Ever since this game was first revealed at E3, I was personally against character creation in narrative driven RPGs.
I'm against narrative-driven RPGs.
If you want to tell a specific
story in a game, don't make an RPG.
If you want to tell a story that can get just a little bit on the emergent side, however, now we're talkin'.
I know there has been a lot of quibbling over the definition of RPG for a long time, but for me it comes down to the this: the game genre has its roots in table-tops games like Dungeons & Dragons, where you create the character whose role you're going to play.
If I'm forced to make only certain
choices, it's not a role-playing game...it's more akin to a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.
I think character creation takes away from the protagonist having an actual real role and purpose in the story.
Bethesda games like Fallout and Skyrim
The game is 100% centered around what the protagonist does. Without the protagonist, nothing changes.
Yes, this means that the developers have to create a huge branching dialogue/plot tree to handle every possible permutation of the choices the player might make, which is probably a giant hassle, but until we have AI that can not only have real conversations but also remember what the player said or did for more than three sentences, that's the only way to have the illusion of emergent gameplay.
And yes, that means the reactions to the player will likely be very generic rather than personal.
But, frankly, I'd rather have that
than be forced to play a character whose personality has been decided for me by the developers.
I have movies
It's also the character that will represent your marketing and grab interest in your product's story.
Again, this is why I'm against narrative-driven RPGs.
What drew me to CP2077 was not
the story: it was the world.
I wanted to play around in Night City. I wanted to see what I could do
in Night City.
Based on the early lifepath screens, I wanted to play a Streetkid with ambition to become a Corpo.
I didn't give a damn about CDPR's story! The story was pretty meh, to be honest.
What I really wanted was a Night City simulator.
What made Geralt stand out the most compared to his competition was not only his sickly, bruised, mutated, and downright terrifying appearance was his personality. He was cruel, direct, and extremely anti-social in some instances. Deep down, he was someone who only wanted to do the right thing, but not even that was possible as he was always forced into a position where he's choosing two different evils. This was what made Geralt iconic among video game protagonists, and he's number one on my list for top protagonists in anything.
Well, I don't want an interactive movie where I only have control over the action scenes.
I want a PC-RPG that lets me play the character I've decided upon in my head.
Yes, that means a lot of NPC behavior has to be kind of generic. Honestly, I prefer it that way to a game that is scripted to treat me like I'm a specific someone (whom I may not wish to be playing).
I mean, imagine being told, "Why, yes; you can play around in this really cool-looking world, but only if you play as [fill in someone whose personality you find utterly detestable]," and see whether that's an experience you want.
I know people will bring up Mass Effect and say: "But Mass Effect has character creation." This is true, but when was the last time anyone recognized who your character was? Commander Shepard has a recognizable appearance that everyone will consider canon.
Not if the only thing they ever did with Mass Effect was...play Mass Effect.
I don't know from Mass Effect fandom, but I played 1 & 2, customized my Captain Shepard, and in my world, that's
who Commander Shepard is.
And I'd love to have a service that lets us upload our design of V--perhaps even in photo mode--in order to be sold a 3D-printed version of our own
Vs. I'd love to have that available for any
game that lets me customize my characters.
Why would I care what's "canon"? That seems quite silly to me.
So, how would I improve V's character? V's a little difficult to make when it comes to a character that actually makes sense to choose the choices they make. Lifepaths should play a part in how V will act towards individuals.
And now I start very agreeing with you; lifepaths seem quite the afterthought.
The dialogue options for lifepaths don't really seem to change things very much.
I think V should have a dynamic personality kind of like Arthur Morgan and Commander Shepard, but the difference is the player chooses what V does.
And the choices the player makes should be remembered by the game so they can come back to the player...whether to bite them on the ass or boost them up, either way.
To make it believable, it's ultimately up to the VAs to do the character's performance justice to make them great. There are small things they can do to give V and the player more to work with when it comes to choices, but I'll talk about that in my lifepath thread.
Yeah, but the problem is that there have been times when the text for the choice I take and how the VAs--or worse, the writers--wrote what V then says are not always in line with each other.
Can't tell you how many times I've chosen a dialogue option that I thought would smooth things over with an NPC, only to have V kind of a little bit throw a tantrum or get aggro, instead. And I'm just like, "Well, that's not what I wanted."
It's like watching a TV show or movie where the characters are facing some problem or other and, rather than choosing the very obvious solution, they hand-wring about it for the entire episode. And you're just there shouting, "Just do THIS
, you morons!!!" but of course they can't hear you... there is a certain episode of "The Orville" I can't watch anymore because I'll grind my teeth to powder at how utterly stupid
the characters had to be to keep the main plot problem continuing for 40+ minutes...
At the end of the day, this is just my opinion, I'd rather just play as a character than a character I create
The more I can make a game character my own--the more the game is designed to handle
that--the better the experience, I say.