyheart - she did herself more then anything by serving Shar


Everyone and everything is so "f*cked up" grin !!
I mean "f*ck" man! grin

Astarion and Lae'zel do not surprise me though. I never had my character do it with either of them.
They are just such vulgar and primitive people and their unemphatic personalitys don't intrigue me.
In that case, even tho I bash Shadowheart the most, I must say the air of mystery around her makes her interesting.

€dit:
My high Drow female did it with Minthara of course.
She does not consort with the lesser races if she can get a piece of Lolths divine craft. (hahahahaha)
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 10:26 AM
Everything you just said, that is the cancer of all companion filled RPGs...
Posted By: dotmats Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 10:59 AM
Quote
I think that's just an argument for why romance should not neccessarily be a central selling point of a video-game. People get their hopes up too much and then they are disappointed, even though the game was never supposed to be a dating sim in the first place. Again, I'm not against romances, but at this point they became so central to how we judge a game that it's positively unhealthy.

Companies should sell an adevnture first and foremost and then sprinkle romance on top.


This brings up a good point, but I'd like to add to it. Romance is overmarketted (sex sells, I guess) but will almost always underdeliver. Part of this is due to the fact it's seemingly impossible to replicate "romance" in a videogame. It is either extremely cringe, pornography, or both.

I don't really have a problem with player-sexuality, although it's connected to the discussion of "what gives the player more options" vs. "what makes the player more immersed," but think it's a big mistake to put romance front and centre. Dangling it in your face. I can see the value of it as something on the side with just enough meat for imagination to do the rest, but even as a teenager I was never a fan of more than that.

For the record, I cringed so much during Lae'zel's "scene" that I actually felt ill.
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 11:12 AM
Astarion trying to get into your pants at every opportunity seems pretty on brand for a vampire tbh, lore wise they're pretty damn horny undead in any given iteration of their lore if its dracula that has to seduce/hypnotize virgins (oh suuuure it's because of their 'pure blood' w/e drac was hornt af) or astarion trying to get into your pants whenever he can after
you feed him some blood.


lae'zel's horniness is weird but can become on brand if larian develops her fascination for fae'run and let the MC cultivate her curiosity, gith don't seem to really be the type to be overtly into romance and would probably be more into the carnal lust if anything so this can still be on brand here, if developing enough approval she does start to develop curiosity about fae'run and its inhabitants as she's still a complete stranger to these lands which I dunno, there's some good potential there.

shadowheart's fine really imo

gale/wyll not explored yet will do in other playthroughs if I can't get find workarounds for some gamebreaking cyberpunk bugs
but gale seems like he's a horny karsus where as opposed to wanting to become the god of magic himself by killing & replacing mystra my boy gale seems to go the route of becoming mystra's husband, his connection to netheresse magic as well make me think he's more of a horny karsus atm


wyll's
loading screen is already super hornt and he seems to have a lady he's chasing after so not sure how good being a homewrecker would feel there lol
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 11:16 AM
Originally Posted by dotmats
Quote
I think that's just an argument for why romance should not neccessarily be a central selling point of a video-game. People get their hopes up too much and then they are disappointed, even though the game was never supposed to be a dating sim in the first place. Again, I'm not against romances, but at this point they became so central to how we judge a game that it's positively unhealthy.

Companies should sell an adevnture first and foremost and then sprinkle romance on top.


This brings up a good point, but I'd like to add to it. Romance is overmarketted (sex sells, I guess) but will almost always underdeliver. Part of this is due to the fact it's seemingly impossible to replicate "romance" in a videogame. It is either extremely cringe, pornography, or both.

I don't really have a problem with player-sexuality, although it's connected to the discussion of "what gives the player more options" vs. "what makes the player more immersed," but think it's a big mistake to put romance front and centre. Dangling it in your face. I can see the value of it as something on the side with just enough meat for imagination to do the rest, but even as a teenager I was never a fan of more than that.

For the record, I cringed so much during Lae'zel's "scene" that I actually felt ill.


oh come on how can you not laugh at that scene, it's jank af atm with very placeholdery animations and it even fades to an 'under construction' fadeaway lol

that whole segment was hilarious if you ask me, but if you think that one's bad
try going to evil route and romancing the drow
that scene was even more janky
Posted By: JustAnotherBaldu Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by dotmats

This brings up a good point, but I'd like to add to it. Romance is overmarketted (sex sells, I guess) but will almost always underdeliver. Part of this is due to the fact it's seemingly impossible to replicate "romance" in a videogame. It is either extremely cringe, pornography, or both.


