On moral complexity

Evizaer over at That's a Terrible Idea is talking about Morality in games i.e. Alignments and how they've become a little cliche and pointless.

I still think they have some uses, but for the most part I agree that the whole "These guys are good and these guys are evil" thing is completely worthless, unless of course we're talking about angels and demons and even then it's not always so cut and dry.

What he was talking about was having NPCs react to player decisions based on different viewpoints on other scales such as materialism. The NPCs would have their opinions on these subjects, and based on what the player does while playing, the NPC would react to that player differently. An NPC that loves the animals for example, like some sort of hippy elf or something, would not react well to a player who has grinded epic loots from poor innocent deer and bunnies in the nearby forest.

I'd been thinking of something similar. His idea seems to go much more in depth than mine. Something I wondered though is whether players would find this to be an engaging idea which improves immersion or if it would just be a hurdle to go around on the quest to the end of the game? It seems like players have now come to expect from MMOs some form of "end game" where they have grind it out through quests/mobs/piles of poop/whatever to get to. If a player had to play the game a certain way in order to reach a rep level, or to learn certain skills, or to get a specific piece of gear that's given as a reward, or whatever the goal is that the morality choices could make inaccessible if they do things "the wrong way", would they accept that and just slog it out by restraining themselves from having fun the way they want? Or would they just go find another game?

Posted by Glyph, the Architect | at 10/30/2009 02:38:00 PM


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