Romances: Disparity in quality and quantity

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(..) or the getting passed over for a fix by a naked cat (that I didn't even have in my game because I ate the cat food out of curiosity before I knew what it did (...)
You ate that poor cat's food? Shame on you! On a serious note, if you're as me and pick up evyerthing that isn't nailed on the floor, you'll eventually end up with more cat food. I always manage to have 5 or 6 of 'em in my inventory.

And maybe it's time the Kerry and Rivermancers start bombarding the devs with requests not only on the forums, but on twitter and any other social platform they use. Patrick said they do read the messages sent to them, and so far they did fix things that the community constantly complained about, so I still have my hopes for you guys.
 
Although an interesting idea, I think this kind of character would take the term playersexual to a whole new level. And playersexual romance options is something CDPR wanted to avoid. Their attempt was good in theory, but failed in practice.

I think that 2 fully developed characters with equally developed romances would have been a better alternative to "customize your LI". One male, one female, both bisexual so that players of all sexualities and playstyle preferences would have an option. If 4 romance options were too much for CDPR to handle, then maybe working on only 2 would have been better.

Oh I didn't mean the relationship would be optional. I meant get rid of romance options entirely and instead have one well defined character and relationship. So think Ciri or Vesemir, but with the option to change their "casting". Or Mass Effect Andromeda with your sibling. So literally like being a casting director for a movie.

I'm probably not explaining this well but the fundamental problem I see with romance "options" is the fact that, because they tend to be modular to the main plot line, the main plot tends to be designed to survive without those romances. Because of that, for me at least, they never have the emotional impact I would want to see. With Geralt and Ciri we get that - obviously that's not a romantic relationship, but a father-daughter one, but because it's an unavoidable part of the main plot it has the most emotional impact and pay-off out of every love story in that game.

So, for me, if we stick with romance options as a thing (let's scrap the "casting" idea I mentioned), the challenge I would put to developers would be:

Can you make a game with multiple romance options, such that whatever love story you end up with becomes an essential and inextricable part of the main plot, particularly the climax and falling action?

Maybe it's not impossible, and it really is just a matter of time and effort. But so far I can't think of any game that pulls that off - but it's certainly something that I would love to see.
 
Can you make a game with multiple romance options, such that whatever love story you end up with becomes an essential and inextricable part of the main plot, particularly the climax and falling action?
Depends on what you consider essential, I guess. I think the companions in Mass Effect are an essential part of the story, without them, the games wouldn't be half as good as they are and if you decide to romance your favourite character, it adds to the connection your Shep feels for them. But of course, you could still cut them out and the basic "defeat the reapers" plot would remain intact. It would feel sorely lacking, though.

To be honest, I can't come up with a single game where there is only one predetermined love interest and where the love story is an essential part of the main plot. Usually, it evolves with the main plot, but it's not what drives it (outside of dating sims, I guess). But perhaps that's because I don't play these kind of games anymore. Because the predetermined love interest is a woman almost 100% of the time and I'm not interested in romancing women thank you very much.
 
Not sure I'd like that. Because there is always the default version and the genderswapped character doesn't get his own personality and motivations but is simply a reskin of the default version. Especially if they have to fit in the main plot.

Really? Because in Mass Effect femshep definitely has a personality and the male version feels incredibly wooden by comparison. Or take Cyberpunk, I don't think anyone could say that only one V has personality and the other doesn't.

I guess because I'm an actor I'm so aware of the maleability of casting most of the time. I've seen so many different castings for so many characters, especially in Shakespeare productions and you'd be surprised at how naturally it can work. One of the best versions of Mercutio I've seen was gender-fluid. One of the best Macbeth's I've seen was played by a black woman. Thankfully we're seeing it more often with motion picture productions too these days, albeit it's still mostly restricted to supporting characters e.g. Liet Kynes in Dune. Unless there's a plot-critical reason why that character has to be a specific gender or colour (or it's a a historical accuracy thing) there's no reason why your casting can't be flexible.
 
Also, bisexual ≠ playersexual, but a lot of developers, writers, whoever don't seem to understand that.
Of course, for example DAO had two straight and two bi romances (NOT playersexual because they had unique dialogue depending on your character and were written as bi).

