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Originally Posted by fylimar
Femininity should never and does never mean damsel in distress. That is just a trope, I hope, we will get rid off soon.

Vulnerability is one of the aspects of femininity though. Negative aspect, but still.

Last edited by Kadajko; 22/01/21 10:25 PM.
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Yes you could create a fantasy world in which all foods would be on a hierarchy of taste, and EVERY SINGLE character would consider the same foods to be delicious, but why would you do that?

This example confuses me. How, in Bhaal's name, does alignment lead to uniformity of taste? It seems to do the opposite -- you have set of flavors. If you like Lawful good = lemon / Neutral = oatmeal / Chaotic neutral = ghost pepper. Right? Differences as opposed to uniform grey mush?

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The way I want morality to be more like it is in the real world is the same I want gravity in the game to be more or less believable.

My point is

a. that worldview is just that -- a world view. What seems realistic to you is informed by your view of the world.

There are opposing moral system --

Grey morality : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_(international_relations)
Principles should inform actions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_justice

b. I don't want want my game to be a (more or less) accurate reflection of the real world. I want gods. Magic. Supernatural forces. Planes of existence.

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I love it when the Illiad comes up in a Minthara thread smile @KillerRabbit <3
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
... For the Greeks the battle between Achilles and Hector was a divine battle. On one side you had the favored of Aries fighting to avenge his fallen lover and you had the favored of Aphrodite and Hera fighting for home and hearth. So equally matched are the two forces that Zeus himself need to show up at the end of day to decide the winner. Pederatic love and lust for battle are stronger forces than romantic love and the love of home; for the Greeks Zeus + Aries > Aphrodite + Hera.

Or to take another example -- the sword fight between Luke and Darth Vader in the Return of the Jedi is just a better sword fight than the one between Obi Wan and Vader in Episode III because of 'alignment'. In the first the battle is symbolic of the battle between the light and dark sides of the force. Our hero finds out that the emperor is right -- by striking out in anger, by giving into the dark side, Luke is able to best the better swordsman. Only to realize that he is becoming that which he opposes. So he turns back to the light, puts aside anger and desire for vengeance and suffers the consequences. Only to be saved by the redemptive power of paternal love. Here the moral of the Illiad is turned on its head. Home > Lust for power.

The Episode III fight is a visual treat but it's kinda forgettable because instead of a fight between dark and light we have a contemporary reading -- in a series of lore breaking lines Obi Wan states that the Sith are evil and Vader says that the Jedi are evil. Instead of a story about the battle between two very real cosmic forces we get a contemporary story about how warring forces tend to demonize the other. More familiar? Yes. More relevant to current politics? Perhaps. More lifelike? I say no. Emphatically.

Oh, sorry if I misrepresented your views on Mithara. I don't think I represented the views of every Minthara fan -- some have explicitly said they like the notion of reward. Not trying to shame -- one's kinks are one's kinks smile
For the Greeks, Achilles choosing to fight that battle is a tragedy. Greek heroes are ones who are forced to destroy themselves in order to preserve their own honor, this need to preserve honor extends even to the Gods who are willing to allow terrible things happen for the same reasons, Hector killed (unwittingly) Patroclus so he is technically as culpable as Achilles. Another facet of the Illiad that you don't typically get is just how long the Greeks have been waging war, After the focus of Achilles' slighted honor turns from Agamemnon to the Trojans, he is no longer behaving like an honorable Greek, killing Trojans who surrendered, unthinkable at the start of the war, now happens, as the Greeks find themselves resenting having to fight for so long to appease the pride of one of their Kings. And don't forget what becomes of Agamemnon either.

Spot on about the saber fights in Star Wars and Jedi, though another thing people seem to forget about Luke is that he is forging his own path here, both Obi-Wan and Yoda believe Vader unredeemable and council Luke to kill Vader, good thing he listens to the Force and not some ghosts.

