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#653622 05/07/19 01:54 PM
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It is a well known fact that a lot of RPG writers dread adding romance to their games, for a number of reasons.

Now, BG is kinda known for having romancable companions. And in my opinion has some of the best integrated romances in the genre. However, I also find that DOS2 was kinda lacking on the romance end of things. They felt like an afterthought and tacked on, which made them feel kind of out of place imo. Comperatively, anyway. It was the whole "Choose answer 1 to intercourse" schtick. Thing is, BG2 came with very meaningful character development for the romancable companion in question, that is what made them good and interesting. Honestly, one of my favourite romances in RPG history doesn't even have the characters touch at all, which would be Fall-from-Grace in Planescape: Torment. It was good because it was well integrated into the narrative and felt natural.

Anyway, my point: I'd love to see romances to return to BG3, but please don't make them like in DOS2. To be frank, I'd rather not have any romances if they'd get the DOS2 treatment. Since I am assuming that the roster of potential companions is gonna be vastly downsized when compared to BG1 and 2, I'd also assume that there is more potential to flesh out every companion's writing. Of course the dream would be to see some PST level of romance writing, but I know that is a lotto ask for. But I hope you can bring romances on the level of BG2 at least, that would be nice.

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Romances shouldn't be cheesy (no pun intended here).

You could have hard arguments in romances inspite nurturing stong affection for characters.

Long story short, make romance as real as possible with genuine human emotions.

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Originally Posted by Buttercheese
To be frank, I'd rather not have any romances if they'd get the DOS2 treatment.
[2]

One of the few things I'm particularly nervous about. It's just that you can't make any real "suggestion" when it comes to this. Um... "please hire good writers"? "Please either do it right or don't do it at all"? Oof.


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Inquisition was mentioned elsewhere and in contrast to my meh about its "mechanics" I think it did it reasonably well (says the person who actually had her Inquisition squeeze tattooed... first and probably last time I do that, it bloody hurt). DOS2 was a bit Chernobyl in that I'd rate it 3.6, not great, not terrible. I'd rather have that than nothing at all. But if we're looking at the Skyrim treatment then nothing at all would definitely be an improvement.


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@Try2Handing: I believe the problem is less a lack of writing talent but rather about priorities and caring. As I already said, a lot of writers don't like writing rance into their games. If the creative team makes sure to properly integrate the romance bits into the narrative from the get go, instead of having it run disconnected like in DOS2, it will make all the difference.

@vometia: Inquisition has some stellar romance writing. Perfectly integrated into the narrative, character growth, more than just "press X to f*ck". I found them very satisfying and natural. Can't speak for Skyrim cause I don't like Skyrim.

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I´m all about romances and any feature that improves or adds more banters to the game. Just let them be optional, as always were.

I understand that it is difficult to write romances that people relate to. Must be a nightmare for most fantasy writers, but still a nice addition. I understand that you could only have time to one night stands if you have to rescue the king, kill the evil archfiend, destroy the perverse organization or save the world. But lately, the thing is too trivial or forgettable. There are games that is a transaction that gets you some reward, like in Fable or Skyrim, getting a soulmate for a pendant and two lines of conversation. Take that, Craiglist and Badoo!

Come on, even forced pairings in Fire emblem or Star Ocean had more sense (and more dialog)

I am not a prude, One night stands can be everything you need or have time to, but It is just that most of the time this "features" do not add anything to the plot or character development or... er.. anything. There are even games you can collect cards to get a collection of your conquests. Gotta catch them all!

At least in the "minimum content" dialog banters of a 2001 game like BG2 you can learn some things about the characters that you are not able to otherwise. Also, some paths will lead you to some character development ( some liked, some not, but at least is something).

I kinda miss epic love stories, like Yuna&Tidus in FFX, River & Jon in "To the moon", Nathan & Elena, Jhon & Abigail of RDRedemption. some storylines even spanned for several games, Like Gabriel Knight & Grace, Guybrush & Elaine Marney of Monkey Island, Brian&Gina of Runaway. Or love pieces that never were about romantic love: last of us, walking dead, Bioshock infinite, Grandia 2.

