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Originally Posted by Taril
I don't know what gave you that impression. Given that literally nothing has ever done any different.

Well, if were only counting AAA devs, then sure, I can't think of any. Buuut, there is Owlcat, who doesn't really follow that formula.

Although, tbf for BG3, not every character ends with "Getting Laid" (e.g. Lae'zel)

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No, that one kicks off with it.


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Originally Posted by Thunderbolt
Originally Posted by Taril
I don't know what gave you that impression. Given that literally nothing has ever done any different.

Well, if were only counting AAA devs, then sure, I can't think of any. Buuut, there is Owlcat, who doesn't really follow that formula.

What do you mean?

Owlcat still follows the same formula. Linear arc. Just their "Getting laid" part only sometimes happens.

Heck, sometimes "Arc" is an overstatement. Their newest title, Rogue Trader, it's literally just a simple dialogue option that puts you into a relationship and for several characters this results in most of your dialogue options being how horny you are for each other (Especially Jae who has tons of flirting even if you're not in a relationship with her).

There's very little in the way of nuanced relationships (Be it platonic or otherwise). Just like with every other game out there.

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Originally Posted by rodeolifant
No, that one kicks off with it.

Well yeah, but Lae'zel was just an example where the "getting laid" part isn't the final reward but just something that happens along the way.

Originally Posted by Taril
What do you mean?

Owlcat still follows the same formula. Linear arc. Just their "Getting laid" part only sometimes happens.

Which is also what I was mostly getting at in terms of what Owlcat tends to do.

And well I guess if thats what you meant as Linear, as in, there is only 1 branch for the romance and you can't decide between being fully invested or just being platonic, then yes your right.

However, I think that there is some non-linearity going on for some characters, such as those that have a "True Romance" path ontop of the normal one (Wenduag) or how some have different outcomes based on your convictions (Sosiel with Demon, Heinrix and Yrliet with Heretical, the Lich mythic path) or maybe just Marazhai and the two "romance" paths that can go down.

So, unless I've misunderstood what you've meant, thats kinda what I meant by not following the same formula.

Originally Posted by Taril
There's very little in the way of nuanced relationships (Be it platonic or otherwise). Just like with every other game out there.

There is Yrliet's romance, which, given that it is a platonic relationship, I believe is completely unique from other RPGs.

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Originally Posted by Thunderbolt
And well I guess if thats what you meant as Linear, as in, there is only 1 branch for the romance and you can't decide between being fully invested or just being platonic, then yes your right.

I mean, linear is linear.

There's no dynamicism involved. You enter a romance by picking a dialogue option and then the character is in love with you until the end of the game (Or you make decisions that forcibly end the romance such as picking the dialogue option to end it or certain actions like going an evil route) after which, the character goes back to their normal self as if they were never in a relationship with you. No messed up feelings. No latent affection from their end. Nothing.

A more dynamic relationship system would have characters react to things you do. Be more affectionate and come onto you more when you treat them well and become distant and confront you if you do things they dislike. You know, like real people. People don't just get together and are instantly madly in love forever, relationships build over time and change depending on actions. With of course, ended relationships being emotionally devastating (Unless they had been falling apart for some time).

Originally Posted by Thunderbolt
There is Yrliet's romance, which, given that it is a platonic relationship, I believe is completely unique from other RPGs.

It's not truly platonic though, it's just not physical. Which is nothing particularly new. Pre-Dragon Age: Origins had plenty of non-physical relationships (Mostly due to being even less than half-baked additions). If I recall correctly, Visas from KotOR 2 had a similar romance path it being more spiritual in nature (Due to the whole "Being blind and seeing through the force" thing)

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I don't think the sex scenes in romances are bad; they serve a purpose and aren't just there for 13-year-olds to jerk off to some pixels, for example with Astarion it serves to explore more deeply and intimately his history of sexual slavery. Sex is part of our lives and I don't think it's wrong to address it as long as it's not stupidly used as in the case of Halsin in Act 3.