I'm no fan of the Prequels, let that be clear, but I think that the whole point of the Emperor's scheme is to make people and Anakin in particular call into question the very issue that we're talking about here, if morality can be subjective then how can the Jedi be righteous actors, not a lot of the films support this but I think it's a good concept and a great way of getting a good person to delude himself into evil actions. Anakin's fear of losing Padme makes him into a tyrant, if only he was a likable character first.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
So what is the problem?
I have edited my previous post, but to be clear: I generally agree with the vibe that the romances in their current state are
  • forced - Especially in playthroughs where you don't talk with your companions much. Take Lae'zel: "We don't really know each other, we are completely different species (by the way, as a Githyanki I'm a bit of a Nazi and consider you an enslavement-worthy Untermensch race) and you have given me absolutely no notion that you like me (especially not in that way), nor did I give you any notion that I like you (the opposite, if anything), but you made the tiefling kiss my boots, you let the snake kill the tiefling kid and you drank water from the well that smelled like rotting corpses, so let's f**k!" The dialogue when you do not have enough approval or choose someone else is even cringier. Other companions seem (slightly) better and it seems less out of place if you always try to exhaust all the dialogue options with that specific companion, but it still feels forced AF.
  • unnuanced / obviously gamified / scripted - You either have enough approval points at the specific time (the celebration), or you don't. ROMANCE variable is either true, or false. ROMANCE_COMPANION variable can be set to exactly one person and everyone immediately knows who it is and reacts to your choice in their dialogue - but don't worry! Even if you are completely dumb, we will actually let you choose your "romance" companion again when you go to sleep. My job as a software developer may be a factor here, but this feels like lazy scripting, not just writing.
  • progressing too fast - This may be due to EA being only Act I and the romance arcs being "compressed" to only that one act, as lots of the dialogues would make more sense in later parts of the game. Also, the way the game currently handles (well, ignores) time progression may be a factor here as it is kinda hard to understand where in terms of knowing you and each other the companions stand - dialogues (and banters between the chars) give you some clue, but really, depending on how much you abuse the rest/camping system, you may reach the celebration part in a week or 2 months and there is no difference (other than not resting enough may make you miss some dialogues).


Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by DiDiDi
it was not _just_ a collection of campsite story progression-based dialogs rewarding you with fanficty dialogs/cutscenes if you collected enough "I like you" points.
Romances start without people liking each other? Why are you collecting points? Your character doesn't have an opinion? Are you not roleplaying?
You are clearly attacking a straw man. I have not suggested any of these things. Please respond honestly & without fallacies or not at all, I have no intention of wasting my time on responses whose author's intent is not providing honest feedback & discussion to improve the final game. As for "liking each other": Approval as it is currently implemented is a very broad measurement of the char's agreement with PC's choices in the story (you know, "approval") and using it also as a "romance-o-meter" causes lots of issues. Someone agreeing with your actions does not necessarily correspond to them liking you in a romantic way - that should be rather obvious. If anything, some minimal amount of approval should be required for the romance to start, but honestly, the romances need a more sophisticated scripting & writing or something like KOTOR 2 influence (which, when high enough, allowed you to sway the characters to either side, thus actually changing what the chars "approve of").

Originally Posted by Kadajko
Haven't romanced anyone in that game.
Which may mean:
  • BG2 (not sure about Beamdog's versions) does not force you into any romance - Which is a GOOD thing. Comparatively, BG3 kinda pushes you into a romance/ONS (when you go to sleep during the celebration) - or at least cringy "my/your loss" dialogues.
  • Wrong combination of companions/race/gender - This depends, but I generally like romances implemented as something optional (or borderline secret) that is not easy to achieve (or the very opposite, the romance being pivotal to the main story of the game, but that is clearly not the case here). More believable than making sure that there is someone for everybody, which cannot usually be done without the story/logic/writing/believability suffering too much.


Funnily enough, I mostly agree with you regarding the alignment debate here. Trying gamify someone's personality&morals and force them to one (out of nine) boxes seems dumb for a lot of interesting characters and I have never really understood the need to do that for the player & main characters in a (P&P or computer) role-playing game, though it may be useful to define non-important characters for DMs when playing adventure settings from the books (because you don't have 4 pages to characterize their personality). That being said, alignment played a minimal role in BG1/2 and (with a few exceptions) could be completely ignored. 5e makes it clear that it is a very broad characterization that should not limit the players.

Your arguments about alignment make it even more puzzling for me to understand how can you be OK with the current system of romances: "collect enough approval points for the companions you like and select the one you want to see a soft-porn scene with". (Shadowheart's romance, which does not involve sex, makes the most sense to me, but it still does feel forced/gamified if you didn't bother with most of her dialogues before).

