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NO MORALITY METER PLEASE

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#1
So a lot of games have this morality meter/system where you do something good you get Good guy points you do something Bad you get Bad guy points. Red Dead 2 had this as well. And i hate it. I am constantly worried about doing something wrong and getting my good guy meter down that i can't even enjoy the game. Its stupid it makes you walk on egg shells the entire game cause you think it will have some kind of bearing at the end which is usually does but its kinda minor. Really it adds nothing and takes away freedom from the player to act how they want to act in that moment. I think individual actions should influence the ending without a stupid meter, eg did you let that snitch live yes or no, did u take the money yes or no, did u plant evidence yes or no. And something that happens in games a lot is that you let someone live and they come back and assist you later on. Such a cliche. how about u let someone live and they come back stronger and start shooting at you!?

TLDR

No morality system/points/meter for CP2077 please, thx.

[Sard Edit: Developer Benzenzimmern has answered this:
"We won't do an arbitrary morality meter for Cyberpunk. We try to handle these things in a more organic way, by tracking choices you make, and how they affect the people you interact with.
So a ganger on the other city of the city won't care if you told a fixer to fuck off, but the fixer might remember (or maybe they know each other, so now you got a whole new situation on your hand). Basically, we try to keep it as true to life as possible. "


https://forums.cdprojektred.com/index.php?threads/no-morality-meter-please.10992910/post-11288470 ]
 
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Sardukhar

Moderator
#2
So a lot of games have this morality meter/system where you do something good you get Good guy points you do something Bad you get Bad guy points. Red Dead 2 had this as well. And i hate it. I am constantly worried about doing something wrong and getting my good guy meter down that i can't even enjoy the game.

A) this totally surprises me about you, Animal. Worried about being a good guy?! In a video game?

B) Just have fun with it. Doesn't really affect the plot very much far as I can tell. My meter is verrry much black hat. Probably my habit of shooting passers-by, civilians, rude people and horses.

What? You can have a rude horse.

Also highjacking trains - this does not go well for good guy points. Especially when you commandeer them through New Orleans. Poor Arthur is trying to reform and well, I'm not helping.

I think I'll start to reform him later in Chapter 3 or 4, maybe. Unless this horse gets uppity again. Or that guy doesn't tip his hat at me. Ooooooh! <Blam>

CDPR doesn't usually do morality meters. Up to you to be good or bad.
 
#3
I had an idea once that morality is not a straight measurement on how people view the character and whether or not he is seen as good or evil, but rahter that morality is a cumulative representation of the characters psyche which reflects on how he can/can't act at certain situations. People don't give a fuck, they don't know what your moral standing is until you express is, and then it's simply a matter of reputation whether it's seen as good or bad.

So, the way you act builds up and developes that way of acting and the harder it becomes to act the opposite way. But never so hard that you can not turn your tides, you just have to work more to become a kind person after being an utter psycopath for a good while. And being an opportunist is kind of juggling in the between, but never being a complete saint or a psycho (so the most saintly or cruel options will not occur). And building this through slowly cumulative subtlety for situations where it is appropriate and called for to push the effects to the player.

Things that might affect this could be the game keeping score on the amount of violence the character commits (the bodycount, the manner in which he solves the tasks, the lawlessness he commits, the depravity he takes part in; or not...).

And of course just a behind the screen gauge. The player need not be able to game it, he should act the way he sees best without having to think about scoreboards.
 

Sardukhar

Moderator
#4
And of course just a behind the screen gauge. The player need not be able to game it, he should act the way he sees best without having to think about scoreboards.
I would agree with this idea quite a bit. I doubt we will see it implemented though - and especially not in a hidden way.
Although I say that and Witcher 1 2 and 3 kept tabs on your choices and then inflicted the consequences on you pretty ruthlessly.

So maybe.

In our 2020 campaign I started a few sessions ago, the characters are all 8 year old streetkids. Which is making for some interesting morality choices. Especially since in 2020, there is no morality meter. You can be as bad or as good or as crazy as you want to be.
 
