Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by dorkboy » November 20th, 2013, 3:19 am

@setr
you bring up a lot of fairly good points, and i'll probably forget many of them until i reread your posts. :)

with regards to the tides judging actions and not intentions - i believe it has been explicitly stated by the devs that the tides will do that, the rationale being that the devs simply cannot guess the motivations of the player/character.
i agree that the distinction between motive and action seems like a bit of a line drawn in the sand with a blur filter applied to it. perhaps it would have been better, in terms of sheer demarcation, if the tides judged the consequence of the action rather than the action itself. (assuming they don't already do that). that could work with a classical, externalized karma system (as seen only by god from on high on drugs or something..).
maybe the tides are not so much an externalized, disembodied system-of-omniscience, but rather an internal database of actions stored somewhere in the psyche/brain of the characters - and when attempting to use various numenera/gizmos, picked up (-> brainwaves or something) by the devices in question, resulting in various effects and side-effects. i don't think that would necessarily be a too far stretch for a level of technology that has been heavily hinted at as being advanced enough to be indistinguishable from magic. so maybe the tides are a sort of hybrid between several kinds of systems - alignment, karma, "magic". if the idea is indeed that it is the individual that keeps track of their own personal "karma" in this manner, then it doesn't make as much sense to have the tide value be determined by consequences (which the characters may be perfectly oblivious to) - and, it also makes sense to provide some sort of feedback/metaknowledge to potential "magic users". non-magic users, maybe not so much. /speculation
how and when that feedback (if that's even what it is) is displayed is certainly a good question. while not showing all the characters stats/variables and only relying on the actual/visible rate of success as an indication would perhaps be good for some things, i think you quickly reach a point where you'd want to know, or at least be given a decent clue as to, why you keep missing with that battle axe - or why a hypothetically mind-reading piece of tech keeps acting weird. /maybe

on a side note, i *vaguely remember one of the devs (in a discussion @ RPG Codex, can't recall exactly who it was) expressing some concern with regards to tide shifts and a desire to not make those immediately apparent - so hopefully that rules out "Gained +3 Red Tide" messages flashing after dialogues etc. /side note with *caveat.

as for classes, i was referring to the whole "railroaded into archetypes" aspect. sure, classes provide one way of balancing a game - but they are overwhelmingly balanced with a particular build/playstyle in mind. or, to put it differently: they're typically not particularily balanced with weak fighters and strong, sledgehammer-wielding mages in mind. so, congratulations!, you get to choose between several specialists where there is a strong mechanical incentive to play them as close to the archetype as possible. at least with a skill-based system you get to play an axe-wielding bard even if the developers haven't made a class for it yet. (true, [weapon] skills and attributes etc. still need to be somewhat balanced for viability).
in the case of Numenera - and, by extension, T:ToN - you get to choose between playing as a Glaive (-> Fighter), a Jack-of-all-trades (-> Rogue/generalist?) or a Nano (-> Mage), and iirc, no multi-classing according to one of the uservoice forum dev responses (not entirely sure, though, and i have no idea if that is true for the Numenera PnP).

as for the over-simplified characterization, i'm not entirely sure what you mean - do you mean why are there only 5 of them? creating more of them would take more time, obviously - and, you know, they already have an Amber Pope, so why not a couple of Amber Momes, as well? :D maybe it's not necessarily meant to make equal sense to everyone, but if it makes sense to the devs then at least they have a chance of doing something interesting with it. narrative integration of mechanical elements is not necessarily a bad thing. /remains to be seen
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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by setr » November 20th, 2013, 5:45 pm

