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Old 02-20-2007, 01:25 AM   #1
ztemplarz
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No more obvious stereotypes!

To some extent, this thread is related to the various other ones requesting that dark side responses/paths not be limited to infantile sadism, but slightly different. Instead, I would like it for choices to not be transparently obvious because of modern-day stereotypes.

*potential spoilers ahead*

For instance, on Telos you have the option of working for either the fish things or czerka. Without even exploring the options, you could correctly assume which path was the dark side one, and which path was the light side one- money root of evil, tree-huggers good. On the other hand, if you listened to the actual arguments that each made in their favor, czerka sounded like the more practical, and better option. Instead of a bunch of fish-things that might very well be squandering the money given to them through inefficiency, you could go with Czerka because they have all sorts of highly specialized experts. What I would like was for Czerka to have actually been the "good" path. Turns out Czerka really was interested in restoring the planet since they saw the obvious benefit to having that market cornered and in reality the fish things were just trying to hide their own petty interests behind idealistic talk and were actually doing a poor job of restoring Telos. Imagine if you decided to help the fish-people because they sounded nice, peaceful, and genuine in their concern for Telos and you discovered to late that it was all a sham and they had just played you for a dupe....

I would like for the situations to require more than a knee-jerk response to navigate through while rping. If Jedi were always faced with situations where it was readily apparent what path was the "right" path, then it wouldn't be very hard to be a good Jedi. I don't think that there should be a "good" and "bad" option. There should be multiple options, with varying degrees of goodness or badness attached to their outcome that you could do in selfish or selfless ways. For instance, as a lightsider, you could do the Czerka questline and end up convincing the fish-things to work for Czerka so that they are cooperating and both benefitting. As a darksider, you could actively work to ensure that the restoration won't be successful, while making it look otherwise or not.

In other words, choosing a questline shouldn't send you down a railroad of commitment to either good or evil actions, it should just be an alternate path that might be easier or harder. What you DO while attempting to follow that path should reflect the alignment you've chosen.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
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You think Czerka are the good guys? I guess you haven't payed attention to the story. The Ithorians want to restore Telos as a planet (you know - nature, animals and things like that). Czerka however are the bad guys they don't care about Telos, just credits. If you do the side quests you'll see this - for exapmle they want to kill Batono because he has information that can be bad for them if heard by the the telosian goverment. Then there are the criminals that Czerka agrees to hide on the planet. And what about the attack on the Ithorians? And if haven't noticed this and was confused than it looks like these "obvious stereotypes" are not so obvious.

P.S. If you think Czerka are better than the Ithorians then listen to what Bao-Dur says about that.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:33 AM   #3
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Ithorians are not like fish at all. Do you know anything about Star Wars?

Also, if you talk to Czerka, they really don't sound more practical, because they don't intend to restore the planet as the Ithorians do.

As for your idea, I think it is good for the major plot lines, but i like the side quests to be a little more straightforward- if only because if the side quests got really complicated, it would intrude on the importance of the central plot. Finding out that Czerka were actually the good guys would have really detoured people's trains of thought simply because a revelation like that would come as a big surprise. If we did that for the sidequests, people would become less affected by a surprise in the main plot.


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Old 02-20-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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Actually, in my LSF playthrough, the only reason I avoided Czerka was because I'd played K1 and thought "Not THESE jerks again!" It was also clear that Czerka's interest in Telos was salvaging weapons and military gear to hawk to whatever bidder passed by. The icing on the cake was that Czerka was in bed with the Sith in K1, so a good deal of the environmental damage to Telos was probably done with Czerka equipment in the first place.

I'm also enough of an Expanded U fan to know that when it comes to enviornmental stewardship, Ithorians are frankly the best you can get. This is a species that harvests one plant and puts two seedlings in its place and travels the galaxy on huge ships where the life support's based on plantlife.

Still, I would appreciate more dilemmas like Sunry's- there's no good answer there.


