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Alignment mod


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#21 Qwinn

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:18 PM

Here's an interesting note: you know
Spoiler
You actually become more lawful and good for killing him, heh. Same with his henchmen. They are the only critters I've found so far that that's true of, btw.

Qwinn

Edited by Qwinn, 01 July 2009 - 07:22 PM.


#22 -LrdDimwit-

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:58 PM

I could give an evil hit for snapping their neck in dialogue, but I don't think I can give an evil hit for force-attacking them, that is, I can't distinguish who made the first swing.

Why is it evil to snap their neck in dialogue when they were just -about- to sound the alarm, but not evil to kill them afterwards? There is, after all, always the option to run away. That's what I would do, if I weren't evil and I found myself in that situation.

As I said, it's partly justified, and thus I'd only give 1 point penalty instead of the 3 point penalty I'd give for a normal murder... but wiping out the entire mortuary in self-defense when you can run 7 times faster than them isn't exactly Mother Theresa material.

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They attacked first. Why should TNO have to run away? Just because the response is very violent (it does involve killing like a dozen people) does NOT mean it is unjustified. Killing someone who is trying to kill you for no reason is not evil. Defending yourself against someone who is himself engaged in an evil act is not evil. Dhall says that the Dustmen attack you not because you have committed a crime, but because you threaten their philosophy. This is evil on the part of the Dustmen.

So is the alternate explanation (which I don't think the game ever gives) - if they thought you were dead, and you're not, then they have taken away people who aren't dead. This could undermine their (already poor) public image, so they're trying to kill you to cover it up. This is also evil.

If the player has hit the dialog chain where Dhall says the first thing, then any subsequent attacks on Mortuary staff should have no EVIL or GOOD alignment hits at all. Similarly, before then, TNO has no idea why they are attacking him. Having decided to bring it, the Dustmen cannot now complain TNO is better at it than they are. Defending himself from them cannot be evil.

#23 gothemasticator

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 01:48 PM

They attacked first. Why should TNO have to run away?


The set-up is that TNO has no idea what's going on--amnesia. He gets some initial info from Dhall and Morte. But, he has no reason to completely trust either of these guys at the beginning of the game. So, he's been warned that the Dustmen in the Mortuary will become hostile to him if he is found out. At this point, sneaking, lying, and wearing a disguise become options. Of course, killing lots of people is an option, too. So is running away. With all these options, it makes sense to take an alignment hit for choosing slaughter over the other available options.

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#24 -LrdDimwit-

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

The game provides no way for TNO to try to persuade the Dustmen to call off the attack after they turn hostile. If it did, then I would agree that killing them all would be grounds for an alignment hit.

I can see arguing that killing them is CHAOTIC, since lawful would mean an obligation to avoid unnecessary violence. But when a mob of people tries to kill you (by mistake or otherwise), defending yourself is not EVIL even if it requires lethal force. The game does not program any more realistic options (like hiding and waiting for the alarm to be deactivated), so the only options are resist or flee. My understanding of the GOOD alignment does not extend to being required to allow others to run roughshod over you. Since the game only provides these two options once the alarm is sounded, and lacks any more sophisticated options (such as wait for the alarm to be cancelled, or have the Dustmen attempt to parley after you fight a few of them) the false dichotomy presented kind of sucks when you have to assign a blanket GOOD or EVIL label on it.

#25 gothemasticator

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:08 PM

The game provides no way for TNO to try to persuade the Dustmen to call off the attack after they turn hostile. If it did, then I would agree that killing them all would be grounds for an alignment hit.


I still think it makes fine sense the way it is. Intentionally or not, TNO is trespassing. The fact that the dustmen politely talk to TNO before attacking means that they are not attacking because they are evil. They are attacking a trespasser. It also means that there is an easy and convenient way to not get attacked built in.

If the player makes a bad dialogue choice resulting in being attacked, I think the GOOD response would be, "Woops! I must have said the wrong thing. Better get out of here!"

Conversely, "You jerk! You sounded the alarm on me--even though I'm not really supposed to be here and was warned to be careful--You must die!" does not really sound like a GOOD response to the situation. It doesn't even sound like a NEUTRAL response.

I think, "You've given me the excuse I needed--time to die!" sounds most like a Lawful Evil choice.

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#26 Karnor

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:01 AM

I'm not going to say that the alignment system in the game is perfect, but overall I find that it works pretty well (one of the few games I can say this about). So I would be wary about making too many changes to it.

I particularly remember that when I played through the game the first time, I just choose the options which felt right to me at the time and never bothered to check my alignment. When I did finally look at my alignment at the end of the game I saw that I was chaotic good alignment. I was really impressed because when I thought back I realised that's exactly how I had played the character. I basically tried to do the right thing and be kind to people, but never cared whether I had to break the law or not to achieve this.

So by all means I'm sure there are a few things which need tweaking, but I wouldn't want to lose the overall feel of the alignment system in doing so. One of the things I particularly liked about the unmodded game was that you rarely get to know whether your acts are good or evil - you had to use your own judgement. And I wish I hadn't installed that tweak to show alignment changes on my last run through because I found I ended up making decisions based on where my alignment would go rather than just choosing based on what the character would have done.

