Killing and looting traders

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Grohal » March 14th, 2014, 10:03 am

Arcanix wrote:
GodComplex wrote:
frozyx wrote:You can also have later merchants refuse to trade with rangers when they killed other merchants before.
Sounds like a poor choice to refuse to trade with someone whose prone to resolving problems with violence. If anything they should give you a discount for reducing competition.
How about random thug knocked on your door then proceeded to kill off your family for the house loot. The next day that thug returned asking you to buy that stuff back.

Would you?
Did they take something with a sentimental value? :twisted:
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Arcanix » March 14th, 2014, 10:11 am

Grohal wrote:Did they take something with a sentimental value? :twisted:
im a pedestrian, i dont know.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by catmorbid » March 14th, 2014, 10:13 am

Arcanix wrote:
catmorbid wrote:
Arcanix wrote:Im all for that the traders doesnt have their vendor list as loot if you kill them. Their guards is ok. Reason is twofold.

1. Breaks ingame economy. Rendering the barter toon useless. Just perfect your combat prowess.
2. Teaches the player the fast track to "seccess" through immoral means.
1. It only breaks the economy if the traders are unprotected or protected by incompetent guards. Surround them with dudes in combat armor and heavy guns, and whoopsie doo, maybe the player will think twice. Also, who says the stuff needs to be on corpse. Have it under lock and key. Maybe with a few traps. Mobile traders should have caravan and immobile traders should have storage space..
1. You dont sell the gurads corpses, you sell the stuff you just looted. Hence the "the ability to kill every motherfucker in sight and loot every last thing they had" rethoric.
2. Ill show you who said it, in this thred.
catmorbid wrote:Hey, what is this crap!? No incentive to be a f*n bastard in Wasteland 2? Is this the kind of wasteland you want to portray?! One of the best features of Fallout 1 & 2 was the ability to kill every motherfucker in sight and loot every last thing they had. Including traders. That is if you had the guns and the balls to run through his guards. Too bad if the trader is dumb enough not to take care of himself.

So yeah. FIX THIS! This is ridiculous.
There you go.
Ok, now I'm confused.

You argued that fully lootable trader inventory is bad because it breaks the economy.

Then I argued back that no it doesn't break economy if you don't leave the traders unprotected and make sure it's not a walk in the park to kill and loot traders.

Then you argued... What exactly? The way I see it you just state that the player doesn't sell corpses, but the loot in them. and then quoted me. Seriously, where's the argument? What was your point there? No offense, but it sounds like you missed my argument by a mile or a thousand.
catmorbid wrote:2. That's no lesson in of morality.
Judging from the quoted above posts maybe you shouldnt pass judgement on morality issues.
What are you, the supreme moral authority in the world? Also, pretty extreme conclusion to think I'm an amoral person just because I occasionally like to play a bastard in a videogame... Sensitive much?

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by CaptainPatch » March 14th, 2014, 10:38 am

catmorbid wrote:1. It only breaks the economy if the traders are unprotected or protected by incompetent guards. Surround them with dudes in combat armor and heavy guns, and whoopsie doo, maybe the player will think twice. Also, who says the stuff needs to be on corpse. Have it under lock and key. Maybe with a few traps. Mobile traders should have caravan and immobile traders should have storage space.

2. That's no lesson in of morality. That's a lesson in false expectations and broken verisimilitude. A lesson in morality would be the game giving you actual consequences for being an immoral asshole.
With that kind of rationalization, it's a wonder that we ever made it out of the Dark Ages. Not matter how many guards a merchant employs, or the quality of the guards, it is ALWAYS possible to take them down with greater numbers and/or a well-executed ambush. So is it still the merchant's fault for hiring inadequate protection?

A merchant is in business to make Profit. Guards cost money, which is deducted from Profit. The more and better the guards, the less the Profit. If the merchant "passes the cost on to the consumer", that drives the prices up to where consumers can't afford to purchase the merchant's goods, which reduces Profit. If Profit is insufficient to the merchant's needs, he is motivated to NOT be a merchant. That deprives the consumers of a source of reasonably priced/affordable goods.