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Old 02-20-2007, 11:42 AM   #5
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Well, actually Czerka does not seem like the bad guy at first. But when their demands grow shady its a bit too late to change... And yes Czerka gives me a bad impression from the start cause I remembered how ncie and wonderful they were in k1. BTW the best way to do it would be working for both... first the hammerheads, then Czerka (and steal those leaves for the shop also)

There are quite some mission where you can get xp from doing nearly both sides of the story. For example you can, in k1, do most of the peaceful negotiations with the tuskens, gaining all the xp, and listens to the story even. Then you deliberately open a basket behind the story teller(not a DS act) and you get to piss them all off, steal their stuff, take their pearl back, and xp for killing. Technically, being a true DS would be doing all the above, yes?
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend222
You think Czerka are the good guys? I guess you haven't payed attention to the story. The Ithorians want to restore Telos as a planet (you know - nature, animals and things like that). Czerka however are the bad guys they don't care about Telos, just credits. If you do the side quests you'll see this - for example they want to kill Batono because he has information that can be bad for them if heard by the the telosian goverment. Then there are the criminals that Czerka agrees to hide on the planet. And what about the attack on the Ithorians? And if haven't noticed this and was confused than it looks like these "obvious stereotypes" are not so obvious.

P.S. If you think Czerka are better than the Ithorians then listen to what Bao-Dur says about that.

You missed the point ztemplarz was trying to make - that the "Light" and "Dark" paths are so clear that the Czerka rep might have well as had a moustache to twist. Evil is rarely that obvious. Look at Palpatine - he hid in plain sight for years. The Dark Side is supposed to be seductive, not a neon sign proclaiming "WE ARE BAD."
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:50 AM   #7
SilentScope001
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For instance, on Telos you have the option of working for either the fish things or czerka. Without even exploring the options, you could correctly assume which path was the dark side one, and which path was the light side one- money root of evil, tree-huggers good. On the other hand, if you listened to the actual arguments that each made in their favor, czerka sounded like the more practical, and better option. Instead of a bunch of fish-things that might very well be squandering the money given to them through inefficiency, you could go with Czerka because they have all sorts of highly specialized experts.
Doesn't sound like a sterotype to me. Czerka does seem to be somewhat effective, if a bit more greedy. I actually was shocked when I did the LS path working for Czerka, and let them, in the words of the Irdioans "destroy the planet"...

And Kreia said, "You know what, Telos is healed anyway. Guess the Iridioans were being overestimated. Sure the planet look like machines, but they are able to defend themselves against, you know, any sort of invasion by a huge intergalatic empire *coughcoughTrueSithcoughcough*" This was a pretty big shock, I thought Kreia would tell me of the deveastion Czerka would wrought on the planet...but it turns out that just enviromentalist properganda. In the end...did it really matter? Nope.

In fact, my DS character worked for the Iridionas presically due to the Force Connection that they were offering. Trust me, more Force Points are much more powerful than...you know...mere credits.

There are also other example of the lines between good and evil being blurred: The Jedi Council, Goto, Vaklu vs. Talia. More would be good, but I don't think there are any such obivous sterotypes. I don't want any suprise good-guy/bad-guy switch-a-roo, I like more of Sunry's delimmas.


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Old 02-20-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
Titanius Anglesmith
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I do want the LS and DS paths to be slightly blurred, making it difficult to actually figure out which is the "right" path, but I don't think the example you gave fits. In my opinion, Czerka is blatantly corrupt, and they are not well-run or effective. They're just a bunch of credit-loving, self-serving, arrogant, sons of-... well, you know.

And by the way SilentScope001, it's Ithorians, not Iridonians.


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Old 02-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerWeasel
I do want the LS and DS paths to be slightly blurred, making it difficult to actually figure out which is the "right" path, but I don't think the example you gave fits. In my opinion, Czerka is blatantly corrupt, and they are not well-run or effective. They're just a bunch of credit-loving, self-serving, arrogant, sons of-... well, you know.
That's a good point of view.


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Old 02-20-2007, 02:33 PM   #10
Jae Onasi
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Well, when you're talking about a game that needs to appeal to kids as well as adults, you can't get too subtle--the younger kids are in general not going to 'get' some of the really subtle stuff because they don't have enough life experience or knowledge to understand it at their stage in life. So some of it's always going to look kind of simplistic to those of us who are adults. I'd like an additional 'sneaky and subtle bad guy' path, but not too subtle--after all, there's not a whole lot of subtlety in good and evil in the Star Wars universe.


