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#783348 27/07/21 01:23 AM
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As a note, I've not yet completed Act I. I hit Level 4 and restart for the most part. I've probably done bits and pieces of it all over, but anyway. I have to comment I really love the party-night you get with Shadowheart where it's implied that mostly the two of you just sit around, drink wine and enjoy each other's company with the only sort of sexual interplay being towards the end with a bit of a kiss.

I'm guessing it's going to be the closest I get to an Ace or Demi style romance option. Given the way the current dialogue lines go, it feels like there's going to be either "accept on their terms" or "reject them completely". There's just a tremendous lack of personal intimacy explored in romance options in a lot of games. It usually seems to boil down to "do you successfully have sex with them or not?"

Then again, it's not as bad as poly gets. The rare times you get a Poly relationship in games, it tends to be of necessity revolving around a central character and again, revolve around whether or not sex happens. Feels like in a game where you can switch between characters in a conversation, that you could run conversations between your companions to build up romances between them too and possible work toward a bit of quality poly representation.

As a note, I'm not down on the wildly sexual character either, or the mainstream monogamous relationship. Love is love, it's all beautiful. I tend to be Ace/Aro, but like seeing people happy with each other, so my reaction to fiction can be described as "shipping goblin" but it's all beautiful. I just tend to feel that having expanded representation and options would make your decision one way or another would come to mean more as a result.

Plus there's not a lot of good representation for Ace, Demi, or Poly... or the sexual Aro (casual sexual relationships) since that last is usually labeled in negative terms and as negative character types (womanizers, sluts, players, people that have no respect for their partners or else no respect for themselves). So seeing a bit of a spread would be nice.

Though, I'm fairly certain we're not going to see that this game. Which is a bit expected, to be honest, but can dream sometime I suppose. Maybe eventually, before I die, I'll see an ending cutscene of a polycule holding together before facing the possible end of the world at the climax of the game.

Last edited by Thrythlind; 27/07/21 05:08 AM.
Thrythlind #783356 27/07/21 02:16 AM
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I actually insinuated about this in my Feedback post, particularly because I'm also Ace (aromantic). I think it would really help if Larian included non-sexual Romantic scenes for the party, not just for orientation representation, but also for role-playing aspects where MC might be True Good or some other trait that might affect how early it comes to sex for their character. I normally don't have too much of an issue with sex in games, but seeing as how Larian looks to cater to realistic romantic relationships for players, this seems the most obvious option to add.

Spoilers ahead:

Also mentioned in my feedback post is how unrealistic the Poly route for Lae'zel is. (Quoting myself, Polyamorous does not = anyone and everyone.) If you don't sleep with Lae'zel during party night, she ends up sleeping with another Companion, which breaks her character (her lowly views of Companions). My suggestion for this was not to eradicate Companions having sex in general when not with MC, but to have sex with an outside NPC where there are no strings attached. Most of us don't really go out of our way to have sex with someone we dislike or feel forced around just because we're horny (exes tend to be the exception, though).

Thrythlind #783357 27/07/21 02:23 AM
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Yeah, even with characters that are intensely sexual with each other, some just domestic intimacy would be nice. A lot of games just sort of footnote everything and I can understand that with sex and ratings. But so much of romance and intimacy can be easily shown on screen without ratings issues.

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fperry2 #783380 27/07/21 05:11 AM
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I thought there was a bit of intimacy in Gale, Wyll, and Astarion's scenes. They confide in you about deep issues in their romance scenes. Additionally, I felt Gale's romance was close to being demi because he needs an emotional connection via the Weave scene in order for him to be interested in you at the party.

Originally Posted by fperry2
Also mentioned in my feedback post is how unrealistic the Poly route for Lae'zel is. (Quoting myself, Polyamorous does not = anyone and everyone.) If you don't sleep with Lae'zel during party night, she ends up sleeping with another Companion, which breaks her character (her lowly views of Companions). My suggestion for this was not to eradicate Companions having sex in general when not with MC, but to have sex with an outside NPC where there are no strings attached. Most of us don't really go out of our way to have sex with someone we dislike or feel forced around just because we're horny (exes tend to be the exception, though).

Lae'zel says they "look particularly tempting" so I assume her view of them isn't low. If they were part of the party, they may have also been part of the fight, which would also lead to her having a higher opinion of them.
On the flip side, it is also possible she could consider istiki as nothing but toys to be used for her pleasure, so it could be within her character if you chose to interpret it that way. Though I think my first example makes more sense.