It only appears this way because the realworld societys of our own world are extremly cringe and superficial I feel.
We live in pretty disgusting societys which value the materialistic about everything else.
Because Media made people this way, intentionally or unintentionally.

It is highly unlikely if you can even find a person that is not superficial.
Of course you cannot if you don't try, but its still only luck if you do.

Feels like I beat around the bush a little.

The world of Fae'run is not our's!
Their societys there are not our's!
What do we know about what is romance to THEM?

We cannot judge it.
We can interprete and try to relate at best.
I managed to give Sassyheart alot of emotional leeway in the last weeks.
She truly is more interesting if I do not compare her to a "stronk independent Wamen" of our own world after all. grin
At the beginning she and Lae'zel appeared like "Feminism" icon's to me.
But Lae'zel is just a "shipwrecked SciFi-cavewoman that got lost" (lol) and Sassyheart is paranoid due to her self-inflicted Amnesia.

And Astarion being a "manwhore" is no surprise, he's a Vamp-badboy after all.
Thanks the gods he did not started to sparkle in the sunlight.
But a male Vampire is like half a male poledancer already don't you think? ^_^
Posted By: dotmats Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 12:15 PM
Originally Posted by Ianthebea
oh come on how can you not laugh at that scene, it's jank af atm with very placeholdery animations and it even fades to an 'under construction' fadeaway lol

that whole segment was hilarious if you ask me, but if you think that one's bad
try going to evil route and romancing the drow
that scene was even more janky


I laughed afterwards - it was pure horror show during. I will look for the other scene when I'm feeling masochistic. Maybe tomorrow, I'm usually masochistic on weekends.

Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
It only appears this way because the realworld societys of our own world are extremly cringe and superficial I feel.
We live in pretty disgusting societys which value the materialistic about everything else.
Because Media made people this way, intentionally or unintentionally.


I think that's part of it. On the other hand, "what romance is" for many people can't be offered by a game - from physical intimacy to ego security - so it will be reductive whichever society has a go at making it. You will always come up against the fact this is a virtual world created for you, and the more its made, the less satisfying it can be, as it reveals itself as empty. Better to leave some things to the imagination.

Was about to go on a massive tangent about the erotic significance of shadows/ the unseen but thankfully lunch arrived.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by Choosen of KEK
Originally Posted by Nyloth
To be honest, I now see situation with romance in cyberpunk, and it is terrible. There are 4 romantic characters in total. There is not a single bisexual among them, so if you are not bisexual yourself, then you have only 1 option + prostitutes...

Looking at BG3, it seems to be pretty much the industry standard now. We got
1) Lae'zel where wiki says "Githyanki reproduced by laying eggs. It was unknown whether this trait had been acquired during their period of enslavement or as a result of exposure to the Astral Plane". That's an interesting romance candidate, lol. How do you like it? Sunny side up!
2) Shadowheart who is OK I guess if you are into goth chicks
3) .... ?

But that f-ng vampire is trying to screw you at every opportunity. Not cool.


Well, for me, Astarion is the perfect option! :3 Although I guess he's lying. I'm only attracted to evil characters, so Astarion and Lae are the most interesting to me in every sense.
I don't understand why anyone here uses the word "pansexual", I would say that the characters are "bisexual" lol.

Quote


But a male Vampire is like half a male poledancer already don't you think? ^_^



No thx. I don't think so.
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 01:03 PM
The PC can be freely pansexual, as its your game to be attracted to whomever and what ever you want in the game, just being more inclusive is why I said it. As for the companions, I feel it more compelling if not all the companion characters were not like that, unless their character is like that, for example Astarion, it fits his character. They should have stricter character lore on who they are. By making everyone bisexual just feels like an easy cop out, and feels cheap on the story side of the characters.
Posted By: Arne Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 01:04 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Lae'zal will **** anything that moves. so will asterion. so will shadowheart. So will Gale.

Roll it back.
For example, if yo aren't gith, Lae'zal won't touch you.

Shadowheart romace DC for women is 10, and for men is 20.

Asterion has racial preferences and won't touch certain races.

Gale has a CHA requirement.

ETC.