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Old 02-20-2007, 05:42 PM   #11
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some people in this thread need to address what the original poster was trying to point out, which i agree with, vs tearing down the example he came up with. (which, yes, does has some detractions as an example, but so what, it does help get across the point.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well, when you're talking about a game that needs to appeal to kids as well as adults, you can't get too subtle--the younger kids are in general not going to 'get' some of the really subtle stuff because they don't have enough life experience or knowledge to understand it at their stage in life. So some of it's always going to look kind of simplistic to those of us who are adults. I'd like an additional 'sneaky and subtle bad guy' path, but not too subtle--after all, there's not a whole lot of subtlety in good and evil in the Star Wars universe.
mmm, not to argue with the momerator... actually, i'm not... yet...

some of my favorite stories are kid stories that are written on many levels. you can, as a kid find the obvious stuff, and as an adult see many other things. to me this is one of the things that SW and Harry Potter do rather well and thus have so many people of many ages reading/seeing them.

a bad example, imo, of dumbing it down for the LCD (lowest common denominator) is starship troopers, the movie. when you compare it to the book, the book was great as a kid. all these mech warriors, fighting bugs, and the annoying teacher they had. when the movie came out, i reread the book (uh... lets see... 33 years later?) before going to see the movie and i found all this material that i was sitting there going ... wow i don't remember all this stuff... and then realised it wasn't that i didn't remember, it was that i just didn't get it the first time around. BUT, as i said i still remember the book being great to me as a early teen.

to me, this is the approach that most of the SW material has to take. this being that, the first movie was released a long time ago... (in a galaxy far... erm... sorry... uh... where was i... oh right...) when i was a teen and that audience, are now adults in their 40's or older. AND, they are still an active audience. AND, they want to find something meaningful (or just plain fun... lego sw's <3 ) in the various forms of SW based entertainment that is out there. "they" (for those of you that are going to interrogate me like i am Tarn, erm... "me at least"), still are seeing the movies, reading sw material, playing the games that come out, and uh... posting on forums related to sw.

it needs to appeal to more then the LCD!

of the sw games that i have played, kotor is the one that does the best job of appealing to the broader audience. it could do better, but as we saw with TSL, there are market pressures that make it tough to meet everyones expectations. if you try to appeal to many, money men will probably force it out the door before it is ready.

to me, the kotor stories seem to be trying to appeal to the people that like story more then quake. that is why there is history, romance, references, discussions, mini-games that support the story, logic/math puzzles etc... even npc that get pissed off when you take their stuff out of their room! (to me, if your light sided, you would earn your stuff rather then steal it. the declining payment to get lsp, seems to send the wrong message and make you to have to steal things. i wish it did more of that... it seems that the exchange is the only other entity that cares that your taking their stuff. salvaging things off of bad guys ok, taking stuff out of a medical facility with out permission? bad.)

that said, i think that the game should be brave, have deep pockets on many topics and you have the choice to follow them... (there is so much material that they can draw from out there now... they have a real advantage over games that are starting with a totally new story) it might even pay attn to whether your following the side stories and decide to offer more or less depending on your actions in the past. thus the person who never takes the topic side paths, might... say by half way through the story, have more of the action highlighted, tempo emphases and only the minimal story exposed. those that always were taking side trips might have more and more material exposed to them, puzzles to solve, twists of plot, less strait forward things tossed at them, npc become proactive at talking vs passively waiting for you to click on them and most importantly that what you have done changes the course of the story regardless of whether it was a light, neutral or dark decision.

which brings me to the original posters topic (/hears chiming in of "are we there yet" in the background) and disagreeing with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerWeasel
... but I don't think the example you gave fits. In my opinion, Czerka is blatantly corrupt
you ONLY know this if you know about Czerka from other material. not everyone that picks this up and plays it will know this.

but, agreeing with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerWeasel
I do want the LS and DS paths to be slightly blurred, making it difficult to actually figure out which is the "right" path,
the LCD would want you to boil things down into Light and Dark. but, life isn't that way. in fact, to me this is one of the themes of TSL, with the Jedi Masters and how they view the Exile. Disciple comments on this just after Kreia kills the masters and then talks to them... (=/ seemed she didn't want them to debate with her... i would have rather that was better structured to make it so killing them was the last thing she did... and how is it that the Masters other then Vrook took a left turn/180 in their attitudes toward the exile? i would have liked that better presented.) understanding that real life isn't all black and white is an important lesson. if you view things this way as the Jedi Masters do, then you will potentially wrong choices. the game seemed to be talking about that... but at the same time making all your choices right or wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
to kids as well as adults, you can't get too subtle
this is where i disagree with the momerator. by making all your choices, non subtle, you turn them into unrealistic representations of life. every thing gets turned into yes/no, dark/light, 3.14, etc... to me, this is a worse thing to do to kids, and a bad lesson. yes, i know some people would say that games are not supposed to teach lessons... but, they do, and in some cases they do a really bad job of it.

