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I have stumbled upon a mechanic called as "Proselytizing" within a MUD(Multi-User Dungeon) game named as Lithmeria. The game is purely text based but the mechanic they provide to convert a NPC to a particular faith is quite logical.

Basically you are moving on a grid where all of the same color tiles have the same number. Each move makes you remove a tile and refreshes the number of those colored tiles back to 7 but reduces all other colors by 1. If a certain color reaches to 0 all those colored tiles disappear. If you can no longer move to an adjacent tile your attempt on persuasion is completed. Then your score is compared with a background value which shows whether you succeeded or not. Your success also depends on the level/standing of the NPC as well. It will be easier to convince a farmhand then a conniving noble most of the time.

Please also check the links below for a more detailed explanation.

Forum explanation: http://forums.lithmeria.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1519

Proselytizing on action: http://nogfx.org/logs/1311

I'd really like such a game included as persuasion instead Rock, Paper and Scissors.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by ugralitan; 29/08/14 06:22 AM.
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Zero chance of actually happening.

RPS serves several purposes in the way that it plays and is.
It is simple, quick and easily comprehensible to the largest number of players. It is there to strengthen the co-op aspect of the game, which is the main design aspect of the game.

It is there so you can argue with each other in an internally supported way.
While it is variable and diverse enough not to fall into routine.

Short of someone modding it in...

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I merely gave an example on intelligent persuasion which has more fun value when you are doing it against NPCs. Rock, Paper, Scissors rinse and repeat is simple, quick and easily comprehensible but it gets boring and tedious pretty quickly.

The RPS can be still kept for co-op dialogues, but against NPCs and single player it should be something else.

Before someone else plays the "modding" card...this is more like a discussion which asks "What kind of mechanic would be better for player enjoyment during reasoning attempts?"



Last edited by ugralitan; 29/08/14 07:20 AM.
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"More fun value" is very subjective proposal or an idea.



Playing the modding card, as you put it, so nicely, is the only possibility or anything like that ever becoming real. You might think that your mere desire and emotional level of dislike for RPS needs to be specially headed and or recognized as actual arguments by other people... and that this should somehow transform into devs changing one of the main mechanics of the game.... but thats nothing but a fantasy.

Better to keep expectations on the reality side of the spectrum, i think.

But feel free to continue discussing whatever you please. I am sure others will add their own super awesome mini game ideas and you will all have a very heartening, good discussion about it all.


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More like I provide my view on how to make the persuasion better and less prone to chance because RPS is quite a questionable mechanic. Whether the devs would change it or a modder does, I have no solid fantasies about that.

On the "fun value" though...I agree it is a subjective matter but it is not entirely subjective. It is fun with friends but not fun with computer unfortunately. One could argue that "I am having a blast with playing RPS on my computer." but the likelihood of that is minimal among the populace.

In this case with little effort making persuasion a more concrete and fun thing would add to the appeal of the game. At least against NPCs that would work. For Co-Op disagreements RPS could still be used because it is against a human.

Last edited by ugralitan; 29/08/14 08:58 AM.
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It is generally wrong to simply assume what other people are thinking and how they are liking something, without being telepathically connected to a few billion minds currently operating on the planet.

(The sentence: "I agree it is a subjective matter but it is not entirely subjective." - doesnt make any sense at all, btw.)

Anyway, for real life example countering that, i can say that i like the RPS and how it plays - even in single player playthroughs i did. And i did a lot of them.
What i would like, for example, is to adjust it and improve it at specific places, not to remove it or replace it with something else.

That is my subjective take on it.

And i dont need to pretend or warp that into some sort of declaratory statements about what is "better" or "more fun" globally.

I am not sure how that mini game you described actually plays, since ive never seen it in live action, but from the description it looks like i would prefer to poke my eyes out with a rusty fork
rather then to have to play that every once in a while in the game. Speaking subjectively of course.

As far as realistic objective possibilities of actually getting the devs to replace RPS with that or any other mini game.... it is still at - 273.15 C. And probably few degrees bellow that.
No amount of subjective proclamation how something is horrible and something else awesome and so fun is going to change that.


But, as i already said, if you and other posters want to discuss these things more. ... Knock your self out.


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It's an interesting mechanic, but frankly I don't think we need a more convoluted one.

Rather the option to skip RPS by pressing space and bypassing it with a simple roll based on your charm talent should be fixed so it actually works.
Right now when pressing space, afaik, you get a 50:50 chance, while actually it is supposed to depend on charm.

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Originally Posted by Hiver
It is generally wrong to simply assume what other people are thinking and how they are liking something, without being telepathically connected to a few billion minds currently operating on the planet.