To add a depth to the game that makes you want to roll a character just to explore the depth you can't get if you play a certain way.

That would be closer to how the Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 approached it. Not exactly... but this is BG3. not divinity. And I will compare this game to BG, and not divinity.
As will many here, that are here because they fell in love with BG.


First of all, of course players should have several romance options. On the other hand, they also need to be believable.

A githyanki would usually be "evil", and even if Lae'zel is not, it should be really hard to score with her, if you are not a gith. Maybe not outright impossible, but really hard.

Shadowheart is meant to be this evil cleric cult, right? So, maybe she should prefer evil characters.

Asterion could potentially work as a bisexual character, but as someone else pointed out, only do that if it is actually in character, don't blatantly invent characters to shove some ideology in the face of players.

Gale strikes me a womanizer, but otherwise easy to win over.

-> again, romances should be possible, but not forced. Don't try to desperately write a romance that's not in character.
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 02:32 PM
I think the current romances are by and large fine.
Shadowheart's is obviously the sweetest, boy meets girl, the works, it seems intriguing because SH is this kinda vulnerable secretive chick. This could evolve into a romantic story with slow progress, but we will see what Larian does with it.

Astarion's really works because he wants to manipulate you and he really does strike me as someone who would just use people for his own pleasure. He has the superficial charm covered as well. Him being a vampire also has implications, he may ask you to be his bloodbank. His condition also triggers my saviour complex, and I imagine I'm not alone when it comes to wanting to "save" him. Of course I think Astarion expects me to want to save him so there's that, but his romance seems like the most solid so far. I actually approve of him hitting on everyone, because he IS a user. When he wants something it's never about you, it's always about him. Leaving him as a psychopath is just as compelling as saving him, if you get involved with the guy, drama is guaranteed and I love it.

And now to Lae'zel...
Well she's ugly (no I don't care that you disagree), and she has this obnoxious "raarh strong woman" attitude that is just very repulsive, HOWEVER, her sexuality fits that mold perfectly. She is basically an angry dude with breasts, fancy hair and a big sword, and frankly, the only thing that could make her character more repulsive is if she ended up finding a soft spot in her heart for you. Not only that but since Gith apparently lay eggs that presents some interesting problems about their anatomy. As far as I know, creatures that lay eggs have cloaca, both the males and the females, so that would mean that a male gith would only differ from a female one in the aforementioned breast area when it comes to sexual organs. This would also support the idea that sexual relations for gith are not romantically and emotionally involved affairs. As much as I hate Lae's romance, I just hope they don't make it emotional because it would just make it even worse.

Gale's and Wyll's are really not finished yet, so I can't really judge them beyond thinking that Gale's is boring, and Wyll's is uh... weird?
Posted By: Zhenvision Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by guy
Originally Posted by Ixal
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.


yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.

They want boobs and sex, fine, whatever. But why is laezal dry humping a halfling?

Just one example.





no body is forcing LGBT in you, if you don't feel like to have romance with any of those character, you don't!
Posted By: JustAnotherBaldu Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 06:42 PM
Originally Posted by Nyloth

Quote


But a male Vampire is like half a male poledancer already don't you think? ^_^



No thx. I don't think so.




Thanks god that he isn't a "real" Vampire then. ; )
I just try to remember any Vampire story in which a badboy Vampire wasn't also a horndog.
Nothing comes up.
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 11/12/20 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by Zhenvision
Originally Posted by guy
Originally Posted by Ixal
And I hope they also remove playersexuality and isntead give every companion a defined sexuality instead.
Yes, playersexuality as cheap way to basically double the amount of romances you have, but it also makes those romances and NPCs generic and bland.

That doesn't mean that there can't be bisexual NPCs, but they should always be bisexual which is part of their character (See Kingmakers Regongar and Octavia) instead of spontaneously becoming bisexual if the player gender demands it.


yeah, stop forcing the LGBT crap on every character.

They want boobs and sex, fine, whatever. But why is laezal dry humping a halfling?

Just one example.





no body is forcing LGBT in you, if you don't feel like to have romance with any of those character, you don't!

