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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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