But in games like the ones I said (such as Skyrim) the characters that can be "romanced" no matter what really feel like Westworld hosts that are programmed to be seduced by any newcomer (pretty sure the show based that on games of that kind).
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hey, I love mshep, don't say another word!:disapprove:
You mean default Shepard, I assume. Because the player couldn't make a default male to save his life but boy, didn't the default look like the biggest baddass in the galaxy...
 
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Of course I mean default Shep *hearteyes*
Generally, if the default character model looks cool and is like the face of the game, I go with the default look, it was a no brainer in case of Shep.
Whereas Ryder in ME:A looked like his skin was made from molten dough and he also was generic in a bad way...

In case of V I also mostly tempered with V's hair, eyes, tats and not with the standard face, because I think it looks cool enough.
 
Whereas Ryder in ME:A looked like his skin was made from molten dough and he also was generic in a bad way...
I skipped Andromeda, as from what I've seen and read it is a massive downgrade compared to its predecessors, specifically as far as romances go (and I'm not even counting the horrid facial animations). The sex scenes are even more tame and the same-sex male romances aren't even squad members, except for a gross alien that had to be patched to be bisexual. Sure, Kaidan wasn't romanceable till 3, but his relationship with Shepard sort of felt like Hannibal and Hugh Dancy, in which it is subtext for the first two seasons/games but in the third the subtext becomes text (which is far more wholesome IMO than anything in Andromeda (and Kerry))
 
yuo, mShep and Kaidan is still my favourite romance of all times, because it feels like two human being develping a relationship over the course o three games.
And yeah, the romance options in Andromeda were not great and honestly the one with the Jaal was actually done better than the one for the male none-squad members...especially since they also looked kind of gross due to the terrible facial textures...
 
Okay, so what are our chances of getting some information on if or how they are going to adress this?
I wonder when they are going to do the next stream or when the next DLC is going to drop? Because they said in the stream they realized their lack of communication wasn't ideal. This should menan that they don't plan to be silent for another two months before dropping the next patch, right?
Am i grasping at straws? :giveup:
 
Okay, so what are our chances of getting some information on if or how they are going to adress this?
I wonder when they are going to do the next stream or when the next DLC is going to drop? Because they said in the stream they realized their lack of communication wasn't ideal. This should menan that they don't plan to be silent for another two months before dropping the next patch, right?
Am i grasping at straws? :giveup:
We might get more communication, but I don't see them actually talking about romance anything unless it's teasing moments in the Expansions.
 
And maybe it's time the Kerry and Rivermancers start bombarding the devs with requests not only on the forums, but on twitter and any other social platform they use. Patrick said they do read the messages sent to them
I would really, really hate to do that. I feel bad about the time I was annoyed with P. Mills tweet about the ambiguous ending to Dream On saying he liked frustrating players, because reading tweets under Pawel and Patrick's CP77 tweets kinda twists my stomach with a weird kind of empathy. I'm angry/hurt too but some of the stuff people say gets a big oof. I don't want to pile on. Aaaalso, I'm very wordy and Twitter caps my characters. :p I'm not sure I could get my point across without coming off too blunt. "River sucks" but he didn't actually suck, he's just broken and the experience sucks for about 22 pages of reasons. Add that to how aggressively people treat this topic here where it's heavily moderated, and then take it to a place that's not moderated. I think it's on the first few pages we got told it's not a hook-up simulator and to get a life, it should still be there.

This should menan that they don't plan to be silent for another two months before dropping the next patch, right?
You would really hope so. I searched up the River thread looking for his dedicated one and found one from April talking about he was still broken and the posts that were so sure he was going to be fixed in 1.3 were a kick in the teeth. And like @larrackell just said, I'd bet they're not going to talk romances unless it's expansions. I'll add to that, saying I bet any teasing references are made exclusively about Panam and Judy for maximum hype in the chat. I will be really surprised if they directly reference River.
 

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I'm probably not explaining this well but the fundamental problem I see with romance "options" is the fact that, because they tend to be modular to the main plot line, the main plot tends to be designed to survive without those romances. Because of that, for me at least, they never have the emotional impact I would want to see. With Geralt and Ciri we get that - obviously that's not a romantic relationship, but a father-daughter one, but because it's an unavoidable part of the main plot it has the most emotional impact and pay-off out of every love story in that game.
But this introduces a different problem. What about people who don't care for romances in video games or the option available isn't appealing to them? If romances were made an essential part of the main story, those people would have no option to avoid it, or their experience in a way would feel lesser if there was an option to refuse something that's very important to the story.

