I enjoy the romances, but in every Bioware game I have played, it was 100% optional and easy to skip. I am a little puzzled that there are complaints about it since you can pretty much skip it. I thought it was pretty obvious which conversations would lead to romance anyway.
Yeah, never really bothered me much and once in a while it feels right for the character I’m playing, so I don’t mind much. DA2 probably had the most annoying one since basically everyone that was a love interest had a habit of hitting on you iirc.
Game Design does not adhere to the axiom of Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives. The player is aware that even options he does not pursue are designed content. The fact that something is possible at all acts as an implicit endorsement by the designers that it should be done. As long as bespoke content is created for “optional” story choices, exploring them has both as an economic (get money’s worth!) and psychological (complete checklist!) motivation.
And that’s even assuming that the content was explicitly created to truly be optional, i.e. that the player isn’t subtly guided towards exploring that narratively, and that the player is 100% sure that there is no mechanical bonus to doing so.
The only real way to short circuit this is to create enough options that the player isn’t aware he’s making a discrete choice, or is otherwise overwhelmed by the number of options. Which may or may not require making every NPC theoretically romance-able.
I suppose i don’t understand this point of view then.
A pretty good example is mmorpgs with optional pvp content. I don’t really like non consensual pvp at all these days. I personally prefer to segment these activities so i can feel safe stepping away from my computer if need be or just relaxing while grinding.
Anyway, a mmorpg that has servers for pve with pvp by choice (what i prefer) also having open pvp servers does not make me demand that the developers immediately stop all open pvp. Other people taking choices which do not affect me in any way (assuming the mmorpg does not negatively affect pve balance to fix pvp balance issues, which some are guilty of)… does not affect me in any way. Hell, if i don’t read about it or pay attention to the labels of servers, i wouldn’t even know other people are enjoying the game that way.
I suppose you could argue that the funds/time could have been better used elsewhere in some events (mass effect 3 multiplayer, i am looking at you!), but i really doubt making the romances in DA2 took a huge percentage of the total funds.
If you’re trying to make me feel sorry for people who are obsessive about completing 100% of a game and don’t like the content but can’t resist the urge to complete it, well, tough. They can grow up and tell that elf assassin from DA2 that no, they don’t want to have some fun on the last night before facing the demon god.
Obviously bioware thinks a ton of their players like the romances. The vocal super minority that can’t help but complete them even though they hate them is from what i’ve seen too small to be heard.
Well, the consensual PvP is kind of a different beast, since if you’re on a non-PvP server, you’re kind of actually playing a different game. Also, different games have this effect to different degrees. I think it’s more pronounced for single-player games where exploring narrative content is the core experience, as opposed to more mechanically focused games.
Personally, like you, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. For me it’s in the same general realm as complaints like “none of these dialog options are anything the character that I am role-playing would say”. Moderately annoying, but not really notable.
It’s more of an argument from principle in this particular case (I actually enjoy romance options, by and large). But I generally think that “if you don’t like it, just ignore it” isn’t a good response to a lot of game design criticisms, in general (for instance, I don’t think it’s a valid argument when many F2P implementations.)
Yeah, it’s not like combat, where if you don’t like the mechanics you’re basically SOL. The only time when Bioware’s approach to romance annoyed me is in DA:O, where if you build up your influence high enough with a romanceable character, the NPC tries to initiate the romance; but if you rebuff their advances, your influence over them usually takes a big hit. Granted, I suppose it’s semi-realistic that someone’s gonna be dejected about being rejected; and you can build your influence back up, usually by spamming them with gifts. It was just a little irritating to have someone go all doe-eyed and my Warden would be like, “Do you mind, sir / madam, I’m trying to save the world here! I don’t have time for your so-called ‘special feelings’!”
By that logic, we should all do multiple playthrus of Bioware games to see all the permutations of the mutually-exclusive plot forks: good vs evil, male vs female, romancing Tali vs Liara, etc. But realistically, most of us don’t have the time nor patience to do that; so we go with the permutation which best suits our interests (e.g., the goody-goody who sweet-talks Liara). Usually I end up feeling like I got my money’s worth, even if I know I haven’t seen it all.
It depends on whether or not the element in question is truly optional and what sidestepping it entails. E.g., to shift away from romance, I don’t usually like how Bioware handles the evil / dark path in their games; too often the PC comes across like a greedy bully, when I’d rather be playing Darth Vader. But since I’m never forced into being the bad guy, I can just ignore that path if I don’t like it and my progress is unimpeded.
Whereas if you’re talking about core combat mechanics or so-called “P2W” elements in online games, well, that’s not exactly something you can work around if you dislike them…
Rape? Who was talking about rape. I was merely referring to one of your suggestions to avoid romance (creating an all male party). As far as I remember Bioware’s games cater to gays.
Personally I couldn’t care less if they include these options or not. I still have to make myself go back to ME3 after playing it for an hour last year.
Yeah, i can’t agree with that approach. With your logic, every single game that has a multiplayer options should be played by the gamer or they should complain to have it remove because they don’t like it which means the game design is flawed? Any game that that someone only plays MP, well obviously they should complain about the single-player game because they don’t like it and shouldn’t have to ignore. Optional quests, out with those because, well they’re optional and therefore if you don’t like optional quests, they shouldn’t be there. Maybe we should just get away from choice entirely, that would just make things easier.
Dragon Age The Keep - DAI’s answer to how to import save games is instead an online resource where you can sign in, specify all the decisions and settings of your personal world from Origins and onward, and then import those decisions when you start Inquisition.
Sounds like it’s designed to be less buggy and more reliable than importing a save, though they are working on a way to let folks import saves, too.
The best part about this is The Keep saves me from having to play Dragon Age 2, but I can still make the choices I’d like to think I would have made had I been able to slog through that little turd! Assuming I pick up DAI, of course.
That is actually a very cool idea. Though from the top of my head I can’t think of any decisions I made in Origins that would have had a big effect on the world. Like if I helped the werewolves or the wood elves. All of those kinds of issues seem very local and contained to that area. Though I suppose some of them could have had an amplified effect on the whole region over the years.
I did play it and I can confirm that it was a little turd. Not a big turd, mind you; I enjoyed some of the stuff in there. The game was pretty, I’ll give it that, and it had some interesting twists here and there but, by and large, it is a far inferior game to Dragon Age: Origins. They took a pretty decisive step backwards in terms of everything except visuals and, even then, we were subjected to stuff like the retcon with the Qunari and their horns.
The main issue with DA2 was that they designed the game with a controller in mind instead of a keyboard-mouse setup. So instead of taking a robust control set and figuring out a way for it to fit in a smaller package, they took a smaller control set and ported it over to PC with little thought. Origins was a strategic delight, DA2 was a button-masher ad nauseum. It was a bad move by BioWare and the biggest complaint I have of them in recent years.
If they can come up with a better solution for Inquisition, I’m totally there. As of right now, though, it’s definitely a “wait-and-see” situation for me. (And I really, really, really love the world, so that’s saying a lot for me.)