Historically, communities went to some lengths to assure the safety and security of traveling merchants for the very selfish reason that if they didn't, they wouldn't be serviced by traveling merchants. Understandably, _anyone_ murdering merchants would be not just persona non grata, they'd be on the Most Wanted list with a respectable bounty on their heads.

Vargas and the Ranger organization really should have a Zero Tolerance towards Rangers engaging in murder and robbery. Allowing transgressors to remain as Rangers undercuts the public's respect and opinion of the Ranger organization. Having identified murderers and thieves in the Ranger ranks gives the (reasonable) impression that the Rangers are just a group of thugs feeding off the general population by run a "protection racket". The ONLY way to counter that perception is to publicly prosecute and punish the transgressors.

BTW, property generally belongs to someone, even after the primary owner is killed. Most people have families. Just because a merchant was collateral damage in a firefight doesn't mean that all his merchandise becomes property of whoever gets to the body first. Taking that loot is in fact stealing from the deceased merchant's heirs.
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Arcanix » March 14th, 2014, 11:23 am

catmorbid, the number of guards is not the issue. What CaptainPatch said.

Within the confined world of a CRPG, you might be able to kill the merchants and get all their stuff and money. You got everything and no one to trade with. Thats a broken economy right there.

You could instead steal the stuff off the trader then wait for it to reset then steal more stuff.

Another way the economy gets broken is when you as a player doesnt care about anything but making the fast buck and get that leet gear. So, if an item cost $1000 ingame and it takes 20-25 hours to get. You just save and load until you can kill that trader and loot the item. Breaking not only the economy but the progression on the RP side of things.

Sure if you want to be an asshole incarnated then you should be able to in a CRPG. That does not matter though because the economy will be broken regardless.

Not showing the trader item list when looting the corpse is a devs way of balancing economy. And to an extent regulate the karma through cause and effect.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by catmorbid » March 14th, 2014, 1:08 pm

CaptainPatch wrote: With that kind of rationalization, it's a wonder that we ever made it out of the Dark Ages. Not matter how many guards a merchant employs, or the quality of the guards, it is ALWAYS possible to take them down with greater numbers and/or a well-executed ambush. So is it still the merchant's fault for hiring inadequate protection?
Business school 101 pretty much tells you to evaluate risks versus profit. In wasteland a major risk is getting shot, just because someone is hungry and you've got some food. So yes, in my opinion, considering the setting, it's the merchant's fault for taking too much risks and not taking measures to protect himself. Okay, sometimes you just get unlucky. But again, it's something the merchant should be aware of and should've accepted. Otherwise he's nothing but a naive fool.
A merchant is in business to make Profit. Guards cost money, which is deducted from Profit. The more and better the guards, the less the Profit. If the merchant "passes the cost on to the consumer", that drives the prices up to where consumers can't afford to purchase the merchant's goods, which reduces Profit. If Profit is insufficient to the merchant's needs, he is motivated to NOT be a merchant. That deprives the consumers of a source of reasonably priced/affordable goods.

Historically, communities went to some lengths to assure the safety and security of traveling merchants for the very selfish reason that if they didn't, they wouldn't be serviced by traveling merchants. Understandably, _anyone_ murdering merchants would be not just persona non grata, they'd be on the Most Wanted list with a respectable bounty on their heads.

Vargas and the Ranger organization really should have a Zero Tolerance towards Rangers engaging in murder and robbery. Allowing transgressors to remain as Rangers undercuts the public's respect and opinion of the Ranger organization. Having identified murderers and thieves in the Ranger ranks gives the (reasonable) impression that the Rangers are just a group of thugs feeding off the general population by run a "protection racket". The ONLY way to counter that perception is to publicly prosecute and punish the transgressors.

BTW, property generally belongs to someone, even after the primary owner is killed. Most people have families. Just because a merchant was collateral damage in a firefight doesn't mean that all his merchandise becomes property of whoever gets to the body first. Taking that loot is in fact stealing from the deceased merchant's heirs.
And again with the morals... I'm not a senseless robot you know... And yes, I agree with everything above!