dorkboy wrote: maybe the tides are not so much an externalized, disembodied system-of-omniscience, but rather an internal database of actions stored somewhere in the psyche/brain of the characters - and when attempting to use various numenera/gizmos, picked up (-> brainwaves or something) by the devices in question, resulting in various effects and side-effects. i don't think that would necessarily be a too far stretch for a level of technology that has been heavily hinted at as being advanced enough to be indistinguishable from magic.
You're making a mistake in thinking about this, at least in regard to the problem I have with the tides system in what I believe to be its current implementation. It doesn't matter how it's explained in game as an existence, that's simply fluff and can be done in any number of ways. You can call it magic, science, aliens or not even explain why it exists at all. It doesn't matter, this is just the internal logic of the game world. What I'm trying to examine is the relationship between the mechanic itself and the player (not the character).
as for classes, i was referring to the whole "railroaded into archetypes" aspect. sure, classes provide one way of balancing a game - but they are overwhelmingly balanced with a particular build/playstyle in mind. or, to put it differently: they're typically not particularily balanced with weak fighters and strong, sledgehammer-wielding mages in mind. so, congratulations!, you get to choose between several specialists where there is a strong mechanical incentive to play them as close to the archetype as possible. at least with a skill-based system you get to play an axe-wielding bard even if the developers haven't made a class for it yet. (true, [weapon] skills and attributes etc. still need to be somewhat balanced for viability).
in the case of Numenera - and, by extension, T:ToN - you get to choose between playing as a Glaive (-> Fighter), a Jack-of-all-trades (-> Rogue/generalist?) or a Nano (-> Mage), and iirc, no multi-classing according to one of the uservoice forum dev responses (not entirely sure, though, and i have no idea if that is true for the Numenera PnP).
Well to be honest I do agree that the class system is does interfere with the character designs as it does actually define you into a certain specifications (unlike the tides which is only influential, but I think pretty strong so) but at the same time classes aren't as very variable by definition. At their very core, there are certain characteristics that must be made for a character to be viable as a combatant. (and he must be, for the goal of the game is still to 'win', whatever that constitutes, and the nature of the cRPG is to overcome the big bad and minions in whatever form they take, primarily through combat.) Physically fit, no doubt. The mage, the warrior or the rogue must be able to hold their own weight. Even the elderly wizard is often depicted as agile and deft, if lacking the necessary stamina for a full-fledged brawl. A history of combat, of course. No man suddenly is a fighter, he is bred into one. A history delivered before the game begins, created by the player as he forges it from a no-name beginning or even by some sci-fi/magical mind input device/spell. A will to participate, for without it how should he continue? And finally, the character must be capable of leading as this is a party-based rpg, after all. To speak, to bark, to continue.
I don't where I was going with this
Anyways, a character must fight and in order to do so he must have his weapons. This must be our baseline, which is what I take glaive/jack/nano to be. I don't think it can get any broader than this (other than the higher tier of combat-viable), and I don't think there's reason to get any more specific. If we assume this is continuing to stem from tabletops, then what will sprout from this might be our freedom. The choice of weapon form (fire, sword, dagger, etc) and then from there, if we assume that the class skillsets were built with at least some intention of having a bit of hybridization going on then we'd likely find things like melee buffs in the mage tree. Possibly intended for a primarily support mage, but likely translatable to a self-buffing melee warrior. Not uncommon within tabletops, I doubt it would be ignored (entirely) here. As for the weak fighter, what does that actually constitute? An inadequate warrior would be one that is incapable of 'beating' the game. It fails the necessary requirements to even begin a character in this system. A low-damage, high speed fighter on the other hand can exist perfectly naturally, and tends to do so in RPGs as the alternative to the high damage, low speed fighter. I don't see reason to doubt it's existence here. Basically I figure the class-hybrids will still be here because they're simply too natural to the genre to do away with.
Of course, what weapons are actually available depends on the fiction itself.
as for the over-simplified characterization, i'm not entirely sure what you mean - do you mean why are there only 5 of them? creating more of them would take more time, obviously - and, you know, they already have an Amber Pope, so why not a couple of Amber Momes, as well? :D maybe it's not necessarily meant to make equal sense to everyone, but if it makes sense to the devs then at least they have a chance of doing something interesting with it. narrative integration of mechanical elements is not necessarily a bad thing. /remains to be seen
What I mean is that it's not really possible to so broadly categorize something as complicated as modes of thought without losing most, if not all, of the meaning behind it. Science doesn't actually mean much of anything. At best it serves to identify itself within the STEM/Humanities formal division, which is itself a problematic split at best. The idea of science only exists in the manner that it does as an agent of the hierarchical grouping structure used to organize actual content by vague/broad similarities until we boil down to one specific existence. Formal Education > STEM > Science > Biology > Ethology > Comparative Psychology and probably further from there. But the tides stops early in that process, it goes Human thought > Contemporary thought > Western thought > Tides. This is what I mean by over-simplified. It hasn't boiled down far enough to really make any worthwhile claims about thought. Of course, it doesn't actually need to be any thicker than it currently is. This is just another mechanism within the game form, it's not a philosophical discourse attempting to overthrow the entirety of western educational systems. It does, however, need to be a system that understands that isn't going very deep at all and cannot justifiably identify itself as the one true interpretation of events.
Although, that might be the point. They might be doing something on that topic, I dunno.