Last edited by DiDiDi; 22/01/21 10:52 PM.
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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
This example confuses me. How, in Bhaal's name, does alignment lead to uniformity of taste? It seems to do the opposite -- you have set of flavors. If you like Lawful good = lemon / Neutral = oatmeal / Chaotic neutral = ghost pepper. Right? Differences as opposed to uniform grey mush?

It is uniformity of opinions, EVERYONE knows what is good and what is evil, every god, every mortal the universe itself, it is objective.

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
that worldview is just that -- a world view. What seems realistic to you is informed by your view of the world.

Let's not have this full discussion, since it would be too far off-topic, but I will ask you a single question:

Could you provide to me rational and logical arguments that would suggest that objective morality can exist in the real world? Because I can provide such arguments for it's absense.

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Well well well! i was looking at this thread just some days ago waiting more fans and i found an awesome discussion about the whole alignement system etc etc!

I really enjoy all of you discussing about it and i try to make my own opinion about it since well, i never took my time thinking about alignement system because i always played all the pc games of D&d and never at the tabletop.

So for me evil is doing evil things and good is preventing evil doing the evil things and sometimes helping others and so on.

I am an huge fan of the Drow Romance in the previous game and the whole "redeem arc" was optional just so you know, i replayed specifically Bg2 multiple times and romanced Viconia and my favourite romance option was to play an evil character and don't redeem her (also because to me redeem Viconia make her lose the part i love about Viconia, bein a ruthless, strong leading woman and independent. So it give me the impression to broke her making the whole redeem).

I hope the same here with Minthara but butchering a whole village isn't starting material for a redemption arc, its sound like a one ticket straight to hell with Minthara!

I mean if you are roleplaying character in no possible way you could side with Minthara ever! So that's lead you to being an evil character and here the problem, why a selfish character should help those cult of tadpole controlled if there isn't a real personal gain?? Larian should give the evil player more reasons to join Minthara.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Objective morality does not exist in real life, same as there is no food that is objectively delicious, it varies from individual to individual. Yes you could create a fantasy world in which all foods would be on a hierarchy of taste, and EVERY SINGLE character would consider the same foods to be delicious, but why would you do that?
I disagree that there's no such thing as objective morality. However, it is impossible to make objective moral statements without a full understanding of context.

God: Thou shalt not kill
Me: But what if someone's trying to kill me? What if they're trying to eat my baby?
God: Well, self-defence is okay
Me: But what if I could have easily avoided the situation?
God: Well, maybe you should have tried to avoid it then. Jesus.
Me: So when can I kill?
God: I think you're kind of missing the point here...
Me: So what is the point then? Can I kill or not?
God: Well try not to kill people if you can avoid it.
Me: But what if I like it?
God: Well... maybe you shouldn't like killing. That seems kind of weird. I dunno.
Me: Oh. Okay then.
God: Oh, and heathens. They deserve it. You can kill all the heathens.

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Originally Posted by DiDiDi
I have edited my previous post, but to be clear: I generally agree with the vibe that the romances in their current state are
  • forced - Especially in playthroughs where you don't talk with your companions much. Take Lae'zel: "We don't really know each other, we are completely different species (by the way, as a Githyanki I'm a bit of a Nazi and consider you an enslavement-worthy Untermensch race) and you have given me absolutely no notion that you like me (especially not in that way), nor did I give you any notion that I like you (the opposite, if anything), but you made the tiefling kiss my boots, you let the snake kill the tiefling kid and you drank water from the well that smelled like rotting corpses, so let's f**k!" The dialogue when you do not have enough approval or choose someone else is even cringier. Other companions seem (slightly) better and it seems less out of place if you always try to exhaust all the dialogue options with that specific companion, but it still feels forced AF.
  • unnuanced / obviously gamified / scripted - You either have enough approval points at the specific time (the celebration), or you don't. ROMANCE variable is either true, or false. ROMANCE_COMPANION variable can be set to exactly one person and everyone immediately knows who it is and reacts to your choice in their dialogue - but don't worry! Even if you are completely dumb, we will actually let you choose your "romance" companion again when you go to sleep. My job as a software developer may be a factor here, but this feels like lazy scripting, not just writing.
  • progressing too fast - This may be due to EA being only Act I and the romance arcs being "compressed" to only that one act, as lots of the dialogues would make more sense in later parts of the game. Also, the way the game currently handles (well, ignores) time progression may be a factor here as it is kinda hard to understand where in terms of knowing you and each other the companions stand - dialogues (and banters between the chars) give you some clue, but really, depending on how much you abuse the rest/camping system, you may reach the celebration part in a week or 2 months and there is no difference (other than not resting enough may make you miss some dialogues).