If they make romances, I do not expect the "great American novel" but at least something meaningful, only a little.
And no amulets of mara, please.

Last edited by _Vic_; 05/07/19 03:36 PM.
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I mostly agree, but I have to say that it is a bit unfair to compare games with linear narratives without any player choice to games like Baldur's Gate. If you have to factor in roleplaying, it makes the writing much more difficult, because the player becomes an active part of the narrative, instead of just a passive observer (like in Uncharted or Runaway). Also, given the nature of the series, the romances *have* to be optional. That shouldn't even be up for debate, unless they are gonna remove the *roleplaying*, which you know, why would they do that.

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I would want to see romance in which companion betrays you.
Let's say you start romance with character and then at some point you're asked to do a "quest". As it turns out that "quest" is an ambush where your romantic character has proved his/her treachery.
With deception he/she just wanted to kill you and works for some evil party who wants to get rid of you.

So, romances could be very interesting and thrilling quests.

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Originally Posted by Buttercheese
I mostly agree, but I have to say that it is a bit unfair to compare games with linear narratives without any player choice to games like Baldur's Gate. If you have to factor in roleplaying, it makes the writing much more difficult, because the player becomes an active part of the narrative, instead of just a passive observer (like in Uncharted or Runaway).

You´ve got a point here bow

Ok, so let´s go with Witcher, Dragon Age, Mass effect, PsT, Fire Emblem, Persona, Tales of Cold Steel or Fallout4 (Do not tell me they do not have at least a minimum of RP each) vs Skyrim or Fable treatment of the Romance features.

Games like Kotor, Kotor 2 or NWN 2 or the former have only one romantic "balcony" pre-climax scene, but you can relate a little to it because you traveled, talked, learned to know, suffered, battled.. you were sharing food and laughs and hardships and booze with the "person" you have the balcony scene for days, for hours of gameplay.
He/She is not a random good-looking NPC you put a necklace on and take to your house to "calve" your children or some hot NPC you know for five minutes and it is a good chance to show some naked skin scene, Like in Gothic.

Just a little more of the first ones, Larian. Please.


Edit:
Originally Posted by cyseal
I would want to see romance in which companion betrays you.
Let's say you start romance with character and then at some point you're asked to do a "quest". As it turns out that "quest" is an ambush where your romantic character has proved his/her treachery.
With deception he/she just wanted to kill you and works for some evil party who wants to get rid of you.

So, romances could be very interesting and thrilling quests.

Cof, cof NWN2 ... cof cof

Last edited by _Vic_; 05/07/19 04:00 PM.
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Bishop did nothing wrong 😤

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Romances are an overrated feature and almost always awkward.
Baldurs gates romances were remembered quite fondly, i think this is also due to them beeing one of the first games that did them and had a lot of writing dedicated to them.

I personally dont care either way.
"Hire good writers" is.... a bit of an issue.
I tend to find that "Writers" tend to vary greatly in quality and ofthen take a game as some canvas to paint their personal biases. Kind of like architects.
Not saying to have the writing done by the coding team. Just saying that someone beeing a "Writer" who has written for a lot of games is exactly an endorment.

Especialy when it comes to writers who ... to be honest worked in the modern games industry. I cant remember a lot of good writing outside of indie games, and even then its mostly indie games that dotn come from the "indie game" bubble.
I also wish RPGs would stop trying to be Planescape.
Not every game needs to be overly wordy, its not that bad with OS2 compared to PoE but its still an issue.

as far as modern games with good writing, id say witcher certainly stands out.
Not so much modern bioware titles.
Bioshock has some nice writing but a lot of it, especialy in Infinite is very on the nose and full of plot holes, Deus Ex Human Revolution was pretty good besides the ending (the mass effect 3 problem), the sequal much less so.
Pathologic is basically cheating since thats the entire draw of the game.
Then again theres plenty of game wehre "The writing" was the draw and the writing ended up beeing sitlted and boring.

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Originally Posted by _Vic_
IThere are even games you can collect cards to get a collection of your conquests. Gotta catch them all!

