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Old 07-29-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
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Patrymir
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Alignments... What's the point?
Where do I even start? Every time I think of alignments I keep recalling this particular image:



And when I look at a game like After Reset which is trying to be this "classic like" RPG I just don't see alignments working for it. It's a completely flawed idea which is copied from D&D.

Can't After Reset do its own thing? Now I don't mean: "oh just copy the karma system from Fallout 1 and 2". No... Not at all, but a person's personality can have so many traits and specific characteristics which simply can't be summed up in two words like "Lawful Good". So you do generally good deeds and avoid braking the law, but all of a sudden you have a chance to break the law to do something extremely good and you do that good deed, but it somehow makes you somewhat of a law barker? Obviously if you wouldn't do anything it would make you extremely neutral wouldn't it?

Law is just a point of view and a set of rules which binds certain groups. Let's say you travel to some tribal village and you have the following law:

"Every outsider who talks or touches the village priestess without her permission has to go in to an ancient temple full of deadly traps and mutated beasts to prove (through a series of trials) that he or she is worthy of the priestess's attention."

Problem is - you had absolutely no idea such a law existed. You also think that it is totally ridiculous and that not getting involved even further in this mess is a good way of getting out of this predicament, so let's say you refuse. The village is pissed at you sure, but does that mean you are any less lawful then you where? Obviously laws are differ from culture to culture. You can care about your own laws and abide them flawlessly, but at the same time not give a crap about the laws of some tribals.

That's why I think it's pretty ridiculous to have alignments in After Reset and I doubt the game has some magic spells that you can cast on characters which are good or evil.

Why not create something more realistic? Kinda like karma, but with a twist. Let's just call it "Reputation".

So "Reputation" can be split it to two groups:

A) General - how are you seen by most of the inhabitants of the entire game's world.

B) Local - this on the other had is how are you seen by specific factions and communities.

Now let's say you helped a few guys rob a weapon store in some secluded town. The operation went very smoothly and no one even noticed you were there except for the other robbers you were working with (or maybe you've done it at all solo?). Now it's not like there were any people who witnessed your involvement except for your "friends" who helped you, so obviously they aren't going to talk about the robbery. In other words your reputation in the town is still the same as it was and in addition you are now "liked" by the faction of robbers who worked with you. Let's say that sometime later in the game one of your "friends" got caught and he spilled the beans exposing everyone involved. Obviously you quickly become a Wanted Outlaw in that area and thus both your General and Local reputation drops. Anyway you load up a previous save and you discover that you have a chance to either help your friend escape or kill him in the cell where he is being held before he gets interrogated. This can both preserve your current status in the town and raise the reputation further among your fellow thieves. As long as you are masked or in disguise and no one recognizes you or notices you your reputation should remain unchanged among specific groups including scenarios where you leave absolutely no witnesses! You want to kill everyone in the town? Go ahead! Who's gonna say you did it if all the people are dead? After all dead men don't tell no tales right?

In short - if there is no one who witnesses you doing something bad (or discovers your wrongdoings) there are absolutely no repercussions which could hurt your reputation. And there are various reputations you could come up with too! Philanthropist, Defender, Savior, Lone Wolf, Outlaw, Gigolo, Sex Addict, Deviant, Butcher, Hero, Law Enforcer, Opportunist, Gambler, Betrayer, Trader, Cheap Skate. There are just so many possibilities!

Let's take philanthropist for example:

Philanthropist: Your generous donations and all the financial aid you provided to the poor and downtrodden have made you a very well-known philanthropist. Many people think of you positively and are more opened to providing you with information or help, but at same time you are more likely to come across those who want to abuse your good nature or take everything you own even if it means your death.