Hmm, yep, fair points. Alright I understand where you are coming from.

Originally Posted by DiDiDi
Someone agreeing with your actions does not necessarily correspond to them liking you in a romantic way - that should be rather obvious.

I have to say, quite a few options are not romantic in nature, but more of a ''let's fck to blow off some steam after battle.'' In which case the only plothole would be if you created a character that is not very pretty.

Originally Posted by DiDiDi
Wrong combination of companions/race/gender - This depends, but I generally like romances implemented as something optional (or borderline secret) that is not easy to achieve (or the very opposite, the romance being pivotal to the main story of the game, but that is clearly not the case here). More believable than making sure that there is someone for everybody, which cannot usually be done without the story/logic/writing/believability suffering too much.

This was the case, and I like Minthara more than any party member currently.

Originally Posted by DiDiDi
our arguments about alignment make it even more puzzling for me to understand how can you be OK with the current system of romances: "collect enough approval points for the companions you like and select the one you want to see a soft-porn scene with".

I don't know.. maybe my bar is very low, romances are a little extra that I don't really expect much from, I headcannon and rolpelay for it to make sense. It's just that romance in an RPG is like car driving and shooting in GTA, Need for speed and Call of duty do it better, but it's not the whole point of GTA, there is a whole seperate video game genre dedicated to romance.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
This example confuses me. How, in Bhaal's name, does alignment lead to uniformity of taste? It seems to do the opposite -- you have set of flavors. If you like Lawful good = lemon / Neutral = oatmeal / Chaotic neutral = ghost pepper. Right? Differences as opposed to uniform grey mush?

It is uniformity of opinions, EVERYONE knows what is good and what is evil, every god, every mortal the universe itself, it is objective.

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
that worldview is just that -- a world view. What seems realistic to you is informed by your view of the world.

Let's not have this full discussion, since it would be too far off-topic, but I will ask you a single question:

Could you provide to me rational and logical arguments that would suggest that objective morality can exist in the real world? Because I can provide such arguments for it's absense.
You can't be serious about this question, most of Western Civilization is about ascertaining the truest or most efficient system of morality, you can not believe in any of them but being a Nihilist just puts you around the turn of the last century.

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Originally Posted by Ayvah
I disagree that there's no such thing as objective morality. However, it is impossible to make objective moral statements without a full understanding of context.

We can come to different conclusions, having the whole context.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
You can't be serious about this question, most of Western Civilization is about ascertaining the truest or most efficient system of morality, you can not believe in any of them but being a Nihilist just puts you around the turn of the last century.

Efficient and right / wrong are two different things. You can come up with a system that you think works best, without believing that it is universily true and right.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
I don't know.. maybe my bar is very low, romances are a little extra that I don't really expect much from, I headcannon and rolpelay for it to make sense. It's just that romance in an RPG is like car driving and shooting in GTA, Need for speed and Call of duty do it better, but it's not the whole point of GTA, there is a whole seperate video game genre dedicated to romance.
Fair enough. The thing is, if the quality of the romance(s) is low, I would very much rather see Larian spend their limited time & effort somewhere else, not on another cringy low quality fan service romance.

That being said, at least Shadowheart's romance seems to have a potential to be something better than that.

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Originally Posted by DiDiDi
OM(F)G, this thread fills me with dread. I certainly hope that BG3 will not turn out to be fan service for waifu-worshipping incels. The way romances are currently handled in EA is not great, which adds to the fear.

That being said, Minthara could be made into a fine party member for evil MCs. But there already is a cleric that seems compatible with all kinds of good/neutral/evil playthroughs. Maybe joining the Absolute (if that kind of play-through/choice is possible) will alienate almost all party members (except Astarion, maybe?) and Minthara will replace Shadowheart in that case...