instead, it should be like the original poster i think was trying to state, unclear... you need to spend some time with both(or more) sides, maybe that you have to /gasps work at it to get to a point where it it becomes clear. maybe you have to do other things and and maybe go else where before you make a choice. maybe if you go by what is just "blatantly obvious" ... it turns out that once you get far down a potentially unrecoverable path... and you say... damn... this is bad... i shouldn't have made this choice.

which brings me to this... which is another twist on making things less in your face right/wrong... something that bothered me all through TSL... after a certain point it was OBVIOUS to me (and Atton) and at a certain point i also felt that it would be obvious to the exile too at another point, that Kreia was not just mmm... shady, but, BAD. yes, she was helping but... um... why? many of her actions and statements, in my eyes were so questionable that there should have come a point where esp the light sided exile could say, Kreia, i'm sorry but... i think you should leave. far before the discussion with Atton on the hawk where the exile says... "Kreia's a Sith?" like duh... Atton says as much to the exile.

anyway... thats how i look at this... probably more then you all want to hear.

Last edited by Wildboar; 02-21-2007 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:32 PM   #12
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I think Light/Dark should be earned more often in your motives, opposed to who you side with. For this thread's example, siding with Czerka basically made you a bad guy; but if you act under the belief that it's for the greater good then maybe it was a Light side decision.
I don't think Black and White decisions should be cut out completely however. As long as there is variety.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henz
I think Light/Dark should be earned more often in your motives, opposed to who you side with. For this thread's example, siding with Czerka basically made you a bad guy; but if you act under the belief that it's for the greater good then maybe it was a Light side decision.
yea... the problem is how do you indicate to the game this intent... and how does the game present to you a request for what is your intent that doesn't make it a spoiler of the fact that this needs to be known... i think this is a nice idea. however, would be in practice hard to accomplish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henz
I don't think Black and White decisions should be cut out completely however. As long as there is variety.
yes, totally agree here. some things are clear cut. others are not. making something that is clear cut into something that is not is just as bad as vise versa
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wildboar
yea... the problem is how do you indicate to the game this intent... and how does the game present to you a request for what is your intent that doesn't make it a spoiler of the fact that this needs to be known... i think this is a nice idea. however, would be in practice hard to accomplish.
Yeah I understand where you are coming from. The easiest way I can think of is more deliberation between you and party members when making the serious desicions. Discussing it with them would allow you to choose your intention.
Of course, when choosing the selfish path it's pretty clear already what intentions you have. Maybe the party member discussions can usher in a more clever bad guy. Instead of bluntly saying "I'm doing this for the money *evil laugh* !!!", you could lie your way through the conversation and tell your companions: "here lads, I'm gonna rip these idiots off!" Slightly more sneaky hehe.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jerrod_Tor
You missed the point ztemplarz was trying to make - that the "Light" and "Dark" paths are so clear that the Czerka rep might have well as had a moustache to twist. Evil is rarely that obvious. Look at Palpatine - he hid in plain sight for years. The Dark Side is supposed to be seductive, not a neon sign proclaiming "WE ARE BAD."
From my point of view it was pretty obvious Palpatine is somewhat evil...
And it's supposed to be that way after all it wasn't the big surprise "Wow Palpatine is the sithlord ZOMG!"

Actually evil is pretty obvious in most stories. If the plot relies on discovering who the evil guy is, then not of course.


Anyway, I agree that it would be nice to see a bit more intelligent ways of following quests, not only "murder them", and "give them all your money" options...
The Sunry quest in Kotor I is a good example imo.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:16 AM   #16
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Well there are some stereotypes tat are just "supposed to be there" Like, a hutt is not a good hero, and that twi'lek girl is not an ugly whale.