(The sentence: "I agree it is a subjective matter but it is not entirely subjective." - doesnt make any sense at all, btw.)

And i dont need to pretend or warp that into some sort of declaratory statements about what is "better" or "more fun" globally.

I am not sure how that mini game you described actually plays....



Actually you can make a good amount of assumptions which will hit the bullseye. It is not wrong to make assumptions when you propose a change of mechanic or balance.

Also that sentence refers to while you can claim "This and that is subjective" in theory, in practical they are not that subjective. But...I'll spare you on that topic.

And finally...well I provided links and even gave an example on how it plays out. It is pretty straightforward really and that was but one example. Persuasion in a game with dialogues should have a more original mechanic then RPS.

@El Zoido: Yeah even persuasion check would be OK saving the player from RPS ordeal.

Last edited by ugralitan; 29/08/14 10:58 AM.
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Rock, Paper, Scissors is really boring. Glad that it can be skiped

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I like the R,P,S approach and find it novel and refreshing. It's so much better than immediately being tossed into a conflict you don't want, for instance. I also found that if you don't like the result you can reload the save and try again--and you can actually get the result you want...;) I was surprised by that as I had thought the whole thing merely scripted--it's not...the game can branch either way at one of these junctures.


I'm never wrong about anything, and so if you see an error in any of my posts you will know immediately that I did not write it...;)
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Originally Posted by Waltc
I like the R,P,S approach and find it novel and refreshing. It's so much better than immediately being tossed into a conflict you don't want, for instance. I also found that if you don't like the result you can reload the save and try again--and you can actually get the result you want...;) I was surprised by that as I had thought the whole thing merely scripted--it's not...the game can branch either way at one of these junctures.


But doesn't reloading make the whole process pointless?

I would prefer to let the RPS play if I want (the result really doesn't matter), or also have an override that will choose my choice but give negative reaction to whomever I was disagreeing with.

I can't get over the fact that I could never pass the initiate test because my other PC kept disagreeing with me on every question, and I was right. At that point I would have preferred an override and just let the other PC be pissed at me.

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Originally Posted by LeBurns


But doesn't reloading make the whole process pointless?



Yes it does, kind of. But I think of it like this...if reloading a saved game after I get clobbered isn't cheating, but rather *expected behavior* (as opposed to starting over every time you get squashed), then what's the harm in reloading a save to get the RPS outcome you want?

I'm still wrestling a bit with that...;) And I don't do it mostly but ride with the initial result. But sometimes, I just don't want to fight simply because I stuck my foot in my mouth--so I'll redo the RPS until I win...;)

Quote
I can't get over the fact that I could never pass the initiate test because my other PC kept disagreeing with me on every question, and I was right. At that point I would have preferred an override and just let the other PC be pissed at me.


I haven't gotten there yet, but thanks for reminding me that I ought to head back and get that done...;) I won the initial RPS contest with the initiates that were supposed to bar my way, and so I can go past them any time I like. Doesn't really do me much good, however, since I'm not yet strong enough to proceed very far into the desert...;)

Also, when in Hibenheim(sp?) I didn't feel like fighting every time I wanted to warm up at a fire, so I played the RPS games--sometimes I had to fight, sometimes not. I think it's a rather intriguing element in the game.


I'm never wrong about anything, and so if you see an error in any of my posts you will know immediately that I did not write it...;)
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Reloading after getting a bad result due to an RPS game is not *expected behavior*. For example, in Age of Decadence (an Early Access game) you could use several skills in dialogue (even stats sometimes) for alternative, optimal, sub-optimal, bad(mostly on failure, sometimes even at success...intimidating successfully does not mean people won't get back at you at first opportunity) outcomes which makes you feel rewarded if you built your character in a certain way. If you fail well you can keep going from a different path or things can get heated and people might die. Literally you can use tons of skill checks and stat checks at branching dialogues. There you can say "Man I tried everything at my disposal well better to move on".

Here, it is only RPS...well you can supposedly increase your chances with some investment but...it is still RPS. Definitely there could be a better way to deal persuasion which will consider your skills, the NPCs skills/standing in the world and at the same time entertain the player.

In essence RPS might be fun with a friend like 4-5 rounds...but that is all. With NPCs at the lack of an intelligent persuasion minigame, I'd rather prefer classical checks and stuff.

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I'm not particularly fond of rock, paper, scissors, but given what it's being used for I don't see many other options that are as easy to understand. I work with it because the game is that good and until I see something better I won't complain. smile

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Originally Posted by ugralitan

In essence RPS might be fun with a friend like 4-5 rounds...but that is all. With NPCs at the lack of an intelligent persuasion minigame, I'd rather prefer classical checks and stuff.