It is somewhat forcing it on players when all companion characters, wil take your bromance as romance.
Posted By: eestabil Re: Dial back the romance. - 12/12/20 04:36 PM
No. i don't want restrictions. Restrain yourself
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 12/12/20 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by eestabil
No. i don't want restrictions. Restrain yourself

But I do want them, Restrain yourself from disagreeing with me (lol)
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: Dial back the romance. - 12/12/20 10:14 PM
Originally Posted by eestabil
No. i don't want restrictions. Restrain yourself


Ah, if only the companions could restrain themselves...
Posted By: Niara Re: Dial back the romance. - 12/12/20 10:27 PM
Always be mindful when practicing self restraint. Know your limits, make sure you tie the pull-out knots first and test them, and always arrange for a trusted friend to check on you at a fixed point if you don't contact them first. Don't practice self-restraints that leave your arms elevated above your head, except for short term adventures or with friends nearby.

Play safe, folks ^.^
Posted By: Iszaryn Re: Dial back the romance. - 12/12/20 11:06 PM
Even if you don't romance the party members they all still act like they are in a romance with the player character forcing themselves on the player character imo.


Also I do not want the romance tuned down at all, the only thing I want is the NPC's acting like they are in a romance with you even after you say no or don't show interest in them like that.
Posted By: Astridae Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 02:53 AM
During my first playthrough I didn’t take Wyll or Gale anywhere with me. So it was odd when they flirted with me at the party, because up until then I’d never travelled with them and they would have only seen me at camp. The only reason I got such high approval with them was because of how much time I spent petting the good boy Scratch. On the other hand, I did like that characters flirted with me first, it made it seem more like those characters had their own agency and it increased immersion for me. After playing games where I really had to grind approval and initiate all the flirt dialogues myself it was refreshing to be on the other end of a random flirtation.

Even if the other characters initiate romance themselves rather than the player character, it feels like there should be a certain level of approval necessary. Lae’zel seems like she’s just out for a single goal and any person will do, the forward manner she spoke to my ranger had me in stitches.

I actually want more flirtatious dialogue options and interactions interspersed throughout the game, what we have at the party is nice, but it also comes off as abrupt.
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 09:50 AM
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake



As always, hitting the nail on the head.



this is true, this thread has been a wild ride of incel vibes and alt right getting pissed off at 'LGBTQ things getting pushed into my video games'

all they've done is not added exclusion flags for certain race/sex combinations and some of these folks have been losing their marbles over it.

the realm of D&D and fae'rûn have been legendarily horny whenever a PC during any campaign wants to start a romance arc with an NPC and the amount of succubi/incubi type monsters in the manual like nymphs etc so all of this has been incredibly on brand so far as far as I'm concerned
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 10:05 AM
Originally Posted by Ianthebea
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake



As always, hitting the nail on the head.



this is true, this thread has been a wild ride of incel vibes and alt right getting pissed off at 'LGBTQ things getting pushed into my video games'

all they've done is not added exclusion flags for certain race/sex combinations and some of these folks have been losing their marbles over it.

the realm of D&D and fae'rûn have been legendarily horny whenever a PC during any campaign wants to start a romance arc with an NPC and the amount of succubi/incubi type monsters in the manual like nymphs etc so all of this has been incredibly on brand so far as far as I'm concerned


But I'm LGBT and I don't want unrestricted romances either. Also I'm sorry, but I have to ask: Isn't it the most incel thing in the world to make demands about how all companions should have the hots for you no matter what? I would think that incels don't get any action IRL, taht's why they want everything to be omnisexual ingame. Correct me if I'm wrong, but sexual entitlement like that sounds very much like what an incel would have.
Posted By: Abits Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 10:38 AM
Originally Posted by Iszaryn
Even if you don't romance the party members they all still act like they are in a romance with the player character forcing themselves on the player character imo.


Also I do not want the romance tuned down at all, the only thing I want is the NPC's acting like they are in a romance with you even after you say no or don't show interest in them like that.