That's why there should be CONSEQUENCES IN THE GAME! Just because your personal style of playing an RPG is that of the second coming of jesus, doesn't mean everyone else thinks it's interesting. I personally enjoy when I see being an asshole backfiring in a meaningful way. The way in fallout, being a childkiller marks you for good, and you have to either live with the consequences or start over. Someone shrugs it over, someone else might feel genuine regret. But for sure the first time the bounty hunters come after you, there's a good chance anyone will feel something. Not that I did that intentionally. Every time.

But none of those situations are possible if they're not made possible. Attention to detail and consequences resulting in verisimilitude, i.e. more believeable experience through actually being able to make choices. That's my agenda here, NOT trying to debate morals.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Arcanix » March 14th, 2014, 1:13 pm

Ok.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by CaptainPatch » March 14th, 2014, 3:54 pm

catmorbid wrote:That's why there should be CONSEQUENCES IN THE GAME!
To a substantial degree, what you say is absolutely true. However, the entire Fallout series was a MUCH more open environment, allowing players to be as badass as they want. But the difference between FO and WL is that in WL you ARE a Ranger, and Rangers MUST have a certain acceptable standard of behavior. If the player simply cannot stay within that pattern of behavior, in order for the Rangers organization to stay in character is to rescind the player characters' endorsement as actual Rangers. If the player characters are NOT Rangers, then for all intents and purposes, it's GAME OVER, you lose. A post-Apocalypse game where the characters are NOT Rangers simply wouldn't be Wasteland. It might be some kind of spinoff game, closer in practice to Fallout rather than WL -- but that is NOT the game they have been working on all this time.
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by catmorbid » March 14th, 2014, 4:39 pm

Then why even allow shooting enything except enemie in the first place?

I realize what the rangers as an organization stand for in the setting, but claiming they must all be saviors of the wasteland feels kind of naive... You don't seriously consider it possible that someone might be a bit more on the morally grey area? They don't as far as I know, possess means to read minds to make sure recruits aren't absolutely rotten to the core. I'd say that's why they put them on missions to prove their worth in the first place, in order to not spend any scarce resources in someone whose a potentially bad apple.

Hell there's a lot of morally grey going on in militaries of today, behind the curtains. You're seriously telling me that you feel the rangers don't see any of that material? Considering the conditions of post-apocalyptic wasteland...?

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Arcanix » March 14th, 2014, 5:19 pm

The setting CaptainPatch talks about is the one chosen. Its a WL1 legacy. What the devs, they read this forum you know, choose to do in this sequal is more or less unknown.
March 24th, 2014, 4:13 am
Drool wrote:WL2 being turn-based is bad enough.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Yuri » March 14th, 2014, 5:38 pm

This is not a game for five years old. I don't need a fucking lesson in morality. And again, if you shoot a merchant in a desert and kill all witnesses how the fuck anyone find out about it? Unless NPC is with you. But even then I don't believe all of them are saints. Some may even suggest an ambush. It's not a fucking justice league. You look like a bunch of whining little kids. And even if it breaks economy so what? It's a consequence of your action. That's beyond lame to promote a game like one that not judge you morally and done for mature audience and then not only self-censoring it all the way but killing world logic by shit like this and force you into a shoes of stupid american superheroes. WTF.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by SagaDC » March 14th, 2014, 6:07 pm

Yuri wrote:This is not a game for five years old. I don't need a fucking lesson in morality. And again, if you shoot a merchant in a desert and kill all witnesses how the fuck anyone find out about it? Unless NPC is with you. But even then I don't believe all of them are saints. Some may even suggest an ambush. It's not a fucking justice league. You look like a bunch of whining little kids. And even if it breaks economy so what? It's a consequence of your action. That's beyond lame to promote a game like one that not judge you morally and done for mature audience and then not only self-censoring it all the way but killing world logic by shit like this and force you into a shoes of stupid american superheroes. WTF.
But tell us how you REALLY feel? ;)

Seriously, though, I can understand where Yuri is coming from. But honestly, at the same time I can understand where folks like Crosmando and Captain Patch are coming from too. And Catmorbid, for that matter. It's a tricky subject for a game that's not-supposed-to-judge-you-but-kind-of-does-anyway-by-forced-association (or NSTJYBKODABFA for short).