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by dorkboy » November 21st, 2013, 10:03 am

@setr
oh, i wouldn't call it a mistake, so much as a deliberate process of elimination.

i don't think it's really about min-maxing, otherwise you'd probably have more of a concern with mechanical rewards, skill/XP grinding and attribute/character build balance etc..
i don't think it's really about being railroaded into [character/class] archetypes, otherwise you'd probably not defend a class-based system using, among other things, character archetypes and the freedom to choose skills within those artificial boundaries as an argument (ignoring the fact that skill-based systems grant you that very freedom without the archetypes)
i don't think it's really about being rewarded or punished for your actions, otherwise you'd probably be waaay more concerned with either the possible moral ambiguity/neutrality of the Tides (tm) vis-a-vis a karma/alignment system, and/or the hypothetical -mechanical- benefits of one tide over another.
i don't think it's really about intellectual legitimacy or vagueness of the tides as categories/concepts, otherwise you wouldn't discount them as 'fluff'.
i don't think it's really about ludo-narrative dissonance, otherwise you'd probably be a lot more concerned with how the tides might make sense in the setting and their possible implementation (again, 'fluff').
nor do i think it's really about the tide rating/character "alignment" being shown, otherwise you'd probably be a lot more concerned with dev statements regarding that.

rather i think the real issue you're having is that the tides have been given a definition (i guess you could call them value archetypes, but that doesn't really matter since it's 'fluff') - and, to add insult to injury, associated with a specific colour - and, knowing that these ..entities.. will be linked to your choices throughout the game, the concern you're left with is whether or not there's constantly going to be a part of your mind trying to figure out which dialogue option etc. represents which tide - rather than being able to take those options at face value and make those choices in character.
so it doesn't matter whether or not the dialogue options/choices are actually colour coded or not, since they, in a sense, already are to you.

obviously, that's a blatant guess on my part - and if it is nowhere near the mark at all, then i, for the life of me, cannot even begin to guess what your actual problem with the tides is. :|
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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by setr » November 21st, 2013, 7:03 pm

dorkboy wrote: rather i think the real issue you're having is that the tides have been given a definition (i guess you could call them value archetypes, but that doesn't really matter since it's 'fluff') - and, to add insult to injury, associated with a specific colour - and, knowing that these ..entities.. will be linked to your choices throughout the game, the concern you're left with is whether or not there's constantly going to be a part of your mind trying to figure out which dialogue option etc. represents which tide - rather than being able to take those options at face value and make those choices in character.
so it doesn't matter whether or not the dialogue options/choices are actually colour coded or not, since they, in a sense, already are to you.