#5
I had an idea once that morality is not a straight measurement on how people view the character and whether or not he is seen as good or evil, but rahter that morality is a cumulative representation of the characters psyche which reflects on how he can/can't act at certain situations.
So you want to hinder a player from picking a choice that he wants based on his previous choices? Maybe i want to be a good guy but in this certain incident i want to be a dick and the game wont let me? Mass Effect had this system and it was garbage. No thanks.
 
#6
I doubt we will see it implemented though
Same. But it would be a neat little mechanic that actually develops the character based on your actions -- beyond normal C&C where if you... loosen the lid of a salt shaker, somebody will be angry at you as his dinner is ruined. It could also be used in exploring the concept of personal morality and how that affects one, the psychology of why people act the way they do. I find it to bring forth interesting narrative prospects.

In our 2020 campaign I started a few sessions ago, the characters are all 8 year old streetkids. Which is making for some interesting morality choices. Especially since in 2020, there is no morality meter. You can be as bad or as good or as crazy as you want to be.
That sounds pretty interesting. What woudl a child do, and how would he learn from what he does, what would he become based on that?

So you want to hinder a player from picking a choice that he wants based on his previous choices?
Well... Yeah. Choices and consequences, cause and effect. It's not conceptually all that different from if you shoot somebody, he's dead and you can not talk to him anymore or do his missions.

The point was to have it subtle enough that it might only take effect in the longer run. If you're a dick half the game, the character has changed (mentally) and getting rid of the learned mannerisms to become the polar opposite, woudl require work.
 

Sardukhar

Moderator
#7
So you want to hinder a player from picking a choice that he wants based on his previous choices? Maybe i want to be a good guy but in this certain incident i want to be a dick and the game wont let me? Mass Effect had this system and it was garbage. No thanks.
Yeah, that's CDPR games. And also - these are role playing games, not I'm-bored-murder-simulators. Not GTA.

So if you've played a character a certain way until now, that person doesn't suddenly go off on a kill spree or steal someone's purse. Barring mental illness or psychoactive drugs or something.

You aren't playing the Trevor version of yourself. Unless you are, in which case, be that person and the game is fine with that.
 
#8
Just like real life you do good things for certain characters that you like and you hate others. Although this is kinda off-topic.

The point is I don't want a morality meter.
 
#9
I kind of want there to be a meter for your “professionalism”, not exactly the word I want but it’s all I gots right now. Anyways it would track if you bail on missions, flip on it for a higher bidder, flagrantly ignore secondary objectives like causing too much collateral damage when the employer wanted quiet or visa versa, etc. I’m fine with this being invisible to the player I think Id almost prefer it to be.

Other than that I do find classic morality meters to be a little too reductive like they’re sourced from the ethical model of an 8 year old absolutist Victorian child. Then it is often coupled with a secondary effect where the designer figured you got your -50 morality points that’s good enough for the consequences of burning down that orphanage. Lastly, it just doesn’t seem fitting for Cyberpunk, I’d rather the focus be on who’s going to profit or get burnt from each of my actions, am I a total mercenary or am I leaning pro crime, Corp, or common person, the sorts of things that encourage more cause/effect thinking than position on a morality meter.
 

BaalNergal

User
#10
Now I want a morality meter.

But not a normal meter; one that measures morality on a visible, ever-shifting scale with multiple directions you can go.

And I don't mean the DnD square or the Pathfinder: Kingmaker circle. I want a fully-rotatable, three-dimensional cube. The glowing point is your morality.
 
#12
Now I want a morality meter.

But not a normal meter; one that measures morality on a visible, ever-shifting scale with multiple directions you can go.