There's the issue of logic, of course. If there are no witnesses, then how can the crime be reported? Well, the most obvious answers are ones that might be overlooked - such as the player's choice in NPC Recruits. I suppose that theoretically each one could be given an individual view on the subject, even if its just a binary Approve/Disapprove mechanic. But that only works the first couple of times, before the rangers back at base start putting two and two together. "What's happening to all these disappearing traders?" they'll ask, followed by "Has anyone noticed that our new squad has been seen selling an awful lot of new salvage lately?"

But of course, the logic argument also rolls in another direction, which comes back to the OP's point. Their inventories really shouldn't just vanish. But their inventories are usually small enough to theoretically fit into a single backpack, so its safe to assume that they're carrying their wares on them (unless they either hastily hide their wares whenever they spot someone, or they don't actually wander and have a set place to hide said wares). If the devs establish some kind of 'damaged gear' system, then there's a good chance that some of those wares might get shot up when the deviant rangers shoot up the vendor, but they should still find anything that survived the shooting on the resultant corpse.

And yes, the in-game economy might take a hit, but honestly - that's just more reason to NOT give the wandering vendors any significant gear to trade. On average, they should probably only be carrying wares that are equivalent to what you might find in a standard random encounter for that area (ie, the sort of gear low-tier raiders or wreckers might have). If they had anything better, logic would dictate that they wouldn't risk wandering around with it too much - they'd have an established storefront somewhere, or at least try to restrict their trading to the "safety" of an settlement (even if it means paying kickbacks to folks like the Rangers or the Red Skorpions). Just giving them better armed guards isn't much of a solution, because if anything that just gives players MORE incentive to murder them (ie, the guards will drop better loot).

I think the most immediate drawback of murdering a few wandering merchants is obvious - there are now less wandering merchants. I'm not sure how feasible it is, but perhaps the 'encounter rate' for wandering merchant encounters could drop every time a wandering merchant is killed or robbed (which would open up a potential window for "Merchant versus Raider" encounters, where the player can be given the option to intervene). If you kill too many merchants, you might eventually find that no one is willing to risk carrying wares between settlements anymore, outside of heavily armored convoys (or the trains, if you fix them up). And if you push your luck too far, then bam - the Rangers (or some random hired bounty hunters or something) finally catch on, and you get your game over scenario (ie, ousted from the rangers, hunted by kill squads, storyline is aborted, etc.).

TLDR;
1) Wandering Merchants should be finite. If you kill some, there should be less chance of encountering any.
2) No immediate repercussions from HQ. Vargas is not psychic, but he's also not stupid. If the rangers push their luck, THEN they should be punished.
3) NPC Recruits should have opinions on this sort of thing. Many (but not all) of them would likely frown on it.
4) Wandering Merchants should have very limited wares. At best, their wares should be equivalent to less than what the player might get from a single random combat encounter. But on the same note, it should not vanish when they die.
5) Giving them better-armed guards is NOT a good solution, because it just encourages players to kill them more (ie, to get the guard's gear and better XP).

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Lucius » March 14th, 2014, 6:18 pm

I'd agree that traders should drop all their wares on death. However, their "bodyguards" better be damn good killers if they have decent loot for sale. The better/more stuff they are carrying, the more powerful/numerous the bodyguards should be. I also agree that regularly killing traders should get you some kind reputation amongst other traders to the point they may just all attack on site, or run away so you can't get the loot.

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by SagaDC » March 14th, 2014, 6:23 pm

I suppose there's also the cheesy route. Merchant encounters could include a new bit in the 'encounter description' that pops up when the encounter first triggers, mentioning something about how the trader uses a radio to contact someone before they come out to talk to you. It's already established that radios are still around (and, if anything, that they're working even better than ever before), so it's not too far fetched to imagine that wandering merchants would carry one to keep in touch with whoever they work for/with.

Then immediate consequences make a lot more sense, given that the last message they sent out was something along the lines of "Spotted a group of X desert rangers, I think I'll go try to trade with them."