RPGs are all about options, after all. I think it's good that romances are optional, and that's how they should stay. All players, no matter their preferences should be considered equally, and this is where I think CDPR didn't succeed. Yes, we have options, but when only half of the romances are developed to a satisfactory level, it's difficult to take something positive from this.
 
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I think it's good that romances are optional, and that's how they should stay. All players, no matter their preferences should be considered equally, and this is where I think CDPR didn't succeed. Yes, we have options, but when only half of the romances are developed to a satisfactory level, it's difficult to take something positive from this.
Hear, hear! I wish I could give double Reds.

Was talking to a buddy about why I didn't want to come back and try a second playthrough with the release of 1.3 (he never finished his first run but was thinking of starting it up to try again) so I sent him this to sort of sum it all up (RIP Jessica Walter):

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1.jpg

He's a Judy fan but hugely sympathetic to my spoiler-free ranting. We're gonna compare when he's done and I can't wait to see his response when the mid-game experience and endings are held side by side.
 
I would love to see more complex relationships. It is a shame that Takemura isn't an option either. You really get to get close to him and he is muy attractive. Plus after your done pursuing the relationship, the person becomes super boring and there's nothing fun to do with them anymore? It's all "Hey babe:)" and then bye?
 
But this introduces a different problem. What about people who don't care for romances in video games or the option available isn't appealing to them? If romances were made an essential part of the main story, those people would have no option to avoid it, or their experience in a way would feel lesser if there was an option to refuse something that's very important to the story.

RPGs are all about options, after all. I think it's good that romances are optional, and that's how they should stay. All players, no matter their preferences should be considered equally, and this is where I think CDPR didn't succeed. Yes, we have options, but when only half of the romances are developed to a satisfactory level, it's difficult to take something positive from this.

I wouldn't say that was a "problem" unless you consider every single game, movie, book, etc. to be problematic for not catering to every single person on the planet. You're never going to make everyone happy. Games like this are not heaven-machines. The type of question you're asking could be applied to SO many fixed things. What about the people who don't care to have a relationship with Johnny Silverhand? You can't avoid that in Cyberpunk. What about people who don't want to play a male character who practically has a daughter? You can't avoid that in Witcher 3. What about people who don't want to play a sci-fi? What about the people who don't want to play a fantasy? Etc., etc., etc. All of those are going to be "problems" for someone here or someone there.

Btw, just to be really clear, I'm not "anti-romance-options" at all - so if anyone thinks there's an "anti vs pro" dichotomy going on, that's not something I have any interest in cultivating. I think BOTH approaches can be perfectly valid depending on what you're trying to achieve. I think there are multiple ways you can make a game and tell a story, including how you balance which things are fixed and which things are optional, and I think it would just be plain arbitrary and dogmatic for romance options to become this traditional thing that thou shalt always include in an RPG game. It's up to you what type of game you want to create for people and some people are going to like it and others won't. It's not as if everything available for human consumption has to suit everyone.

Incidentally, I recently finished Horizon Zero Dawn - a typical action-adventure RPG - which I thought was fantastic and it just so happens there were no romance options at all. Her single status was completely fixed, but it wasn't any more or less of a videogame for it.
 
I ended up at the finale of my first playthrough of the game having not romanced anyone, they all felt very forced to me like they had to have romance options for the sake of themselves. Even the make out scenes you could initiate without it becoming a relationship felt cheesy as hell to me.

Maybe it was a tonal thing, I felt like the whole severity of V's predicament in the main plot made such things as romantic subplot trivial and awkward to fit in anywhere. Plus I just didn't find any of the people that were romantic prospects that likeable or charming enough in that way to warrant it.

Also, and I don't know if this is relevant or not to the topic, I'm straight and played a female V and usually always play female characters in games nor do I have a problem pursuing the male love interests either, really I've found that to be kind of like an amusing study of how a lot of these writers think straight males should flirt or charm with female heroes. It's like dime store novel trash more times than not.
 
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