I think you also mean non-monogamous instead of poly. And I'd prefer she messed around with companions rather than rando npcs. If Larian wants drama, keep it in the party!

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Thrythlind #783383 27/07/21 05:28 AM
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There's at least one walking conversation between Wyll and Lae'zell (one of the one's where he's flirting) that goes:

"Do you believe in love at first sight?"
"I hardly believe in love at all."
"Oh."
"But I do believe in carnal pleasure."
"... Oh!"

So, there's some support for her deciding to go for Wyll. In a thoroughly non-romantic manner.

Last edited by Thrythlind; 27/07/21 05:29 AM.
Thrythlind #784357 31/07/21 12:42 PM
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The real love story is Volo and Gribbo. Larian could have taken this a a step further, I believe, allowing Gribbo to follow Volo.

(Hint: Find and read 'Dearest Elminster' in the sanctum).

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Thrythlind #784360 31/07/21 01:23 PM
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I wish there were non-sex romance options for each of the companions. For example, I'd love to build up a solid relationship with Astarion and just have a good party night (like with Shadowheart), but not necessarily have sex immediately. When Astarion (or any of the others, for that matter) asks if we want to have sex, I would really like an option to say 'no, but I would still like to spend a fun night together, just drinking and talking', or something like that.

Sigi98 #784370 31/07/21 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sigi98
I wish there were non-sex romance options for each of the companions. For example, I'd love to build up a solid relationship with Astarion and just have a good party night (like with Shadowheart), but not necessarily have sex immediately. When Astarion (or any of the others, for that matter) asks if we want to have sex, I would really like an option to say 'no, but I would still like to spend a fun night together, just drinking and talking', or something like that.

+1

I've said the same thing previously. I'd like sex to be initiated by the player. When Wyll solicited my male MC to bunk with him, I thought, "I thought we were bros ready to chug a few together and joke around, not romp in the sack together." It practically ruined Wyll for me.

GM4Him #784374 31/07/21 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Originally Posted by Sigi98
I wish there were non-sex romance options for each of the companions. For example, I'd love to build up a solid relationship with Astarion and just have a good party night (like with Shadowheart), but not necessarily have sex immediately. When Astarion (or any of the others, for that matter) asks if we want to have sex, I would really like an option to say 'no, but I would still like to spend a fun night together, just drinking and talking', or something like that.

+1

I've said the same thing previously. I'd like sex to be initiated by the player. When Wyll solicited my male MC to bunk with him, I thought, "I thought we were bros ready to chug a few together and joke around, not romp in the sack together." It practically ruined Wyll for me.

Yes, I'd like to be the one initiating romance. With a few exceptions maybe, namely Laezel and Astarion, as I think it fits for their characters that they would ask the PC.

GM4Him #784379 31/07/21 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
+1
I've said the same thing previously. I'd like sex to be initiated by the player. When Wyll solicited my male MC to bunk with him, I thought, "I thought we were bros ready to chug a few together and joke around, not romp in the sack together." It practically ruined Wyll for me.
Can you really trust them though?

Thrythlind #784394 31/07/21 04:54 PM
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Yeah, my wishes for relationships are inclusive:

- Non-sexual intimacy.
- Non-possessive sexuality.
- Monogamy.
- Non-festishized Polyamory.
- Sexuality without shaming.

Now, I do expect different characters to have varying degrees of healthy approach to it. Lae'zel will be aggressive and predatory. Wyll will be self-absorbed. Shadowheart and her (pretty reasonable, to be honest) trust issues, etc. But eh.


I am, however, cynical about the possibility of seeing that in a game.

The same excuses will come out:
"too much work" "ratings" "sex sells" and probably some comment questioning the validity of Ace, Aro, and Poly as things, or if they're things then they're a small population. Or other such things.

Stuff that likely won't happen unless I or someone like-minded wins the lottery. Oh well.

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Thrythlind #784401 31/07/21 05:22 PM
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I'm out of my knowledge base with all of the terms you guys are using "Ace, Aro, Poly", but I have similar thoughts with romance in this game (most games). I've mentioned this before (alongside of GM4him if i remember correctly), romance/building a relationship to me in a video game feels cheap and pointless if it's just "agree with me a lot and then we'll have sex". Where is the subtlety? A hand on a shoulder, a quick glance, a simple smile, heaven forbid, holding hands?

I don't expect a realistic relationship, that's simply not feasible in a video game like this, but some semblance of how your average person actually shows interest in other people would be nice. That said, it's just not going to happen. As soon as i saw the sex position drawing board pictues Larian was so proud of, i knew what i was in for.