And I don't mean the DnD square or the Pathfinder: Kingmaker circle. I want a fully-rotatable, three-dimensional cube. The glowing point is your morality.
Ok, you've sold me I could go for a morality tensor field in Cyberpunk. Not sure what the axes would be, but its fun enough and solves my issue with reductive binary morality.

e1: self vs other
e2: anarchy vs establishment
e3: problem solving vs problem smashing?

so if each axis has a limit of 100 for ease, & 0,0,0 is dead center here are some archetypes:

corpo: -80, 60, -70
gang goon: -70, -70, 100
robin hood: 50, -30, 90
?
Its a work in progress :)
 
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BaalNergal

User
#13
Ok, you've sold me I could go for a morality tensor field in Cyberpunk. Not sure what the axes would be, but its fun enough and solves my issue with reductive binary morality.

e1: self vs other
e2: anarchy vs establishment
e3: problem solving vs problem smashing?

Its a work in progress :)
e3: Subtlety vs Directness
 

Rawls

Moderator
#14
I actually rather like reputation sytems. As mentioned above, I think a frequent issue is that they are two simple, as people judge you based on many factors. I would think something like:

Selfish vs Selfless
Chaotic vs Professional
Rational vs Emotional
Subtle vs Direct
Notorious vs Anonymous

If you are "notorious", then your reputation precedes you and you could have NPCs value different approaches differently. If you do not have a lot of notoriety in the game, these choices are still tracked, but may not effect peoples opinions of you much one way or the other, because your just some random person.

However as animal said, if it's just a simple good versus evil morality system, I'd rather not have one at all. Let the choices stand for themselves.
 

BaalNergal

User
#15
My only problem with more than three axis for a representation is we exceed the limits of what can be displayed and end up with multiple morality meters/reputation meters rather than a simple one where you can tell where you stand on all fronts at a glance.

I mean, with four, we hit hypercube territory and that's when computers struggle to show what it looks like.
 

Snowflakez

User
#16
I'm a bit torn on this subject. Animal, kofe and sard all make good points.

My gut says morality systems are too gamey. I get the idea; it's trying to simulate a life's worth of good/bad decisions in a shorter span of time (By necessity), so it resorts to a simple meter to accomplish that. Certain "good guy" actions are only available if your good guy points are high enough.

But I think it's just that: too gamey. The way CDPR handles things is typically on a much more organic, individual basis. Actions aren't locked based on your good or bad guy points. You can usually try to do something, even if a previous decision has biased a given NPC against you - example:

If you fuck with Djiikstra and don't give him the location of his stolen treasure in TW3, he won't help you later when you ask him for aid with defending against the Wild Hunt. The important point here is, you can still ask. It's not locked. You can try, and his answer is organic and sensible ("Fuck right off, you screwed me over, why should I help you?").

I would rather they continue to do what they do, than swap to some sort of arbitrary morality meter. It's unnecessary, they've already proven that.
 

lelxrv

User
#17
I'd love an expanded mechanic of Mass Effect 1-2, when your good or bad behavior EVOLVES into something, that allows more good or bad behavior. It doesn't change your basic dialogue options, but can give added dialogue or actions based on your reputation. For example, if you were a good person for some time, treating everyone fairly, you can't suddenly just cheat a decent NPC or do something cruel to solve a problem. The same goes for an evil protagonist. If you were cheating your way through, selfishly and ruthlessly, you won't be able to do something extra-paragon, like going into fire to save a kid.

What I don't want is (if a setting is morally gray) being good is more worthy for you than being bad. If you have a reputation of a drug dealer, or a slaver, you should be drowning in money, for example. You can afford expensive toys. You can have certain contacts, that allow you interesting alternatives quests-wise.

If a player is constantly worried about doing something bad, it's bad implementation of reputation system.
 

Mevik1023

User
#20
Completely agreed. Morality meters usually railroad you down either the hero or villain path. Ironically enough, games built entirely around moral ambiguity can be taken down a notch by their own polarizing sense of right and wrong/good and bad endings. Catherine is a great example, which asks some interesting questions but only rewards the extremes.

Ideally, 2077 incorporates the idea of actions having consequences. But reputation meters aren't necessary. Just have the many characters and factions treat V differently based on what you choose to do/who you choose to help. Rather than stick to the first personality type I play, I'd love to instead handle things on a case-by-case, quest-by-quest basis and make judgement calls.