obviously, that's a blatant guess on my part - and if it is nowhere near the mark at all, then i, for the life of me, cannot even begin to guess what your actual problem with the tides is. :|
you've basically got it (although you make me out be personally offended by the setup, which I am not) but the point about this sentiment not being able to co-exist with the defense of class systems is problematic. I can defend the class system not on the basis that it does not railroad your character (because it obviously does) but on the basis that it does so out of necessity. I find issue with the tides system not solely because it railroads your character (because many things railroad your character in any rpg, including the very existence of the setting itself) but because it railroads your character without there being any reason to do so, in a manner that has no reason to be done, in a game intended to keep freedom of design and exploration at the forefront.
As I was originally talking about, back in the very first post, I feel the tides is based on a misunderstood concept of why the alignment system in tabletops exists. Or rather, alignments in cRPGs in general are based on this misunderstanding, and the tides is an extension of that issue that has existed for far longer than it should have. Very early cRPGs can be defended because they aren't nearly as complex or even close to the scale of baldur's gate and its peers. Once you reach this level of complexity, the alignment system in the tabletop iteration should have been abandoned, but was not for the sake of tradition. This is what I think, anyways, because I can't find any significant reason to have kept it. In tabletops, it serves to ease the creation process for both DM and player. What constitutes a character in these systems is annoyingly complicated and you must explicitly go through each and every process. But the advent of computers makes it so this is no longer necessary. Calculations are automated, no longer is there any need to understand all of the damage rolls. There isn't even a need to keep the game multiplayer, you're free to have the entire game generated pre-hand. Damage rolls can be far more complicated (which is often the case in RPGs that do not so directly pull from the DnD systems) and be used in many more situations than before (which again, is often the case.) Computers alleviate the tedious functions that exist in tabletop guidebooks, meaning the rules are free to be much more complicated. The player does not need to have a full working knowledge of the damage roll formulas, because he only interacts with them on the most shallow level.
The 3x3 alignment system was the physical alternative to alleviate tedium. You couldn't have a complicated alignment system, else calculations would take far too long to both develop and explain. So you didn't, you entered yourself within the 3x3 system and moved on from there. The tides is a variation on the 3x3 system. Karma is the same. Fundamentally, they still share the same broken core that was only ever implemented out of necessity.
The only thing I take offense about is that this is accepted practice. cRPGs are mindlessly put together, copy and paste systems pulled right out of the DnD handbook. There's very little thought put in as to how the computer changes the game and its possibilities and its relationship to the player. Instead of being DnD translated to the computer medium, you have DnD on the computer. It's absurdity. There's no evolution, there's no development. The cRPG is a dying genre because it accepts stagnation, just like the majority of the comic industry. Tabletops don't even pull this nonsense. They continue to develop new systems, new basis's for their design. Fallout implemented systems that could only properly exist on the computer medium. Baldur's gate just took the DnD rulebook and put it on a computer. And then threw semi-realtime on top of that with very little change to ruleset. What kind of fucking nonsense is this? The only thing major cRPGs really bring to the table currently is that they have actual teams of designers building these campaigns and fleshing it out. This is the only enjoyable facet of the current designs of cRPGs over simply playing DnD through pathfinder or some shit.
As for the reward/punishment system for your actions not being a primary issue, that'd be because it's just a thing. It's a concept that has its positives and its negatives and there's nothing to really be bothered about. It isn't inherently bad. (same with alignments, it's the implementation that is problematic)
i don't think it's really about min-maxing, otherwise you'd probably have more of a concern with mechanical rewards, skill/XP grinding and attribute/character build balance etc..
I don't find issue with min-maxing existing, I find issue with something that only exists for the sake of min-maxing in a game that doesn't find itself catering to the min-maxing mindset, especially when that function hinders the concepts it actually is catering to. (roleplaying, discovering). And anyways, the system of rewards, xp, grinding and the rest are what the entire genre is built upon. Alignment is only a perimeter function, it's far easier to recognize its flaws. XP and grinding and rewards are so deep into the system to actually analyze all the problems and benefits they bring is extremely difficult. It's like the difference between complaining about how mathematics is taught in contemporary American school systems and euclidean geometry being used over hyperbolic geometry. The effects of the latter are far more extensive, complicated and less self-evident. Of course, this discussion is nowhere near that scale but you get the idea.
i don't think it's really about intellectual legitimacy or vagueness of the tides as categories/concepts, otherwise you wouldn't discount them as 'fluff'.
I'm not discounting them as fluff, I used the term because I was trying to throw it aside as meaningless to the problem at hand (it still has meaning, but not in this context.) Obviously, if this whole design and its flaws are going to end up being utilized then it'd be perfectly fine, but somehow, I seriously doubt it will be. I doubt that they really even looked at 3x3 alignment system and ever questioned if it were ever inherently harmful to its own goal. (and thus only looked to fix the most external problems, primarily the obvious 'shallowness' of the 3x3 system. This 5 point system has greater meaning to each point, but the system it finds itself within limits that depth severely.)
nor do i think it's really about the tide rating/character "alignment" being shown, otherwise you'd probably be a lot more concerned with dev statements regarding that.
It's another symptom, but not the actual cause of the issue. It is this implementation that makes it clear the flaw in how alignment is approached.