#27 Qwinn

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:23 PM

My impetus to actually do a separate alignment mod is way way down at this point. Some of the more important hits I would've introduced, for example hits for the killings you need to do to become an Anarchist, are now part of the Fixpack, due to fixing the oversights where the involved creatures (among many others) didn't have their alignment hit settings set in their CREs.

The argument in this thread has generally inclined me towards the no-hits-for-killing-in-mortuary side of the argument (sorry, gtm, you did argue well for it, but, eh. You -will- get hits for killing Dustmen outside of the mortuary, no reason not to there.)

Really, the only remaining objection I have to alignment as it stands, post fix on the klling stuff, is the bit about getting evil hits for asking to be paid a fair wage. I still think that should turn an otherwise good act neutral, but it is not an evil act. Am I enthused enough about that point to make a mod just for fixing that purpose, though? Meh. Maybe someday, but way down on the priority list.

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#28 gothemasticator

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:40 PM

The argument in this thread has generally inclined me towards the no-hits-for-killing-in-mortuary side of the argument (sorry, gtm, you did argue well for it, but, eh. You -will- get hits for killing Dustmen outside of the mortuary, no reason not to there.)
Qwinn


Oh, well. You can't win 'em all. I do look forward to the "someday" when you tackle an alignment mod. In the meantime, I get to help my youngest brother install Torment and your three-pack plus the high-res widescreen mod. It'll be fun to see how he likes everything.

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#29 Markus Ramikin

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:23 AM

I understand I'm late to the party and this is likely to never get done, but for the sake of that tiny chance that it does...

In my mind, an alignment mod might be worthwhile especially one reason: because the game's skewed against Lawfulness. I feel like you have to be a mentally dull, humorless stiff to be Lawful (perhaps I exaggerate, but surely not by much). Not sure how much this is because there are fewer Lawful opportunities, and how much because you get Chaos hits for more trivial things than you can get Law gains for.

 

Example:

Morte: "Wha - are you BLIND?! She was scouting me out! It was shameless the way she WANTED me."
NO: "Wanted you to go *away*, maybe. She was obviously too distracted by ME to pay attention to some stupid bobbing head with a big mouth."

And this is a -1 Law hit, and so are things like simply using any dialogue line on a zombie.

 

If these things need to be Chaotic hits (which makes some sense), then the actually important stuff - delivering on promises, telling truth when it matters to someone or costs you something, displaying fairness, opposing crime and anarchy - should have more weight.

 

To compare, do you get any Law points at all for making a vow and keeping your word to Amarysse? I'm viewing the dlg files in NearInfinity atm and not seeing any gains.

I feel stuff like that should weigh more because it actually affects the world in ways that matter to someone. Nodd getting Amarysse's money as opposed to you stealing it is, well, not of world-shaking significance, but it matters to someone. The joke might have - at most - hurt Morte's feelings briefly, but chatting up a zombie affects exactly nothing.

 

Another example:

You can get a total of -3 Chaos for throwing your voice around Marta (-1 for 3 consecutive opportunities). I've scanned for "Law","Global","3" to see comparable +3 to Law gains. There are only a few of them, and they're weighty stuff - Vowing to Dak'kon that you'll find a way to free him, or refusing Coaxmetal an opportunity to go on a rampage across the Multiverse (arguably the most important decision you'll make in the game), things like that. And the gain from that can be erased by harmlessly messing with some villager for a minute?

 

And then there's -5 for playing with the modron cube.

 

Of course more weight in either direction should go to actions that you aren't already pressured into. For example, lying to flatter or appease someone as dangerous (and important to your quest) as Ravel is at most weak evidence of chaotic personality. Even a law-abiding person who deals fairly with others might do so when so much rides on her favor. But telling the truth under such circumstances is strong evidence of a lawful personality. (This seems done well with Ravel, with the +3 for calling her ugly and no loss for most of the flattery.)

 

Similarly, saying truthful things if it doesn't really affect you means little (this is really 95% of the dialogue in the game, and righly so), but lying just to be an asshole, like when you tell Nodd that his sister is a particularly foul whore, is a strong indicator of, well, being a lying asshole :P, and should be a larger Chaotic hit than making a snarky joke.

__________________


As to the Dustmen in the Mortuary: I think that part is best left as it is. I feel like the game set it up penalty-free to be fair about the situation it dumps the player in.

What I mean is that you're in a situation where everyone here will kill you just for being what you are, and for being here. And escaping peacefully is not a given. it requires at least one of these:
- Charisma for Deionarra, so you can learn about the portal
- Charisma to avoid triggering hostility from the two guards near the entrance (regular Dustmen have the option "I'm here to see Dhall", but these two don't).
- finding the portal by by metagaming (or sheer luck for first-time players), which I'm not counting here
- what the game considers a chaotic disposition (willingness to chat up zombies) for Vaxis; I consider this one luck, since is not something predictably useful to do
So if you're a Lawful schmuck without above average charm, there's no way out without either metagaming, snapping someone's neck for a disguise, or open combat.

And yeah, enemies move slower and the AI stops chasing you after a while, but this is the player's mechanical knowledge. In-character, once combat starts you have every right to feel like a cornered rat (remember, there's nowhere to run to, because you don't know of a viable exit!), so everything you do falls under broadly understood self-defense or at least self-preservation. So yeah, nothing to fix here IMO.


Edited by Markus Ramikin, 02 May 2017 - 10:06 AM.

*coughQwinncoughLotharcoughskullscough*