rpgs need more choice and consequence

samoilaaa

Member
The thing that i appreciate the most in an rpg is when my choices matter and affect the story and very few rpgs actually do this most of them are doing it in a very shallow way , they either create the illusion of choice or just give you a couple of choices close to the ending of the game that will determine how the story ends

games like wasteland 3 , divinity original sin , fallout new vegas are doing this perfectly . What is the point of creating a character the way i want if there are no choices that let me use my personality in the game world , there is nothing more immersive than when the things happening in the story are happening because of my actions , not because someone forced those events down my throat
 

killatopak

Member
It’s because publishers want to pad play time. Makes it seem more worth it to buy.

Imagine developing a game that has parts where a lot of players won’t experience.

I love Castlevania Symphony of The Night for this reason. Some people probably didn’t even know the inverted castle exists especially in a time before the internet.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
This is why New Vegas is one of the GOATs

 

samoilaaa

Member
It’s because publishers want to pad play time. Makes it seem more worth it to buy.

Imagine developing a game that has parts where a lot of players won’t experience.

I love Castlevania Symphony of The Night for this reason. Some people probably didn’t even know the inverted castle exists especially in a time before the internet.
well if the game is good i always play the game again with different choices just to see how it is , most rpg players do this , to test different outcomes or builds
 

Wildebeest

Member
I think that there is a difference between having multiple ways to get to the same goal and "choice & consequences". Choice and consequence can often feel very artificial and fake. As in the developer puts forward some contrived moral choice for you to make saying it will affect everything from then on. Then it doesn't really affect anything other than some "good guy/bad guy" bar moving left or right.
 
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Guilty_AI

Member
Its one of those things thats easier said than done, even some of the games you mentioned like New Vegas and Divinity OS still follow a basic linear structure. Many of the choices are simply different ways to accomplish the same goal, have consequences detached from the ultimate objective or have only mechanical consequences (get a rare item or something)

I personally think its very hard to both write a compeling narrative and give total freedom of action and consequence to the player.
Daggerfall for example is just like that, you can even screw up and fail the "main storyline", with many people doing that on purpose just to screw around in the world doing whatever they want. Its very fun indeed but you'd be hard pressed to find any memorable characters or story bits in the game, the "story" being formed organically feels less like an actual story and more like a gameplay mechanic.
 
It’s because publishers want to pad play time. Makes it seem more worth it to buy.

Imagine developing a game that has parts where a lot of players won’t experience.

I love Castlevania Symphony of The Night for this reason. Some people probably didn’t even know the inverted castle exists especially in a time before the internet.
But this game came out when the internet was already a thing. Everyone knows about the inverted castle because evey magazine talked about it at the time anyway.
 

samoilaaa

Member
When people say The Witcher 3 is an "RPG" unironically, you know the genre is fucked beyond belief.
yeah its not really , just an action adventure game with some rpg elements , real third person rpgs are very rare , to combine the complexity of a crpg with the cinematics of a 3rd person AAA game is very hard to do

baldurs gate 3 might be close to that , all the dialogs have cinematics and voice acting its insane
 
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It’s not as ubiquitous as today nor did everybody have access to the same magazines. Those things did not exist in my country.
There’s always context, I just assumed you were in the US or UK that’s my bad.

I was 21 when the game launched in NA and it was already available in Japan months before it shipped here. Just about everyone at the time of launch knew there was an inverted castle.
 

Kev Kev

Gold Member
I feel that would be too hard to do. The tech just isn’t there yet.

In order for it to feel real and organic you need your decisions to wildly change the direction of the game. Meaning the story, the setting and places you go, the characters you interact with, etc. Which would require an immense amount of work. There are so many moving pieces, the only thing devs can realistically do is a shallow change to some of the places you go, and maybe a couple characters, and a little bit of the story, but nothing that can wildly change the game.

For me, RPGs just need to feel more adventurous to be more immersive. I rarely feel like I’m going on a journey with RPGs anymore. And trying to add that immersion by giving me a shallow sense of agency just doesn’t cut it. I need an open world, or semi open, and to meet new characters along the way that have interesting stories and have more hidden stuff to find, secret bosses to fight, different ways of traversal along the journey, etc. Basicaly like FF 4-9. Those were the golden days of RPGs and you didn’t make any game altering decisions in those stories.
 

samoilaaa

Member
I feel that would be too hard to do. The tech just isn’t there yet.