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by CaptainPatch » March 14th, 2014, 7:10 pm

Yuri wrote:... if you shoot a merchant in a desert and kill all witnesses how the fuck anyone find out about it? Unless NPC is with you. But even then I don't believe all of them are saints. Some may even suggest an ambush. It's not a fucking justice league. ...
This is absolutely true. HOWEVER, I'm not sure if this is the case with the WL2 mechanics, but it's rather common with CRPGs that it seems like EVERYBODY knows what you have done, good or bad, regardless of whether there were witnesses or not. Like if you steal an item, you won't be able to sell it because, "We don't deal in stolen goods." How could that be if there was no one around to see _you_ enter the building, no one was home, and you snatched what might be a fairly common item, available from umpty-dozen sources? It's not like that ammo you stole had the owner's name etched on each and every bullet! But IF that kind of game mechanic omniscience is in play, it also stands to reason that any and all crimes would also be something that EVERYBODY knows about. (But recognizable personal items, like say a watch with a distinctive message engraved that many people are aware of,... different story.)

But notoriety aside, unlike many RPGs, instead of ONE player character, you have at least four Rangers, and up to 3 other NPCs that _know_ they are in the company and employ of Rangers. All 7 of those people are aware or have a conception of how a Ranger is supposed to behave. To have even ONE member of the party engage in frequent murders and/or robberies means that the others would have to address that moral dilemma: "Are we Rangers, or are we murderers and thieves passing themselves off as Rangers?" One might argue that a given group of new recruits were buddies of like moral compasses (leaning towards the self-serving "I can do whatever I damn well please!" attitude), but what are the odds that Ranger HQ is totally oblivious to that behavior and attitude? These characters were not just born minutes ago. They have lived a life that is at least 16 years old. And doing that time they would have undoubtedly exhibited behavior that demonstrates which direction their moral compass is pointing. Maybe they had a brush with the law or crossed some social boundaries. (Rape, bullying, petty theft, etc.) Odds favor Ranger HQ having at least some clue that they are looking at a bad egg. And realizing that, would HQ then be so incredibly stoooooooooooopid as to put all those bad eggs into the same squad? They might take a chance with one or two, hoping that they would shape up. But they would also be certain to assign at least one recruit that they feel has the "right" attitude, just to keep everyone honest.

Even if one or two bad eggs try to conceal their nefarious deeds from the others, it is inevitable that it will become obvious that the party had somebody NOT playing by Ranger rules. (Especially if the deeds involve an illegal transfer of property. "Why does your backpack look so much fuller since we left Citadel? Where have you been gathering all that stuff?") So figure that if there's anyone misbehaving in the party, there would inevitably be at least ONE snitch to radio HQ and squeal on whoever is misbehaving.
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Grohal » March 14th, 2014, 7:24 pm

Yuri wrote:This is not a game for five years old. I don't need a fucking lesson in morality. And again, if you shoot a merchant in a desert and kill all witnesses how the fuck anyone find out about it? Unless NPC is with you. But even then I don't believe all of them are saints. Some may even suggest an ambush. It's not a fucking justice league. You look like a bunch of whining little kids. And even if it breaks economy so what? It's a consequence of your action. That's beyond lame to promote a game like one that not judge you morally and done for mature audience and then not only self-censoring it all the way but killing world logic by shit like this and force you into a shoes of stupid american superheroes. WTF.
So everyone not killing everything that moves is a superhero? So there are only two types of players: psychopathic maniacs who kill simply to let off some steam and heaven sent carebears? Come on. :mrgreen:
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Woolfe » March 14th, 2014, 8:36 pm

As everyone has mentioned its all about the consequences.

If you do it, you should get in trouble "Conduct unbecoming a Ranger" type thing. With the result eventually of being kicked out of the Rangers and thus game ending.

Or some such. This sort of thing has been discussed a lot.

My opinion is in the first bit when you are under Vargas' watch you need to be squeeky clean. In the other section, you don't need to be squeeky clean, but everything you do will gradually build up against you and at some point will come back against you in a game ending way.