I've been complaining about the tides specifically and it's relationship to railroading the player but that's just me trying to explain the problem with the tides. More broadly, the problem I have is that this is simply bad design. I'm not specifically looking to roleplay freely (I'd just play DnD through pathfinder if that was what I wanted most, I'd be far more free there than I could ever expect to be in TToN), I really just want to deal with good design. The goal and the implementation are at odds with one another. The reason I'm complaining is because this is just really stupid. This is really stupid design.
so it doesn't matter whether or not the dialogue options/choices are actually colour coded or not, since they, in a sense, already are to you.
This being the entire problem, far more clearly stated than I've managed yet. Your choices are colored, not physically but conceptually. DnD doesn't have this coloration because you aren't picking from a preset list of dialogue options in a preset conversation in a preset event. You organically reach a point in the game where dialogue takes place. You color the dialogue yourself (because you still need to act within your chosen alignment) but there's no pretensions of a lack of color or an expected choice or reward by that choice. The picked option is chosen naturally.
The cRPG must create the list of choices, the system must be artificial because it is artificial. This is a fact, it cannot be changed. So there are only really two routes from there. Either A, we develop on the basis that it must be artificial. You create colored text and throw out any concept of naturally chosen dialogue. Or B, you develop on the basis that it is artificial and but it should not appear to be so. You remove, as much as possible, the ability of the player to see the underlying systems that constitutes the dialogue. But in the tides, and DnD alignment styles in general, you have this alignment system clearly defined to the player, you basically say "all our dialogue and all our events will be coordinate around these 5 processes of thought". You've created a function that calls out its own artificiality and yet the original goal was the opposite! To hide the artificiality and have the game appear to be an organic one!
Nonsense.
I understand the goal, and I'd like to see that goal achieved (not for my own benefit or for the sake of roleplaying or roleplayers but for the sake of seeing and interacting with good design) but they're pulling the same stupid shit you found in 1999. I'm still interested in the game, PST was interesting for its ideas, for its aesthetics, for its writing. But it was complete trash on the interactivity-front. It was a series of poor and harmful designs being thrown at me for 20 hours and it made the entire game far less enjoyable (but this was alright because there wasn't much better to compare it to). I mean fuck, this isn't even a rare complaint. No one looks back at BG2 and praises it for its 'gameplay'. People recommend PST with the warning that you'll have to get over the shitty systems to actually see its value. These games were just cobbled together code with no real thought going into the structure. DnD has thought put into it's rulebook. The rules are designed around the physical medium. PST and BG2 just take that code, code designed not for computers (and single-player with no adaptable and variable DM) but for the physical world where the map's god is different every game and you have 6 people herded around a table in a musty room rolling 20-sided dice and jotting down any worthwhile information as they try to explore what might even be a procedural generated world. Sure, they got the majority of bugs out and yes, it was coded well enough to not have any memory leaks but it was only coded mechanically. All it managed to do was make put the game in a playable state, but this is not something that should ever really be regarded a good thing for anything that isn't just a simple tool. A wrench needs to get the job done, a chair needs to get the job done well. cRPGs continuously seek the former, when they should be after the latter. Although, this is true of most video games, but most video games considered to be 'good' by people who at least have some understanding of the medium fall within the latter category. The biggest examples, Doom versus CoDMW2. Doom does FPS design well, CoD gets FPS design done. Doom is praised, CoD is not. By the poorly defined group of people I'm referring to anyways. But here, in cRPGs and the genre-fan communities, titles of the early 2000's that are praised are of the former category. Very few major titles try to break away from just working, but they're not particularly hailed any more than anything else ("avant garde") and even then, there doesn't seem to be much appreciation for having done so. (fallout, for example)
Fuck I'm not even asking for good design
I'm just asking for design that is line with its goal.
Have an alignment system, don't have an alignment system. I don't give a shit. Just do whatever choice well, but basing it on the DnD alignment system will not deliver a good scheme (because it has no place in the digital medium and in its design, never had any intention of being in the digital medium.)