Now, regarding the Minthara scene, I think it fits well with the context of the scene. I mean, you've just massacred the tieflings, and a second later, you're having sex with a genocidal drow to revel in the cruelty you've just committed. It seems like a wicked act that fits well with the scene for an evil run in the game. Now, what bothers me is when sex starts ruining characters.

I mean, in my opinion, it wasn't necessary for Selunite Shadowheart to have an orgy option in Act 3, that fits better with Shart Shadowheart, not with Selunite Shadowheart. Why include Selunite Shadowheart in this? Couldn't they make her romance slow and beautiful? Did they have to ruin everything with a stupid orgy? Why? Because teenagers get more excited about white-haired Shadowheart? I don't know, to be honest. I wouldn't have included something like that for her, but hey, it's not my character, so whatever.

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Originally Posted by Sobocles
Now, regarding the Minthara scene, I think it fits well with the context of the scene. I mean, you've just massacred the tieflings, and a second later, you're having sex with a genocidal drow to revel in the cruelty you've just committed. It seems like a wicked act that fits well with the scene for an evil run in the game. Now, what bothers me is when sex starts ruining characters.
It's all well and good until they decide to suddenly whitewash Minthara instead of commiting to her being a "genocidal drow".

Same with Lae'zel becoming all romantic and lovey-dovey in the most tropey, eye-rolling fashion. That they didn't bother developing the idea of party members actually hating one another for many a good reason that arises and you having to choose, instead opting for either an effectively all-eat buffet (even "legalizing" the exploit allowing for Minthara to be recruited in a "good" run, making the evil one stand out even less), or just taking as many as 4 out of 10 characters from you if you dare to go with a "bad", "problematic" run.

D:OS2 had the right idea by having you pick 3 for the whole journey with some repercussions, and seeing that developed would have been so much cooler than what we've gotten.

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I don't think the game itself is oversexualized, but as far as marketing and social media goes, the focus went too far over into that area. It's definitely a main draw for many players. A lot of people seem to get into RPGs now solely for the romances.

The whole Bear reveal (whether it was done for laughs or not) and the fact that someone sat down and concieved a scene with a Mind Flayer of all things raises a few flags for me.

As far as the other content is concerned, it is mostly tasteful and serves a purpose without being lurid, but then the game will do a sharp 180 and dip into whatever parody pocket plane Sharess' Caress inhabits.

Originally Posted by Sobocles
I mean, in my opinion, it wasn't necessary for Selunite Shadowheart to have an orgy option in Act 3, that fits better with Shart Shadowheart, not with Selunite Shadowheart. Why include Selunite Shadowheart in this? Couldn't they make her romance slow and beautiful? Did they have to ruin everything with a stupid orgy? Why? Because teenagers get more excited about white-haired Shadowheart? I don't know, to be honest. I wouldn't have included something like that for her, but hey, it's not my character, so whatever.

There is already scope for two separate Shadowheart personalities depending on her Nightsong decision. Hopefully that interaction will get at least tidied up sometime in the future, because it certainly doesn't match the person she becomes in the Selunite path. Though I'm thankfully only aware of the 'orgy' thanks to the internet, I view the entire Drow Twins/Sharess' Caress thing as some schrodinger's cat of bawdy innuendo that sits far, far away from canon events.

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Originally Posted by Sobocles
I don't think the sex scenes in romances are bad; they serve a purpose and aren't just there for 13-year-olds to jerk off to some pixels, for example with Astarion it serves to explore more deeply and intimately his history of sexual slavery. Sex is part of our lives and I don't think it's wrong to address it as long as it's not stupidly used as in the case of Halsin in Act 3.

Sex is a part of our lives along countless other facts that were never addressed in BG3. You spend weeks with your companions (in "game time"), facing all kinds of dangers and yet there's no option to develop friendship with any of them. You get to Baldurs Gate and there's no option for a night out. No kidding. All 4, 5, 6 of them or whatever, with your Tav, going out for a beer, telling jokes and stories etc after specific dialogue option you would had made, just like romance. Where's the companionship ? And how much more fitting to the whole story would it be than "romance" ?

