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On the stupidity of BioWare's dialogue system.
by Gerald Belman on 09/13/12 05:38:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 


Good
Nuetral
Bad(or renegade)

Those are your choices. But are they really choices you need to make for every response - or even for every conversation? Can't you just tell the game "hey, I want to be good" so just always pick the good choice. You don't even need to read the dialogue responses - it's dumb. It's inexplicably dumb. It's so dumb that it's almost hard to explain why it is dumb - because it should just be obvious that it is dumb.

Part of the fun of any good dialogue based game is figuring out the right response (or the bad response - whatever you are going for). If the game just tells you which response is good or bad or neutral - what's the point? Why even read the responses - why even click the button. It should give you the ability to make it automatic.

Try switching randomly between good and bad responses and you will get a nonsensical piece of crap dialogue.

So what is the point? What is the difference between BioWare's dialogue system and a movie where every line of the script you have to choose between being morally good or bad - wouldn't that get a little tedious? Wouldn't it just be nice to say - "hey, I want the main character to be good" or "I want the main character to be bad". If you're going to force us to fit nicely into one of these categories - at least make it less tedious. Boom, problem solved - pay me money game companies.

Seriously though, how many of you play these games and alternate between good or bad responses? Or do you just pick a side? - Especially when the game rewards you for being consistent.

Now how many of you honestly disagree with me?

(and don't even get me started on the wheel system, be like Skyrim and make everything a damn list)


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Comments


Charles Geringer
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I honestly disagree.

I mostly play a good character, but sometimes, I chose a not good response.

The first fable for example, I chose pretty much all of the good choices, but when I could chose to kill or spare my opponent I chose to kill her.

Because I like to Roleplay in RPGs, and even though my character tried to do good, he was merciless, when dealing with those who do evil.

I am far from alone in liking role play in my role playing games.

I am all for allowing the player to customize the experience, so am ok with a mode that let´s you chose one of the 3 path at the beginning of the game, but I vehemently disagree with:

"If the game just tells you which response is good or bad or neutral - what's the point? Why even read the responses - why even click the button. "

In fact, sometimes, in games with a more complex conversation system, sometimes you choose to say something but the character takes it to mean something different from what you actually meant.

These paths solve that problem.

I do prefer more complex list based choices(Planescape Torment being the best example for me). But to just disregard the choices given seems to me a bit silly

Charles Geringer
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As another example, many people punch the annoying reporter even when it differs from the path they chose for most of the game


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