I'm with you here. I think excluding da2 Bioware did a much better job at this aspect of romance both in inquisition and me3. I think it's a matter of cleaver writing more than anything else that Larian lacks here
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 10:42 AM
Originally Posted by Bruh
Originally Posted by Ianthebea
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
every time I read a thread like this I remember that video games were a mistake



As always, hitting the nail on the head.



this is true, this thread has been a wild ride of incel vibes and alt right getting pissed off at 'LGBTQ things getting pushed into my video games'

all they've done is not added exclusion flags for certain race/sex combinations and some of these folks have been losing their marbles over it.

the realm of D&D and fae'rûn have been legendarily horny whenever a PC during any campaign wants to start a romance arc with an NPC and the amount of succubi/incubi type monsters in the manual like nymphs etc so all of this has been incredibly on brand so far as far as I'm concerned


But I'm LGBT and I don't want unrestricted romances either. Also I'm sorry, but I have to ask: Isn't it the most incel thing in the world to make demands about how all companions should have the hots for you no matter what? I would think that incels don't get any ction IRL, taht's why they want everything to be omnisexual ingame. Correct me if I'm wrong, but sexual entitlement like that sounds very much like what an incel would have.


it's obvious you don't know any incels dude, plenty of them thanks to their own traumas won't be able to connect or even feel much during a sexual encounter, a lot of actual incels are bordering on suicide with genuine chronic touch deprivation, you can see their genuine distaste for sexuality and an almost puritanical christian attitude towards sexual promiscuity (the same sexual promiscuity that a lot of people in this thread seem to be getting upset over) as signs that they of all people would probably advocate for their strict and pure definitions of love and romance IE the exact opposite of what you just said
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 10:48 AM
and I gotta add: campaigning in this thread specifically to exclude more characters from romancing folks is weird to me ngl, just leave it up to the players / approval of the characters really. if folks want to roll gnome or halfling and romance lae'zel let em, no skin of your backs surely.
Posted By: Leuenherz Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 01:40 PM
The companions being playersexual is a reasonable compromise in terms of game mechanics. With the number of companions they offer, they can only present so many choices to each sexuality. My personal preference would still be a set sexuality for each companion, but I can see where Larian's design decision is coming from.

What is true, however, is that the character's attempts at "romance" are coming out of nowhere for the most part. Lae'zel is especially guilty of this. There is no real setup, no arc, it's not even tied to approval level or exploration of her dialogue tree. And the post-party scenes for of all of them are largely awkward and poorly animated on top. The entire experience is jarring at best.

The best out of the bunch is probably Shadowheart, because she doesn't immediately want to jump your bones after a few days and what is barely the beginning of your adventure.

It's actually genuinely surprising Larian went for this, considering that even in DOS 2 the sexy times were the culmination of the romance arcs for their characters.
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 02:45 PM
Originally Posted by Ianthebea


it's obvious you don't know any incels dude, plenty of them thanks to their own traumas won't be able to connect or even feel much during a sexual encounter





Woah! Wait what? I thought incels never get to have sex at all? Hence the name: involuntary celibate.
What do you mean by incel? Obviously we don't mean the same thing.
Also what is wrong with christian puritanical christian attitudes towards sex?
I much prefer their ethics to that of the polyamory crowd.
Posted By: YT-Yangbang Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 03:50 PM
I much rather have the game not be a fantasy harem simulator. It shouldn't be every companions natural inclination to want to get in the players pants. Someone said this earlier, but all the want for "romantic entitlement" is really weird to fight for. Its literally "yes, everyone should love me." I don't see wanting the game to friend zone you with characters that only want to be your friend as alt right. It just seems like a natural character's mentality for a specific character's lore.

Dragon Age Origins did this and I think it was great. Alistair was hetero and it fit his narrative, he was a match for Anora and for Morrigan to save the world. Same thing for Morrigan, if you were a male, you could fit in here hetero narrative to reach the ending with her storyline ending. While their was the bi characters of Leliana and Zevran. It fit there narrative and lore to be bi if the player choose to pursue them. Not everyone was just bi to just be bi.
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 04:11 PM
This thread seems to be reaching its end of life and I am probably going to regret getting involved in it again but...

Originally Posted by eestabil
No. i don't want restrictions. Restrain yourself


Its not about wanting restrictions, its about wanting more realistic relationship dynamics simulated within the game. Part of realistic relationship, is having someone reject you. So yes, I do want a companion saying, "sorry, I am not interested in you for reasons x, y and z," because that is something in line with what a real person would do. In the real world, people will reject you flat out based on your appearance or gender, so I see no reason why these are not valid reasons within a game. Appearance is probably too complicated a parameter, but there are actually 3 good "rejection criteria" you can use within a game - race, class and gender. Say a character is very anti magic and suspicious of spellcasters, they could rationally reject someone based off of class. A gay male character would reject women off of gender and a racially prejudiced character could reject based off of race. These are all valid tools which can be used to make more believable characters.