Sounds like this game I know.... in which you play as the dude with white hair, yellow eyes, two swords on back... who also loves to play dice and participate in drinking games and fist fight contests... Gerard something...


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There is also another one. Sadly cut content game only accessible with mods. evil

Last edited by _Vic_; 05/07/19 04:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sordak
I also wish RPGs would stop trying to be Planescape.

I am afraid that you and I can never be friends.

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I also dont want Baldurs Gate 3 to be morrowind, my personal favorite RPG.
Some games are some things and other games arent those things.

And Planescape Torments writing simply doesnt work in every game.
The only good "Planescape Torment spiritual successor" that actually pulled it off in my opinion is Mask of the Betrayer which was pretty good, but even that wasnt particulary wordy and most of it was just an adventure in a strange land

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by _Vic_
IThere are even games you can collect cards to get a collection of your conquests. Gotta catch them all!

Sounds like this game I know.... in which you play as the dude with white hair, yellow eyes, two swords on back... who also loves to play dice and participate in drinking games and fist fight contests... Gerard something...

It would be so good If that is the only one... At least the witcher trilogy has some superb dialogs, voice acting and plot. The other ones...


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Hiya @Buttercheese! Nice to have you in this forum. Haven't seen you in the Beamdog forum in a while.

Re. romances, I'm afraid I've always been of the mind that romances in RPGs are a waste of valuable writing and programming resources that could've been spent on other core elements of the game. However, I fully understand that romances are something cherished by many other people, and unlike some on this forum I believe in games being enjoyable to as many different people as is reasonably possible, and not just enjoyable to me. So I'm good with romances in BG3 so long as they've been done well.

I agree that the DA games did romances very well, but also think the BG games did them well too. Specifically for me, romances done well means (a) they are subtle and not thrust into your face or otherwise forced upon you, and (b) there are no consequential costs to you in terms of story, XPs, cool items, etc. if you opt to not pursue any of the romances.

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I like romance in baldur's gate game. And most importantly each romance has it's own music theme. I remember Aerie's music theme. It was just so awesome. It feels like you are in heaven or something. Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 was really amazing games and masterpiece. Was it Michael Hoenig? Although Larian get the rights for BG3, i think it's tremendously hard for them to replicate another masterpiece that true to the BG1&2 "feels".

BG2 OST was so awesome that i have the mp3s on my phone and i listen to them once in a while. For Larian to replicate the same "feels" as BG1&2 they really need similar music composer and the original game designer for advise.

BG2 was something like "Despacito" .. and Larian wanted to make a sequel and beat that masterpiece, i think it goes beyond just their turn-based and their game systems. It's not so easy as what Larian think. So i definitely can be in the same shoes as some of the old fans that they are worried Larian may actually not able to deliver that "magic". But i really hope they do and proof me wrong.

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Originally Posted by Sordak
Bioshock has some nice writing but a lot of it, especialy in Infinite is very on the nose and full of plot holes,

Infinite worked mostly quite well for me... as a self-contained game. Where it went bad was Burial At Sea, which I still enjoyed in itself but the amount of clumsy rewrites, retcons and plot holes were quite painful, especially as Infinite itself previously worked nicely as a self-contained game.

Originally Posted by Sordak
Deus Ex Human Revolution was pretty good besides the ending (the mass effect 3 problem), the sequal much less so.

...though it has nothing on The Ending Of ME3. *shudder* Perhaps the most disappointing fiction writing I've ever encountered. Hyperbole? I don't think so, but admittedly quite subjective; but it remains the biggest let-down I've experienced to date and the only way I can see myself playing ME again is to pretend that 3 never happened. The much-maligned Andromeda IMHO actually managed quite a good recovery and did the only thing possible which was to put as much distance between itself and ME3 as it could. It got a lot of flak but I think its worst thing is that it wasn't quite "exo'ick" enough. But on the other hand, it felt more like the classic Mass Effect I'd come to know and love and that's probably just what I needed.


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The best ending of ME3 is the Citadel DLC party...

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