You speak as if having a waifu is something bad.

If a player has a desire to waifu-worshiping, then the game designer and writer have done an excellent job, and the players really like the character.

I agree that more attention needs to be paid to personality, character quests, decisions, various joint adventures, emotional aspects of relationships, a possible arc of redemption and much more, it shouldn't be just about sex and kinks. But it should be too.

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Originally Posted by DiDiDi
Originally Posted by Kadajko
I don't know.. maybe my bar is very low, romances are a little extra that I don't really expect much from, I headcannon and rolpelay for it to make sense. It's just that romance in an RPG is like car driving and shooting in GTA, Need for speed and Call of duty do it better, but it's not the whole point of GTA, there is a whole seperate video game genre dedicated to romance.
Fair enough. The thing is, if the quality of the romance(s) is low, I would very much rather see Larian spend their limited time & effort somewhere else, not on another cringy low quality fan service romance.

So do I. We demand a very high quality.

I know Larian will be able to give us that quality and detail. I want them to do the best romance in video game history. Romances for Astarion and Minthara deserve to be very inspiring.

There must be tears of happiness in the credits for the game to elicit a positive emotional response and remembered for a long time.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by Sozz
You can't be serious about this question, most of Western Civilization is about ascertaining the truest or most efficient system of morality, you can not believe in any of them but being a Nihilist just puts you around the turn of the last century.

Efficient and right / wrong are two different things. You can come up with a system that you think works best, without believing that it is universily true and right.
I said true or efficient but I think in either case you're being a little obtuse. And coming up with a system of your own with out it being universally applicable is Existentialism, so there's some overlap with Nihilism.

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Waifu all the things!

Let's even have an Omeluum waifu for the most adventurous BG3 players. Mmmm. Tentacles.

lol.

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Originally Posted by Ayvah
Waifu all the things!

Let's even have an Omeluum waifu for the most adventurous BG3 players. Mmmm. Tentacles.

lol.

Tentacles! The Japanese will love it.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by fylimar
Femininity should never and does never mean damsel in distress. That is just a trope, I hope, we will get rid off soon.

Vulnerability is one of the aspects of femininity though. Negative aspect, but still.

It's a verytraditional worldview, that does not hold much truth. Gladly in modern media the vulnerability and damsel in distress trope is used less and less. I think in BG 3 they do a pretty good job with the female companions so far in that regard (in other games too). Ironically I can't say much about Minthara, I only watched her scenes on YouTube, but she doesn't seem fall into that trope either.

I didn't want to get off the trail with the alignment discussion, which seems to be pretty lively atm.
I think to not give the companions alignment tags is not a bad thing. Let their actions speak for them.

Last edited by fylimar; 22/01/21 11:14 PM.

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Where was this romance discussion during my Herosexual PC thread! I would have loved to seen it there :p
I think romance shouldn't be considered the obligatory add-on that it seems to have become in most RPGs, either do it all the way, or don't do it at all.

You could even have the MC be in a relationship from the jump and then the player would have total control over how much such a relationship would play a role in the narrative based entirely on how much they're interested in pursuing it. What we get now more often then not is awkward, unnatural or convoluted ways to shoehorn it in.

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Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by fylimar
Femininity should never and does never mean damsel in distress. That is just a trope, I hope, we will get rid off soon.

Vulnerability is one of the aspects of femininity though. Negative aspect, but still.

It's a verytraditional worldview, that does not hold much truth. Gladly in modern media the vulnerability and damsel in distress trope is used less and less. I think in BG 3 they do a pretty good job with the female companions so far in that regard (in other games too). Ironically I can't say much about Minthara, I only watched her scenes on YouTube, but she doesn't seem fall into that trope either.

I didn't want to get off the trail with the alignment discussion, which seems to be pretty lively atm.
I think to not give the companions alignment tags is not a bad thing. Let their actions speak for them.
If it didn't exist as a facet of femininity the we wouldn't get all those femme fatales that use it to seduce or suborn hapless do-gooders, nor would we get women who play off these tropes in other ways.
I don't see how these things need to be treated as a zero-sum, having a damsel in distress in your story doesn't stop other representations of femininity from happening. I don't think it denigrates womankind either as if everyone has to have their shit together to take part in a story.

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