Thrythlind #784408 31/07/21 06:00 PM
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Ace is Asexual.

Aro is Aromantic

Poly is polyamorous

I should also have said Demi which is Demisexual.

One recent description I saw for Ace that I like quite a lot was "They might like soda but looking at a can won't make them thirsty." So they might enjoy sex when they engage in it but it's not a driving desire for them. Or they might not enjoy it at all. Demisexual is a bit similar and sort of on the same spectrum where sexual attraction to someone only develops after an emotional bond develops.

The Shadowheart party-night is a very Ace/Demi-style romance. Physical closeness, intimacy, comforting presence with each other.

Aromantic means that they don't tend to feel a desire to have a romantic partner or partners. They may be sexual and have casual sexual relationships, but tend more towards enjoying deep friendships rather than romances. Sexual Aros tend to get labeled and shamed or else characterized as predatory. Won't type the terms, everyone knows them anyway.

Polyamorous means having love for multiple partners. Doesn't necessarily mean everybody's a sexual relationship with everybody else.

I'm Ace-Aro, I do have a very large tendency to enjoy watching relationships develop (in fiction at least, I don't pry much in the romantic ongoings of people around me). It's nice to see people drawing pleasure and support from each other.

I have some friends that are Ace/Demi-Poly and one of them talks about how it's a rush to see your loved one happy and doesn't need to be you making them happy.

Video Game poly tends to be centered on a single person, which can happen, but the way video games (and most media, really) is Person A and Person B each like the PC so much that they're willing to accept them having a second lover. Which is a bit eww in many ways. A more healthy poly is where all involved feel the others involved are all an integral part of the relationship rather than something tolerated.

But yeah, video game romance is very lacking nuance.

Incidentally, that's another excuse that gets tossed about for not representing these types of sexualities: "Well, you know they're not going to do it right, so it's better they just don't do it at all, right?"


As a note, haven't played Hades is good at this. Thanatos being the male romance option, Megaera being the female option, and Dusa being the Ace romance option. And since you go around several times and can maintain relationships with all three, it's noted as a polycule (romantic grouping of more than 2 people) by a few people.

Last edited by Thrythlind; 31/07/21 06:13 PM.
Sigi98 #784618 01/08/21 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sigi98
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Originally Posted by Sigi98
I wish there were non-sex romance options for each of the companions. For example, I'd love to build up a solid relationship with Astarion and just have a good party night (like with Shadowheart), but not necessarily have sex immediately. When Astarion (or any of the others, for that matter) asks if we want to have sex, I would really like an option to say 'no, but I would still like to spend a fun night together, just drinking and talking', or something like that.

+1

I've said the same thing previously. I'd like sex to be initiated by the player. When Wyll solicited my male MC to bunk with him, I thought, "I thought we were bros ready to chug a few together and joke around, not romp in the sack together." It practically ruined Wyll for me.

Yes, I'd like to be the one initiating romance. With a few exceptions maybe, namely Laezel and Astarion, as I think it fits for their characters that they would ask the PC.

+1

Have to agree. That party scene just feels weird/off to me personally. Every companion is just coming at you with no subtlety about potentially hooking up, even those that i have literally only talked to once when i recruited them and maybe even don't get along with. Or they tell you "what could have been" and that you will miss out. Why not: "Hey, well fought against the Goblins, good on us, lets have a quick drink, now i need to do other things, cya". The whole companion-relationship-system feels incomplete at this point in ea, so it's maybe too early to "complain"..

What I would like to see would be based on previous interactions and the approval, for example i talk to shadowheart "to get to know her" -> "tell me about yourself apart from shar and tadpoles" or how the line goes.. -> talk with her again and "signal" romantic/sexual interest to her -> some more flirting and talking -> all that plus good approval would lead to the possibility of the party scene with her (which in itself is really beautifully written btw, fits her character and is quite "down to earth" and just cute)
Of course this can and should be different for different companions, depending on their personality and preferences.
And i would also really like to see non-sexual options, just friends enjoying a campfire party together.

As a side-note, i recently replayed the whole dragon age saga (yes even da2), and have to say that especially in retrospect (between 7 and 12 year old games) i am quite impressed by the representaion of relationships/sexuality in those games, aro-poly in da1 and 2 with isabella/leliana/zevran, asexual in da2 with sebastian, trans npc in da:i, also the repeateable friendship-scenes like "friendly roof-time with sera" in da:i.

Thrythlind #785021 03/08/21 03:21 PM
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Yeah, that's why I pointed out Shadowheart... her party interaction is the only one that really make me shiver.


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