Νο, no, the sex scenes were to make 13, 23 or 33 years old kids horny.

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Originally Posted by Fjormarr
Sex is a part of our lives along countless other facts that were never addressed in BG3. You spend weeks with your companions (in "game time"), facing all kinds of dangers and yet there's no option to develop friendship with any of them. You get to Baldurs Gate and there's no option for a night out. No kidding. All 4, 5, 6 of them or whatever, with your Tav, going out for a beer, telling jokes and stories etc after specific dialogue option you would had made, just like romance. Where's the companionship ? And how much more fitting to the whole story would it be than "romance" ?

RPG relationships still have a long way to go and in many instances are still very much in the same place as they were in Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect. The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 and Baldur's Gate 3 made some headway, but simple friendship stuff still feels absent.

Cyberpunk has a really great example where during one mission your character and about 6 others sit around a campfire. One is playing a low tune on a guitar, you talk together, someone makes a joke, you can drink a beer and after you feel closer to all of them. I was hoping BG3 would have more stuff like that; yet we never see the companions bond as a group of adventurers in camp which seems like a missed opportunity to me. Quiet, group moments like this are just as important as romance scenes I think.

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Originally Posted by alienspacebats
yet we never see the companions bond as a group of adventurers in camp which seems like a missed opportunity to me. Quiet, group moments like this are just as important as romance scenes I think.

+1

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Why are they all trying to get in MY pants? Honestly, I'd expect the ones I leave at camp to be shagging each other out of boredom, especially once Halsin joins the camp.

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Originally Posted by dwig
Why are they all trying to get in MY pants? Honestly, I'd expect the ones I leave at camp to be shagging each other out of boredom, especially once Halsin joins the camp.

To avoid FOMO I guess...

I'm not sure if there's some "Point of no return" for initiating romances, after which it'd be a-okay for companions to start getting with each other...

But before then they wouldn't want people to feel they missed out on a relationship because the companion they wanted got with someone else (With the option of being a "Homewrecker" not being appealing)

There's probably the side effect of they wouldn't want to infer canonical pairings, as it'd make people question characters sexualities and legitimacy of "Their" relationship.

Though it's most likely just, games don't write characters properly so they only write in a single romance, which is with your PC.

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Yes

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Given how people in certain circles are throwing tantrums about how Wyll is not as sexualized as the others and how that's "problematic" and the like, very much yes.

Not to mention a patch dedicated to kisses while taking away a unique githyanki PC / Lae'zel story resolution which felt like the game FINALLY recognizing the race you picked. Not anymore it doesn't, everyone's included.

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Next in the line of planned patches: a happy ending for Minthara's romance, where she and your non-drow character marry and settle down in Menzoberranzan. laugh

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Originally Posted by saeran
Next in the line of planned patches: a happy ending for Minthara's romance, where she and your non-drow character marry and settle down in Menzoberranzan. laugh

Mmmm. So slavery then?

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I don't think so personally. I chose to romance Astarion and the first sex scene is a little intense, sure, but it wraps into his storyline well and makes you focus on that more than the "passion" of it all. He himself is of course a flirty person, but only in act 1 if you're romancing him. Outside of that, as time goes on and especially in act 3 he becomes less driven by lust and says it himself. I do not think it is over-sexualized in my opinion, but again I haven't experienced any other romances outside of Astarion and only have played the game once. I understand from the view of marketing it was made to be sexualized in certain ways to draw a demographic in but it really isn't a big part of the game overall.


Well, that's just disgusting.
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Originally Posted by Brainer
Same with Lae'zel becoming all romantic and lovey-dovey in the most tropey, eye-rolling fashion.
That’s one I really loved.

Her arc steers towards the crescendo when she confesses that asking for gentle intimacy was harder than facing a dragon: this is the 101 of character development where she has a real character arc from the society she grew up in (where sex is raw and aggressive and about power) to gentle and sensual and compassionate interaction.

This is her character development arc on many levels. In Act 2 she can confess that she actually doesn’t like seeing someone suffer (anymore!). I see it as foreshadowed and well-written.

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