In order for it to feel real and organic you need your decisions to wildly change the direction of the game. Meaning the story, the setting and places you go, the characters you interact with, etc. Which would require an immense amount of work. There are so many moving pieces, the only thing devs can realistically do is a shallow change to some of the places you go, and maybe a couple characters, and a little bit of the story, but nothing that can wildly change the game.

For me, RPGs just need to feel more adventurous to be more immersive. I rarely feel like I’m going on a journey with RPGs anymore. And trying to add that immersion by giving me a shallow sense of agency just doesn’t cut it. I need an open world, or semi open, and to meet new characters along the way that have interesting stories and have more hidden stuff to find, secret bosses to fight, different ways of traversal along the journey, etc. Basicaly like FF 4-9. Those were the golden days of RPGs and you didn’t make any game altering decisions in those stories.
it can be done because there are game that did it , look at baldurs gate 3 , me and my friends played it and all of us had different encounters because of our decisions and its only 1 act , the same goes for wasteland 3 , all your decisions matter , i used a trainer to kill the "bad guy " from the beginning and the game ended and during the credits it made fun of me for using a cheats , its such a good game

i agree with the story part though , its very hard to find good story these days , with people that have real motivations for doing what they are doing , not just good vs bad
 
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Kev Kev

Gold Member
it can be done because there are game that did it , look at baldurs gate 3 , me and my friends played it and all of us had different encounters because of our decisions and its only 1 act , the same goes for wasteland 3 , all your decisions matter , i used a trainer to kill the "bad guy " from the beginning and the game ended and during the credits it made fun of me for using a cheats , its such a good game

i agree with the story part though , its very hard to find good story these days , with people that have real motivations for doing what they are doing , not just good vs bad
Right on, I haven’t played those games, I’ll check them out 👍
 
I’m playing Deadfire for the first time and I’m loving everything about it. But this is a game that will take months on end to complete for me which is fine (I play certain games for many years).

I just love the way someone will be talking and at the end of their line you hit continue and there’s a description of the way the character is feeling. Like as they adjust their sleeve or nervously shaking thier leg. It’s like reading a novel. Then there’s all the skill trees to deal with and the detailed description of each skill.

Honestly I really don’t think these super Meticulous rpg’s really have an appeal to the masses, there extremely intimidating with all the reading and having to actually think about your skills.
The masses want streamlined dialogue and skill trees. But fortunately these detailed rpgs are still being made.
 

Denton

Member
When people say The Witcher 3 is an "RPG" unironically, you know the genre is fucked beyond belief.
There are shit ton of choices and consequences in Witcher 3, both large and small. Same in first two games.

Are they as widely branching as top down games like Pathfinder 2? Not quite. But RPG genre is not limited to top down crpgs.

And obviously, AAA RPGs where you have to model every little thing and voice everything is always going to be more constrained in their possibility space than mostly text-driven top down games. Text can handle a lot.
 
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Kikorin

Member
i dont have a switch so i cant play it , maybe it will come to pc later
I hope so, it would have to be everywhere. Don't see why make exclusive a niche game like Triangle Strategy, is awesome and deserve to be played by most people possible.
 
Someone who replays a 100-hour story heavy RPG just to see if one or two different key dialogue options in the middle changes the ending is a maniac.

Or they can play Alpha Protocol, which is the best condensed example of an Rpg having a consequence system. Several different paths through the story AND the endings, and they are all 5-8 hours each.

Which more games were as clever and fast-paced as that but still wrong with multiple different story paths instead of these long grueling games where eventually you'll get to that choice that may impact the game 20 hours in, 50 hours in.
 

Amiga

Member
The thing that i appreciate the most in an rpg is when my choices matter and affect the story and very few rpgs actually do this most of them are doing it in a very shallow way , they either create the illusion of choice or just give you a couple of choices close to the ending of the game that will determine how the story ends

games like wasteland 3 , divinity original sin , fallout new vegas are doing this perfectly . What is the point of creating a character the way i want if there are no choices that let me use my personality in the game world , there is nothing more immersive than when the things happening in the story are happening because of my actions , not because someone forced those events down my throat
CP2077 did a great job of providing choice within a strong structured narrative. I played as a humanist pacifist who hates Silverman and rejects him at every point. Could also play as his lethal cyborg fanboy.
 