So for the OP. I agree the loot should be dropped. But to prevent "breaking" type affects the consequences of successfully looting traders should become harsh. In the first part, kicked out of rangers. Second part, towns turn against you etc, and eventually kicked out of Rangers.
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Yuri » March 14th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Lucius wrote:I'd agree that traders should drop all their wares on death. However, their "bodyguards" better be damn good killers if they have decent loot for sale. The better/more stuff they are carrying, the more powerful/numerous the bodyguards should be. I also agree that regularly killing traders should get you some kind reputation amongst other traders to the point they may just all attack on site, or run away so you can't get the loot.
You will be hunted by Rangers long before it happens. Because if traders know about it - Vargas knows too. Logical consequences will be less traveling traders and rising prices throughout region (trade routes are less safe, more guards, expenses go up etc.) It naturally will make people think if they want to mess with economy, because best stuff sold at stationary well guarded shops in populated areas where killing people is out of question, unless you shoot for fast game over after killing spree.
By the way those "death squads" are pretty hilarious. Ranger Citadel don't have resources to help two location at ones but suddenly have infinite resources to hunt down rogue rangers. I guess that's what happens when you want cool stuff instead of logical.
CaptainPatch wrote: They might take a chance with one or two, hoping that they would shape up. But they would also be certain to assign at least one recruit that they feel has the "right" attitude, just to keep everyone honest.
But that will contradict the very core of the game. Those four core rangers are what I tell they are and nothing else. If I say their are raiders that educated themselves enough under intelligent and charismatic leader to pass rangers recruitment, then they are.
CaptainPatch wrote:This is absolutely true. HOWEVER, I'm not sure if this is the case with the WL2 mechanics, but it's rather common with CRPGs that it seems like EVERYBODY knows what you have done, good or bad, regardless of whether there were witnesses or not.
And that is bad. At some point RPG should mature enough to stop gamifying everything. W2 might as well be the game that starts it.
But notoriety aside, unlike many RPGs, instead of ONE player character, you have at least four Rangers, and up to 3 other NPCs that _know_ they are in the company and employ of Rangers. All 7 of those people are aware or have a conception of how a Ranger is supposed to behave.
NPC should react according to their characters, no arguing there. But core four are under my control and even suggesting they do something behind my, player's, back is just the worst.
Grohal wrote:So everyone not killing everything that moves is a superhero? So there are only two types of players: psychopathic maniacs who kill simply to let off some steam and heaven sent carebears? Come on. :mrgreen:
It's a hyperbole to show how stupid those moral bullshit arguments sound when we speak about a game, especially post-apocalyptic RPG. I'd say to those people that if they not killing everyone who have good stuff only because it will have harsh consequences then they are the ones who have problems with moral. If not then why the fuck they care if I'm gonna break economy in my fourth playthrough of a SINGLE-PLAYER game?

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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by Drool » March 14th, 2014, 9:08 pm

SagaDC wrote:1) Wandering Merchants should be finite. If you kill some, there should be less chance of encountering any.
I quite like this. It also shouldn't be a threshold ("Kill three and there's no more"). I'd like to see sliding reactivity. Fewer merchants with better guards, higher prices, etc.
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Re: Killing and looting traders

Post by CaptainPatch » March 14th, 2014, 9:12 pm

Yuri wrote:NPC should react according to their characters, no arguing there. But core four are under my control and even suggesting they do something behind my, player's, back is just the worst.
In which case, you are NOT roleplaying four distinct characters. Instead, you are roleplaying ONE mass-mind with four appendages. If you really want to do some _honest_ roleplaying, play at least one --probably 2 -- characters that reflect HQ's idea of "proper moral orientation". [You'll know you're on track if you start behaving in a schizoid manner, depending on which character you are currently playing.

And isn't it true that the vast majority of CRPGs are _already_ doing what it is you are advocating for? To allow the player to decide for himself just how scrupulous or psychotic _his_ characters are? Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, et al? Can't we have even ONE CRPG that applies a plausible premise to fit the situation described? Desert Rangers have repeatedly declared themselves to be a bastion of Law & Order, which implies a fairly clear delineation between bending the Law and _breaking_ it. I think it's safe to say pre-meditated murder and theft goes under the Breaking category.
Last edited by CaptainPatch on March 15th, 2014, 12:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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