The fantasy world does not owe it to us to provide us with a romance, I am perfectly fine with going through the entire game and being rejected by everyone due to those criteria, it just means that on another playthrough, I could have a different experience.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
Originally Posted by Nyloth

Quote


But a male Vampire is like half a male poledancer already don't you think? ^_^



No thx. I don't think so.




Thanks god that he isn't a "real" Vampire then. ; )
I just try to remember any Vampire story in which a badboy Vampire wasn't also a horndog.
Nothing comes up.


Well, technically, he's not real a vampire, but a spawn. And yes, all vampires are hot as hell, but I just don't think poledancer are hot in this... noble way. Just my opinion, of course. ^ ^
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by Sharp
Part of realistic relationship, is having someone reject you.

On that note, Astarion's rejection is absolutely amazing AND funny. Astarion is like Zevran, but done right and more classy.

Here it is, and I love it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdVlXlvgdYU&t=82s

Why do I love Astarion so much? WHY???
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by Sharp


Its not about wanting restrictions, its about wanting more realistic relationship dynamics simulated within the game.


I mean, in real world, you might get rejected for being unattractive. So you're not going to get that "dynamic" where it looks realistic enough anyway. Something will still be "wrong".
Posted By: Sharp Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 04:36 PM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
Originally Posted by Sharp


Its not about wanting restrictions, its about wanting more realistic relationship dynamics simulated within the game.


I mean, in real world, you might get rejected for being unattractive. So you're not going to get that "dynamic" where it looks realistic enough anyway. Something will still be "wrong".





Just because you cannot create a "perfect" simulation, should not get in the way of creating a better one. Perfect is the enemy of good. There is a whole spectrum between, "the npc exists solely to please the player," and, "the npc is a perfectly simulated personality," and there is no reason to default at the one end simply because the other end is not attainable.
Posted By: Ianthebea Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by Bruh
Originally Posted by Ianthebea


it's obvious you don't know any incels dude, plenty of them thanks to their own traumas won't be able to connect or even feel much during a sexual encounter





Woah! Wait what? I thought incels never get to have sex at all? Hence the name: involuntary celibate.
What do you mean by incel? Obviously we don't mean the same thing.
Also what is wrong with christian puritanical christian attitudes towards sex?
I much prefer their ethics to that of the polyamory crowd.


Are you trying to do a gotcha here cause you're coming across like a weirdo dude
Posted By: A Clown Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 06:21 PM
Before playing and knowing that the companions have an approval rating (whatever you call it) I suspected that would have an effect on romance and I wish it did!

I must have done almost everything that would get shadowheart to hate me by just approving astarion and Lazeal, and yet she still invites me for a lovely evening?????

I like the idea of companions having no restrictions regarding race or gender because at the end of the day it's a fantasy game, if you dont want to romance a certain companion because you dont see them liking x race or x gender then that's up to you on how you play your game! But dont ruin it for other players who have a completely different view from you! Its DnD we all play differently my good G!

The only restrictions I do want is the approval and disapproval system set in place on romance because it just makes sense!
Posted By: Abits Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 06:39 PM
Originally Posted by A Clown
Before playing and knowing that the companions have an approval rating (whatever you call it) I suspected that would have an effect on romance and I wish it did!

I must have done almost everything that would get shadowheart to hate me by just approving astarion and Lazeal, and yet she still invites me for a lovely evening?????

I like the idea of companions having no restrictions regarding race or gender because at the end of the day it's a fantasy game, if you dont want to romance a certain companion because you dont see them liking x race or x gender then that's up to you on how you play your game! But dont ruin it for other players who have a completely different view from you! Its DnD we all play differently my good G!

The only restrictions I do want is the approval and disapproval system set in place on romance because it just makes sense!


I don't know exactly how the approval and the romance work together... There are some decisions that affect the possibility of triggering romance (for example, siding with the goblins block any chance of romancing shadowheart) but I'm not sure how approval factors in
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 06:44 PM
Originally Posted by A Clown
Before playing and knowing that the companions have an approval rating (whatever you call it) I suspected that would have an effect on romance and I wish it did!

I must have done almost everything that would get shadowheart to hate me by just approving astarion and Lazeal, and yet she still invites me for a lovely evening?????