As said, things (especially decisions) being more subtle is nice. But epicness does build on contrast. So there should be some obvious LS/DS choices in big events. It would be kinda moot to make killinga Jedi Master a grey action...
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:24 AM   #17
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"Originally Posted by legend222
You think Czerka are the good guys? I guess you haven't payed attention to the story. The Ithorians want to restore Telos as a planet (you know - nature, animals and things like that). Czerka however are the bad guys they don't care about Telos, just credits. If you do the side quests you'll see this - for example they want to kill Batono because he has information that can be bad for them if heard by the the telosian goverment. Then there are the criminals that Czerka agrees to hide on the planet. And what about the attack on the Ithorians? And if haven't noticed this and was confused than it looks like these "obvious stereotypes" are not so obvious.

P.S. If you think Czerka are better than the Ithorians then listen to what Bao-Dur says about that."

So let's say that I really want to cure cancer. I decide that I'm going to form a foundation dedicated to that goal. But I'm not a scientist, and not even familiar with science. I hire other nice people who are similar to me. None of us have any prior business experience. How successful do you expect this enterprise to be? Good intentions does not ensure good results. I understand that Ithorians aren't stupid, but if they do waste money needlessly through bad business practices, then the Telos project would fail.

And what if caring about Telos WOULD be profitable? You don't think that a corporation would like to have the rights to restore other planets and have first dibs on profits coming from them and markets opening on them? Why does Czerka have to neglect their mission to restore the planet to excavate military hardware? What are the chances that selling some outdated military equipment is going to be more lucrative than growing plants that are economically valuable in the pharmaceutical business (think manaan)? Heck, I bet the exchange would pay an arm and a leg for some poppy fields! Czerka isn't interested in going bankrupt. If Telos really was the last hope for the republic, then they would be hard at work trying to restore it, because corporations like stable governments to do business with.

What if Czerka wanted to kill someone because they were interfering with the restoration project? What if those criminals were trying to escape the grasp of the exchange, and were actually working productively on Telos (cause it's not like any criminals of any sort came to America to start new lives...)? Why couldn't Czerka hire those Ithorians (because if they really are interested in restoring the planet, they would probably be cheap labor) and fire the inefficient ones?

And what if you did decide to side with Czerka, and did discover that they were corrupt- where is the option to force persuade (or regularly persuade, for that matter) them to switch courses? "I can prove that you guys doing this will result in the collapse of the Republic and some very harsh economic times for you."

My point is that you could be an idiot and successfully navigate through the game as either lightside or darkside (just based off of stereotypes). What if Churchill hadn't allowed English cities that he knew would be bombed to be occupied (because we had cracked the Nazi code)? What if there were spies or sympathizers who then let the Germans know that for some strange reason, the city was empty when they bombed it? What if doing or allowing some small evil will prevent a much greater one (for instance torturing a recently captured high-ranking terrorist in the United States, or Britain, or France to gather important, time sensitive information?) Those are the decisions that you should have to make, not, do I side with the greedy guys or the cuddly Ithorians.

Every time you did a "good" thing, you were graciously rewarded with a good outcome- worked for no credits? more force points! Every time you took an "evil" or "shady" path- you decimated a planet! lots of credits, some depigmentation, and some varicose veins! Traya hinted at the concept that doing what appears to be the right thing might not be the right thing in actuality, but the game never actually allowed it to happen.

Wait, those Ithorians just bankrupted the Republic and now it's definitely headed towards collapse? Crap! When I was doing work for them I personally observed them losing money, supplies and equipment. I observed two of their primary leaders squabbling over HOW the restoration project should be undertaken, with the result that virtually nothing was being done. Is it my fault that the TElos project failed, DESPITE MY BEST INTENTIONS?!?

That is what I'm looking for. Not every situation, mind you. I will agree that in most situations, the right thing is relatively clear (if you operate on preconceived principles). In some cases it really isn't. Do I spank my kid for stealing, or congratulate him on successfully managing to take something that didn't belong to him that was carefully guarded and explain how to do it better next time (I know what I would do, but how sure can you ultimately be of what is the best choice)?

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Old 02-21-2007, 10:38 AM   #18
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Every time you did a "good" thing, you were graciously rewarded with a good outcome- worked for no credits? more force points! Every time you took an "evil" or "shady" path- you decimated a planet! lots of credits, some depigmentation, and some varicose veins! Traya hinted at the concept that doing what appears to be the right thing might not be the right thing in actuality, but the game never actually allowed it to happen.
Then mod that in, I guess. I can see a public uporar if Obisidan actually placed that in...but it would fit into Allronix's nihlistic view of K2...that what you did really didn't matter,


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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