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by veryalien » November 26th, 2013, 5:43 am

This combat discussion is pretty heated, on uservoice, kickstarter, and it's starting to be here.

People need to chillax.

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by Infinitron » January 11th, 2014, 8:59 am

No one looks back at BG2 and praises it for its 'gameplay'.
Yeah, you're talking out of your ass.

You could have just posted that instead of that huge wall of text.

And by the way, Fallout's SPECIAL system is widely regarded as rather flawed despite allegedly being "designed for computers" (it's actually a crude GURPS hack).

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by ffordesoon » January 11th, 2014, 12:47 pm

@setr:

You see that button on your keyboard that says "ENTER?" You should maybe use that more.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
As a poster, I speak only for myself. PM me if you have any problems with the way I moderate.

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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by Crosmando » January 11th, 2014, 6:56 pm

What is the discussion about? Alignment systems in RPGs?
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Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by Azmodiuz » October 21st, 2014, 8:15 am

setr wrote:That you've given color titles to the "tides" implies that you intend for the player to be able to view his current status within the system, which I believe is an inherently flawed manner of approaching alignment systems and is a mistake commonly reproduced in cRPGs inherited from their tabletop background. The tides, as I understand it, are meant to be a sort of karma system, a background entity that determines your place in the world based on your actions. The idea being that a player (character) is free to move about within the game system and his actions given consequence greater than what he can 'physically' overcome. (so that slaughtering a town does not simply mean that if you kill all the guards, you're free to do as you wish) With DnD, an alignment system was put in place which the player was forced to adhere to, you could not commit to evil actions if you were not an evil character without punishment from the game's system (the DM). This simplified the system so that the DM wouldn't be forced to deal with the complicated mess that constitutes free alignment. With the shift to computers and their infinitely greater calculative capabilities, the need for such simplification is no longer necessary. The game can now implement an ever-shifting alignment system, which the Tides will be an attempt to do. However, alignment in DnD was shown because it was necessary. With a free alignment, no such necessity exists. If the idea of free alignment is to allow the player to do as he wishes and grant the capacity to act as he would (or he imagines his character would), then it should truly be free. This system will be limited, this is necessary because you are but men. Within the system, the general areas of alignment are defined. However, there is no reason that the player's interpretation should be limited to the system's definitions. By showing the tides, and thus the system, you force the player to define himself within the system, rather than the player defining himself (his character) freely (within the context of the 'real' world, the one in which the player, not the character, exists), and allowing the system to judge based on its own values. By having the player capable of viewing his (character's) place within the system, it no longer becomes a question of "Will I help because if I do not, she will be harmed?" (the thought of the character) but instead "Will I help because if I do not, I will become more 'red'" (the thought of the player). You force the player not to define his character by the his own subjective evaluation of alignment but instead by the system's subjective alignments (subjective as again, you are but men. You cannot create an objective system, but by showing the system you act as if you have.) Effectively the same as the so often poorly implemented binary alignment structure in many rpgs, except that you have five areas to be instead of two.

This does mean that a clash of ideologies can occur, the player might perceive his act to be good and the system might perceive his act to be bad (assuming the system's understanding is as the developers intended) without the player understanding what exactly he's done wrong. But if the general concepts of the tides are adequately described in-game, the beliefs of the culture you interact with as created within the game world, then it doesn't just end at a player's frustration with the game following rules of its own rather than solely the players (as it should, video games are a give-and-take medium) it becomes something at least marginally more. This is also assuming the player does in some manner understand that his action was perceived to be bad (red/green/blue/what have you), likely through the characters involved (hopefully in a somewhat subtle manner). Say you find a gift economy, and by initiating a trade with interest for an item exchange you insult the whatever the gift economy's closest resemblance to a merchant might, let's say the 'chief', falling under whatever branch of the tides. The chief, offended, throws you out. The player (character) is left to wonder what exactly he did wrong. The two key things here being that A) the player (character) needs to try to understand the populace before he can interact with it successfully (rather than simply being told that this tribe is one that understands 'giving' to be the primary force behind determining one's place in the social hierarchy ala star trek) and B) the player (character) has the ability to do what he does not intend to if he does not fully comprehend a situation. Of course, within the tides systems as it is not a variation of good/bad but rather a set of ideologies then to act so bluntly without learning first (assuming this area is drastically different from the last town, so that the player is given reason to question if the systems here function differently) might fall under the red as a form of arrogance and aggressive beliefs in one's own values. With the opposite, to have researched first, would be the blue. To simply pass it aside, following the event, and act is if nothing happened would then again come back to red. Or being thrown out could be nothing, learning could be Gold/Blue for it is an attempt at empathy and trying again could be red. Of course this is merely an example, but even here what falls under what category is left vague and undefined as it should be (from the player's perspective) because the tides aren't meant to be a controllable aspect of the game's structure. (as I understand it) You're not meant to live by the teachings of the tides, the tides are meant to determine by which teaching you fall under.