I like the idea of companions having no restrictions regarding race or gender because at the end of the day it's a fantasy game, if you dont want to romance a certain companion because you dont see them liking x race or x gender then that's up to you on how you play your game! But dont ruin it for other players who have a completely different view from you! Its DnD we all play differently my good G!

The only restrictions I do want is the approval and disapproval system set in place on romance because it just makes sense!



I think it's a bug.

I don't have romance with Gale even at a high level of approval, as if that's not enough, he always says "we're just friends". Shadow is always on a neutral level and she always tells me to go away and look for fun somewhere else.

Only Astarion and Lae on a neutral level are really willing to offer themselves to you, because they don't care about this night.

Idk about Wyll
Posted By: A Clown Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 06:51 PM
Originally Posted by Abits

I don't know exactly how the approval and the romance work together... There are some decisions that affect the possibility of triggering romance (for example, siding with the goblins block any chance of romancing shadowheart) but I'm not sure how approval factors in


Originally Posted by Nyloth


I think it's a bug.

I don't have romance with Gale even at a high level of approval, as if that's not enough, he always says "we're just friends". Shadow is always on a neutral level and she always tells me to go away and look for fun somewhere else.

Only Astarion and Lae on a neutral level are really willing to offer themselves to you, because they don't care about this night.

Idk about Wyll


Ahhh I see laugh I must have had a buggy game, I know wylls romance was bugged and I never even tried to do anything with gale! But I know you have to have a specific cutscene to occur for his romance to trigger!
Posted By: Bruh Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 07:53 PM
Originally Posted by Ianthebea


Are you trying to do a gotcha here cause you're coming across like a weirdo dude

How so?
Posted By: Taramafor Re: Dial back the romance. - 13/12/20 09:48 PM
Frankly, with sex being something not talked about enough IRL (which harms relationships), I consider it a good thing to be more open and upfront about it.

Also, there's a difference between sleeping with you and "romance". Lae'zal makes this VERY clear. You're her pleasure toy, not her lover. She's one of those people that will use you BEFORE getting close to you. It's not too different then drow. You see a bit of that in BG2. Just not with the companions themselves.

If anything they need to dial the romance up in places. Have REAL talks about knowing each other. We get a good bit of that with Shadowheart. But you don't always need someones life story. Depends on selfish/selfless someone is from the start. If it leans more towards selfish, more talks. If it leans more towards selfless, then the talks involved would consist more of things like "Giving people what they want makes it easier".

And then you got to squeeze it all inbetween the fighting and bloodshed. It aren't easy.

I have a good number of such talks with people daily. Get passed closed minds. People changing minds. etc. I could rake my brain and see if I could come up with anything to add. There's "patterns". But I'd also have to tailor to each character while doing that. It's a mtter of adaptability. Adaptation factors in a lot actually. Think of it this way. Remain sheltered only in what you know and you limit yourself. Branch out and explore in areas you're not yet comfortable with and you'll find there's nothing to fear/worry about. Provided the right context is established in those situations. Regardless of what dynamic you're going with, the same logic of "If you assume and didn't actually find out" can be used. What we really need is challenging people. with logic like that. This way you'd give the companions a reason to explore more with the player.

The "If you don't know then how can you know what you like or not or what you're interested in or not" can be very effective. Combined with other elements. Which could be all the more efficient on someone like Shadowheart. Due to her memory loss. Things will pick up once at Baldur's gate itself, so it will be interesting to see how far they push such things. For all characters involved.
Posted By: IaSupernova Re: Dial back the romance. - 17/12/20 12:26 PM
Personally I think I'm essentially neutral in the 'defined sexuality' vs 'playersexuality' of characters, since I think it essentially comes down to a trade-off of realism vs player freedom. I might lean more on the side of player freedom, but it's not as if I don't love plenty of games with gated romances (and let's face it, if they did gate some romances, someone's just going to mod the gate away within a month anyway...).

What I would like to see, though, are some actual flirtation options in pre-party dialogue, so my character can perhaps intentionally trigger romance options with the character(s) they might be interested in, instead of having the entire camp suddenly be horny/jealous over them when you get to that scene. Because really, while that's funny for my warlock who would if given the chance flirt with everything that moves, it's going to look a tiny bit nonsensical when I'm playing my socially awkward wizard who definitely wouldn't have given the entire party that impression. It would also rescue the people who felt uncomfortable with certain characters coming on to their PC by making it the player's decision to initiate rather than the companion's decision.
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