Wildebeest

Member
Or they can play Alpha Protocol, which is the best condensed example of an Rpg having a consequence system. Several different paths through the story AND the endings, and they are all 5-8 hours each.

Which more games were as clever and fast-paced as that but still wrong with multiple different story paths instead of these long grueling games where eventually you'll get to that choice that may impact the game 20 hours in, 50 hours in.
The problem is what makes a game feel satisfyingly deep. RPG combat design progresses in a way where at first you don't consistently win hard fights easily, but as you creep up the power curve you get more consistent. This is a slow burn design. So, in parallel to this, you add in a parallel "depth" system where the result of your choices seem unpredictable and inconsistent, but you increase your knowledge of the decision tree to consistently get the results you want over multiple campaigns. Each run resets progression, even if you have more knowledge to consistently do better or feel more confident to take on harder difficulty challenges.

For the consequences in the overall plot to become the main "depth" feature, this would have to be reversed. Say, imagine a game like Hades, where a run lasts about an hour, like this week's episode. Each run represents a full attempt at the plot. So those choices better be very concise and non-linear to allow you to feel the depth of a different plot structure each game without getting bored. But then we could also say that your combat progression is maintained between episodes, so you feel that increase of consistency.

What this game looks like to me is Way of the Samurai, not Alpha Protocol.
 

Kataploom

Member
I'm actually in the opposite side, I like a static story with no alteration due to my actions, at least no meaningful ones (for small details or subplots with no repercussion on main story I'm ok).

I hate feeling I spent tens of hours into a game only to know I just have to play it again to see "the real final" or whatever shit some devs put in some games.
 

Alandring

Member
When people say The Witcher 3 is an "RPG" unironically, you know the genre is fucked beyond belief.
Yeah, the first two games were much better for their choices.

There are shit ton of choices and consequences in Witcher 3, both large and small. Same in first two games.
I disagree. Yes, there is some choices, but the main story is very linear, and the difference between good and bad ending is... not a great choice.

For me, The Witcher 2 was awesome for that. Four main endings, all with their good and their bad things, and an act 2 completely different if you have chose one side or another. They even remember more choices from The Witcher 1 than The Witcher 3 did with The Witcher 1 and/or 2 choices.
 
The problem is what makes a game feel satisfyingly deep. RPG combat design progresses in a way where at first you don't consistently win hard fights easily, but as you creep up the power curve you get more consistent. This is a slow burn design. So, in parallel to this, you add in a parallel "depth" system where the result of your choices seem unpredictable and inconsistent, but you increase your knowledge of the decision tree to consistently get the results you want over multiple campaigns. Each run resets progression, even if you have more knowledge to consistently do better or feel more confident to take on harder difficulty challenges.

For the consequences in the overall plot to become the main "depth" feature, this would have to be reversed. Say, imagine a game like Hades, where a run lasts about an hour, like this week's episode. Each run represents a full attempt at the plot. So those choices better be very concise and non-linear to allow you to feel the depth of a different plot structure each game without getting bored. But then we could also say that your combat progression is maintained between episodes, so you feel that increase of consistency.

What this game looks like to me is Way of the Samurai, not Alpha Protocol.

Almost everything you said applies to AP except for the part that seems more like something you'd see in an adventure games than an rpg.

Remember, you are supposed to BE the thing/person you are playing as interacting in real-time in their world as our, and the development overtime, as well as actions having benefits or consequences is a key part. Which AP does better than WotS.
 
The only recent game with AAA production that has true choice and consequences is Detroit Become Human. Look at how the simplest flowchart of the game in chapter 9 branches off to different distinct choices. It gets really crazy by the end with charecter arcs intersect in wild ways. Really underated game imo.



In a modern 100 hour AAA western RPG, because of the cost of all the additional cutscenes and so forth it becomes cost prohibitive compared to a 15 hour cinematic adventure. Its probably why Guerilla took out c&c from Horizon 2 and why its a lssser experience compared to Zero Dawn.
 

Wildebeest

Member
Almost everything you said applies to AP except for the part that seems more like something you'd see in an adventure games than an rpg.