That way you have both positive and negative effects of specific reputations and you could even implement something I called reputation evolution like from Cheap Skate to Trader. At first you buy things for the lowest price you can get from specific traders (let's say one has 10% cheaper guns and ammo, another has 10% cheaper electronics etc.), but the more you engage in trade the better you get at trading - thus eventually getting the Trader rep (10% less for all items + the benefits of the barter skill). Alternatively you could simply engage in trade quite often getting the Trader reputation while completely skipping Cheap Skate. It would be a slower process, but you'd still get it and it's much better to actually earn reputations then just pick some perk. They would not only show what is your character like personality wise, but also affect your skills, dialogs and interactions with specific NPC's. You could also get some reps (one or two maybe) at the start of the game during character creation. It would surely outclass alignments.

Last edited by Patrymir; 07-30-2015 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:26 AM   #2
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There is no Good-Evil scale in the AR.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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Patrymir
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Then why make alignments at all? Let's look at the Flesh Worm for example (my favorite critter in AR):

Originally Posted by MrNixon View Post
Flesh Worm
Level: 2
Species: Biomass.
Race: Lower Symbiont .
Gender: None.
Alignment: True-Neutral.
It's alignment is True-Neutral. If there is no Good-Evil scale in the AR why give it an alignment? Wouldn't it be better to give it some reputation or characteristics instead? Like:

Inflammable
Scavenger
Predator

Just describe it's general attributes. When I think of a true neutral species I think of a wild rabbit. Sure it might look cute and it will very likely run away if you get too close, but it will bite you if you pet it.

When I think of Flesh Worms I have a feeling this thing would certainly not act passively if I got close. It would either flee or attack me as soon as I'd get in to effective pistol range. It's not that it's evil, but it certainly seem aggressive and unpredictable especially if you'd happen to get close to it's nest.

Last edited by Patrymir; 07-30-2015 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
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Here is the SACPIC alignment system with examples:

http://www.afterreset.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #5
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Patrymir
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Originally Posted by MrNixon View Post
First, need to say we've changed GOOD-EVIL scale to ALTRUISTIC-EGOISTIC one.
Ah. I just noticed it.

Originally Posted by MrNixon View Post
If you are unknown (it means you don't have any reputation achievements) you can join them if they find you useful. For that "fake" joining you will receive +1 to ALTRUISTIC-EGOISTIC scale (because you risk your life by that action). Then, if you take oath of the raiders and betray it, you will gain -1 to LAWFUL-CHAOS scale (despite your oath was fake or not).
So I take it that betraying the raiders would earn me +1 point to chaos right? But then again raiders are chaotic (at least they seem to be as they are raiders... they raid people, rob and kill), so betraying them is the lawful thing to do? Isn't it? I still see this as problematic. You can always follow your own set of laws and your own morality.

I do how ever see Altruism, Neutrality and Egoism working for this game. It's a fine fresh idea.

As for animals - they are self-aware and intelligent. Have you noticed that even a tiny fly will instantly sense your intent to kill it and fly away just before you can smash it? Furthermore not only will it escape, but quite often it will try to play with you. Dive-bomb you, fly all around you and even though it's in danger it will sometimes even try to sit on you, then fly away only to come back in a while to pester you again. So many studies on animals have shown they are self-aware. Sometimes more or less, but they certainly are and they do possess some measure of intellect. It's not just a self-preservation program running through their heads as if they were coded computes. They can develop habits, quirks and preferences. Even a Flesh Worm (or a group of Flesh Worms) could develop such specific characteristics. For example: a preference for certain typse of meets (human for example) or a preference for making nests in mines or caves which have been flooded by water or the opposite - completely dry, barren caves. Animals think, communicate and adapt. Just look at this little critter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c36UNSoJenI

He may not look smart, but who can say this animal is not intelligent or self-aware? If certain animals where to quickly mutate and evolve I'm pretty certain they would have a much greater intelligence like in "A Boy and His Dog". The people who use and practice psionics like telepathy have been said to even receive messages from animals. Basic ones like "I feel hungry" or "I'm cold".

Last edited by Patrymir; 07-30-2015 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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Honey Badgers are awesome :) You will, definitely, meet them in AR world.
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