I also want a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options. However, that really is a TON of work for a bunch of, shall we say, "hidden content." That is, dialog options that players might not even see if they don't have certain characteristics. I'm working on a module which I hope to have some sort of dialog checks like that, but in reality I probably won't have that many since writing (actually good) dialog that everyone can see takes long enough.

As for an "intelligent persuasion minigame," there's another thing that could take a lot of writing, but could be really satisfying. I'm imaging a game where you're presented questions pertinent to the argument you're trying to make, and you have to choose the correct answer from a radial menu. It would be a mix of logic and finding the right answer quick enough, which I think would be a great way to simulate "wit and rhetoric" if you would. Meanwhile, you're opponent would be (behind the scenes) doing the same thing, and you'd see their correct answers adding up. Your charisma skill would effect how many questions you have to answer (rather, how much correct and incorrect answers are worth) and how long it takes the opponent to answer questions to build up to 10 points.

So if you have 0 charisma and you try and convince the immaculates to let you by, I imagine they would build up to 10 points in like 15-20 seconds, while you have to answer 5-6 questions. So basically, it would be impossible unless you reloaded a bunch of times and memorized the question-answers, and even then I would think the questions are randomly ordered and the radial menu answers are in different orders every time as well.

Same could apply to player vs. player arguments, which I think would actually work best for this kind of minigame.

The biggest issue, as I said before, is that this would be a ton of work to come up with good questions and answers that wouldn't be too obvious but not insanely obscure either. Maybe you would have to convince Immaculates you're trying to not fight that you've read the books, kind of like Loic's challenge, but different questions. It could be a mix of knowledge you might gain elsewhere, and logical connections. Not easy stuff to do well, however, so I can't see this minigame ever coming to fruition in almost any RPG, nevermind Divinity.

As for the OP's minigame, I didn't really understand how it worked, but frankly it didn't sound very fun or actually related to argument and charisma. Not that a charisma minigame has to be wordy and intellectual, but if Larian went to the trouble to add a minigame, I think it should be wordy and intellectual :P

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Originally Posted by Baardvark
SNIP

I also want a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options. However, that really is a TON of work for a bunch of, shall we say, "hidden content." That is, dialog options that players might not even see if they don't have certain characteristics. I'm working on a module which I hope to have some sort of dialog checks like that, but in reality I probably won't have that many since writing (actually good) dialog that everyone can see takes long enough.

SNIP


You just described the Fallout games.

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I agree that RPS mechanics for singleplayer are borderline retarded: I can't ditch the feeling that the computer cheats.
I'd much rather see a system where it works with simple tressholds based on Charisma and/or stats.

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Originally Posted by LeBurns
Originally Posted by Baardvark
SNIP

I also want a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options. However, that really is a TON of work for a bunch of, shall we say, "hidden content." That is, dialog options that players might not even see if they don't have certain characteristics. I'm working on a module which I hope to have some sort of dialog checks like that, but in reality I probably won't have that many since writing (actually good) dialog that everyone can see takes long enough.

SNIP


You just described the Fallout games.


Great idea, compare a +-30 people indie studio with a +-500 people AAA company

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Originally Posted by Styno
Originally Posted by LeBurns
Originally Posted by Baardvark
SNIP

I also want a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options. However, that really is a TON of work for a bunch of, shall we say, "hidden content." That is, dialog options that players might not even see if they don't have certain characteristics. I'm working on a module which I hope to have some sort of dialog checks like that, but in reality I probably won't have that many since writing (actually good) dialog that everyone can see takes long enough.

SNIP


You just described the Fallout games.


Great idea, compare a +-30 people indie studio with a +-500 people AAA company


Right, cause only a AAA company has any chance of making a game where stats affect dialog options. That's the only part being discussed here dude, not the whole freaking game. Try reading a thread before posting.

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Originally Posted by LeBurns
Originally Posted by Styno
Originally Posted by LeBurns
Originally Posted by Baardvark
SNIP

I also want a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options. However, that really is a TON of work for a bunch of, shall we say, "hidden content." That is, dialog options that players might not even see if they don't have certain characteristics. I'm working on a module which I hope to have some sort of dialog checks like that, but in reality I probably won't have that many since writing (actually good) dialog that everyone can see takes long enough.

SNIP


You just described the Fallout games.


Great idea, compare a +-30 people indie studio with a +-500 people AAA company


Right, cause only a AAA company has any chance of making a game where stats affect dialog options. That's the only part being discussed here dude, not the whole freaking game. Try reading a thread before posting.


Sorry, I thought you guys were pleading for "a world where skills, talents, attributes and ESPECIALLY your traits provide dialog options, with hidden content" => a boatload of dialog lines that have to be written and translated.
I must have misunderstood


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