I believe any metagame systems should be stripped of their view-able features as much as possible, the ideal being that one only sees what his character might see. Of course, this is impossible with the structure of RPGs especially given their stat and skill based nature. The thought of the player should be removed as much as possible so that the thought of the character can exist as freely as it should, assuming that the primary goal of the RPG is that of 'roleplaying'. With a free alignment system, there no longer exists the requirement that one is able to view to it. It is a flaw of tradition, a design that has no place in the modern computerized format. cRPGs should not seek to be a tabletop on a PC but instead they should be tabletops translated to the PC form. Where advantages are had, they should be taken. What is no longer a necessary flaw should be removed.

Of course, this thinking is at odds with those who wish to min/max. But min/max'ing is the antithesis to roleplaying in a cRPG. Where roleplaying exists within the context of the game's defined world, min/max'ing exists within the context of the game's underlying systems. They are two fundamentally opposing mindsets which I do not believe can be catered to at the same time. If they even should. Dungeon crawlers were built to appeal directly to the min/max form, and they almost entirely ignore roleplaying to do so despite using similar concepts as the cRPG in their base design. I think any cRPGs should take the same route, but vice versa. Ignore the min/max mindset and appeal primarily to the roleplaying one.

My concern is, what do you propose happen instead ? You've given some very good insight into an issue I couldn't quite sum up as well.

jd777
Initiate
Posts: 7
Joined: October 24th, 2014, 1:17 am

Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by jd777 » November 23rd, 2014, 12:22 am

I'm not willing to fully read every post here (since some people think they have to write some sort of scientific essays) but let me state that I think it is wrong to say that the tides system forces certain decisions upon the player.
If you decide to concentrate too much on game mechanics, you're gonna have a bad time, that goes for many gaming experiences, as I see it.
Any decision you make in the game still is your very own and sovereign choice.
I do admit that I am somewhat skeptical about how the influence of the tides within the 9th world will feel, but I do not think that a wish to be afflicted with a certain tide will affect any of my decisions.
If you choose for yourself to handle that differently, it is both your fault and problem and nothing you should blame the devs for.

Best regards, J
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13_Monkeys
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Posts: 16
Joined: September 21st, 2014, 11:35 am

Re: Updated our Journal (24): Roll for Initiative

Post by 13_Monkeys » February 21st, 2015, 9:42 pm

I’ll put it in short to reconcile the interests of all sides:
Keeping npcs' tides label in plain sight for main char/player = good
(it’s easier to value other’s faults/deeds)
Keeping main char’s tides label in plain sight or revealing them on demand = bad
(it’s more difficult to value own faults/deeds)
Asking the npcs for their attitudes in some aspects = good
(in later game stage: matching npcs' answer patterns with tides' labels brings some new solutions for themselves)
Revealing the tide’s status change just after the dialogue’s choice = bad
(short time choices are not so significant for ourselves)
Remarks from the teammates and game world showing subtly the tide growth after the dialogue’s choice = good
(it is the outworld that really can describe us)
Few plot twists where main char can focus upon innerself to see own tides = good
(player could use it for some later own tides’ corrections)
Fewer plot twists where npcs can look upon innerselves to see own tides = good
(by force/willingly npcs could change their attitude to world or themselves)

Good luck, but now it’s too late! :lol:

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