Remember, you are supposed to BE the thing/person you are playing as interacting in real-time in their world as our, and the development overtime, as well as actions having benefits or consequences is a key part. Which AP does better than WotS.
There are no such rules about making RPGs. Perhaps if a choice and consequence focussed game appears to you to be an adventure game and not an RPG, then perhaps that means to you, choice and consequence has the feel of being an adventure game mechanic. People have their own personal opinions of this sort of thing and hold onto them very strongly. For some people they could never call a game a proper RPG if it doesn't have a system for finding a place to sleep and eating breakfast to avoid some sort of penalty, but for others that might seem to be some sort of irrelevant survival game mechanic and real RPGs are about boning blue alien chicks or busty lizard women.
 
Perhaps if a choice and consequence focussed game appears to you to be an adventure game and not an RPG, t

You clearly didn't read my post, but strangely, apparenlty yuu don't think AP is a choice or consequence game, which is a tad ridiculous because that's basically the entire point of the game. More so then Way of the Samurai by almost every metric.

Some of the elements you listed as I said before, end up breaking epectation for what an RPG is. Nowhere did I say "choice and consequence" was an adventure game element.

Then again, I noticed you brought up alien chicks and lizard women, which seems something more akin to mass Effect. have you actually seen or played Alpha Protocol?
 
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Wildebeest

Member
You clearly didn't read my post, but strangely, apparenlty yuu don't think AP is a choice or consequence game, which is a tad ridiculous because that's basically the entire point of the game. More so then Way of the Samurai by almost every metric.

Some of the elements you listed as I said before, end up breaking epectation for what an RPG is. Nowhere did I say "choice and consequence" was an adventure game element.

Then again, I noticed you brought up alien chicks and lizard women, which seems something more akin to mass Effect. have you actually seen or played Alpha Protocol?
In my opinion, Alpha Protocol is a linear espionage action adventure game that barely qualifies as an RPG just due to who made it and the flavour they added to it. The choices in it do add flavour and maybe some replayability, but they could easily have cut that and it would be largely the same game.
 
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Fallout new Vegas was a strong outlier

The reality is, it's difficult to create games where choices matter because it's a major time and money hole to write/animate stuff the majority of players won't see

I think a good approach is when your choices through a base story affect the ending,like witcher 3... With the scope of games currently, you can't really have continually branching plot lines
 

Denton

Member
I disagree. Yes, there is some choices, but the main story is very linear, and the difference between good and bad ending is... not a great choice.

Actually getting the ending depending on how Geralt treats Ciri, and more importantly how Ciri perceives it was quite brilliant. Jeff Vogel had a good article about it.

And yes, there is not a choice in TW3 that would result in almost half the game being different. But that's logical given that it is an open world game. You can still effect fates of shit ton of people and even entire countries based on your choices. And there are some very long separate sequences that branch out depending on your choices. Skellige or Toussaint come to mind, or Baron in Velen..
 

Teslerum

Member
In my opinion, Alpha Protocol is a linear espionage action adventure game that barely qualifies as an RPG just due to who made it and the flavour they added to it. The choices in it do add flavour and maybe some replayability, but they could easily have cut that and it would be largely the same game.

What am I reading?

You clearly haven't played Alpha Protocol.

Because no it wouldn't be. Just, no.
 
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In my opinion, Alpha Protocol is a linear espionage action adventure game that barely qualifies as an RPG just due to who made it and the flavour they added to it. The choices in it do add flavour and maybe some replayability, but they could easily have cut that and it would be largely the same game.

I feel like you are greatly underestimating how much choice has an impact on the game.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Triangle Strategy is great in this.
What I love about choices in this game is that you are not the only one making choices, other characters as well and they can choose not go with your decision, it makes other characters feel like have their own minds and values instead of just mindlessly follow any choices you make.
 

Griffon

Member
I practically soft locked myself in the first isle of Divinity OS 2.

Games that tout choices in a "you can do anything" way usually end up as not much better than linear point and click games: think outside of what the authors thought about and you're in for an awful experience.

It's a fine illusion, but in practice it doesn't really work. I'd prefer a proper straight adventure like in classic Final Fantasy.
 
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There’s always context, I just assumed you were in the US or UK that’s my bad.

I was 21 when the game launched in NA and it was already available in Japan months before it shipped here. Just about everyone at the time of launch knew there was an inverted castle.
I think a big difference is your age at the time and also how involved you were when it came to reading up on video games. Back then I was a little kid and happened to choose the game at a rental store. I played it and saw the credits without ever hearing about an inverted castle. I still thought it was a great game. Years later a friend told me about the inverted castle when the 360 version released. That was when I finally learned about it and experienced it for myself.
 
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