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Author Topic: Can you play as a bad guy?  (Read 7436 times)

Potman

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Can you play as a bad guy?
« on: February 01, 2008, 07:24 »

I can't. There're two reasons for this, and neither of them are "It's just wrong":

1) The black/white-feeling how it's done. Like, bad guys are always child-eating, puppy-smashing, granny-kicking assholes who spit on everyone's face and always get negative reaction from everywhere. I just can't play with that kind of character, not without being sick of my own evilness at least. Hell, I can't even understand why they'd ever be interested in avenging their father or stuff like that, which is what you usually do in RPGs.

Now, if there ever was a possibility to play with a greedy, cheating, manipulating bastard who swindles people from their money without them even noticing, does good deeds just for the reward (while our generic bad guy wouldn't do it at all), and generally seems a nice enough guy to other people, like a nice red apple that's just rotten from the inside - that'd be a different story altogether. I'd love to play with someone like that. Too bad it's just not possible.

2) Good guys always get, not only the nice feeling of doing something that matters (that should be enough for any good guy), but also much much bigger rewards and loads more experience than the evil ones. Maybe it's just being such a generic asshole they always are, but true baddies should get more money than shiny knights by default. It's just how it should go.

Like, let's say you're supposed to deliver some money from one guy to another. The good guy does how he was asked, sure thing. The Generic Bad Guy takes the money for himself, and goes to the NPC to brag about "Ha ha, I'm gonna keep the money myself, and there's nothing you can do about it! Ha ha!", and something negative, such as bad rep and everyone hating you, follows. Meanwhile, all he really gets is just some meaningless little sum of that you can't buy anything useful with, and you'll get so much more money by selling the stuff from any random encounter (known as "Fallout 2 Syndrome").

Meanwhile, the good guy who did as was asked, will get to keep the whole sum for himself for being such a nice guy, and the NPC will give him some Really Powerful Magic Artifact That's Been In Our Family For Generations (tm), and everyone in the game loves the player a bit more.

A baddie I'd like to play would grab some of the money for himself, and then deliver the rest as asked. With luck, the NPC won't notice that some gold is missing.

So if you want the most experience and the best stuff, you'll play with the Innocent Momma's Boy. I want my games for entertainment and escapism, not ethics education, thank you very much.
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tisiphone

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 10:40 »

Nice topic! I was thinking about the same kind of stuff lately too    
Quote from: Potman
1) The black/white-feeling how it's done. Like, bad guys are always child-eating, puppy-smashing, granny-kicking assholes who spit on everyone's face and always get negative reaction from everywhere. I just can't play with that kind of character, not without being sick of my own evilness at least.
I think this is a matter of preference. Being a complete asshole isnt for everyone I guess :p There are a lot of games where I would prefer to be an all round bustard then being a save-the-world-kind-of-guy. Examples being:
Warhammer, (Im so going to be burnt for this but) being spawn of Chaos kicks ass! In fact, thats why I like Slaanesh, being a self-serving twisted megalomaniac is just something that appeals to me;
Master of Orion (and other space empire games), I dont really get nearly as much of a kick out of them unless I imagine being a tyrannical emperor sending millions to their deaths and annihilating planets full of innocent citizens;
Err, there where more, but I forgot the rest...

Quote from: Potman
Hell, I can't even understand why they'd ever be interested in avenging their father or stuff like that, which is what you usually do in RPGs.
Very true. Personally I think thats a flaw in the RPGs story (i.e. failing to take in to account that you might be an ungrateful brat and so on). I would really like there to be a game that would take in to account other forms of motivation (well at least those that focus on giving the player the (illusion of) choice anyway). 

Quote from: Potman
Now, if there ever was a possibility to play with a greedy, cheating, manipulating bastard who swindles people from their money without them even noticing, does good deeds just for the reward (while our generic bad guy wouldn't do it at all), and generally seems a nice enough guy to other people, like a nice red apple that's just rotten from the inside - that'd be a different story altogether. I'd love to play with someone like that. Too bad it's just not possible.
I think, in a way, this is possible in pretty much any game. If you think about it, there is more or less no way to actually *know* what the character is feeling. After all you are only judging him/her by his/her actions as an invisible observer for all you know he/she could be fantasising about killing the entire village... And if you imagine that you are the character then you know what youre thinking, and it *is* up to you what you really think about everyone ;)

Quote from: Potman
2) Good guys always get, not only the nice feeling of doing something that matters (that should be enough for any good guy), but also much much bigger rewards and loads more experience than the evil ones. Maybe it's just being such a generic asshole they always are, but true baddies should get more money than shiny knights by default. It's just how it should go.

Like, let's say you're supposed to deliver some money from one guy to another. The good guy does how he was asked, sure thing. The Generic Bad Guy takes the money for himself, and goes to the NPC to brag about "Ha ha, I'm gonna keep the money myself, and there's nothing you can do about it! Ha ha!", and something negative, such as bad rep and everyone hating you, follows. Meanwhile, all he really gets is just some meaningless little sum of that you can't buy anything useful with, and you'll get so much more money by selling the stuff from any random encounter (known as "Fallout 2 Syndrome").

Meanwhile, the good guy who did as was asked, will get to keep the whole sum for himself for being such a nice guy, and the NPC will give him some Really Powerful Magic Artifact That's Been In Our Family For Generations (tm), and everyone in the game loves the player a bit more.

So if you want the most experience and the best stuff, you'll play with the Innocent Momma's Boy.
So true. I really want to play my way through Baldur's Gate II with the moral code similar to Korgan Bloodaxe and not miss out on all the cool artefacts/experience that Lawful Good characters get :( 

Quote from: Potman
A baddie I'd like to play would grab some of the money for himself, and then deliver the rest as asked. With luck, the NPC won't notice that some gold is missing.
Nah, your evil lacks scope. Me, I want to be a child-eating, puppy-smashing, granny-kicking assholes :p Just dont want to be dealt out of all the long term rewards that the good guys get...

Quote from: Potman
I want my games for entertainment and escapism, not ethics education, thank you very much.
 
:o
Can I put this in my signature?
:p
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 11:14 by tisiphone »
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I want my games for entertainment and escapism, not ethics education, thank you very much.

Potman

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 11:00 »

:o
Can I put this in my signature?
:p

Feel free, though I don't think it's that sig-worthy.
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DaEezT

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 11:39 »

Well, you just went through a lot of text to tell us what we already know: Computer (PC & Console) RPGs are limited by the options the creators implemented. If you don't like it: don't play it.*

The solution for it is rather straight forward as well: Pen & Paper


*I pretty much exclusively play the bad guy and always as rotten to the core as the gameplay permits.
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"Morality is merely a convention with which men mutually agree to delude themselves. There are no moral facts, just preferences, and one is no better than any other."

tisiphone

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 11:57 »

Quote from: Potman
Feel free, though I don't think it's that sig-worthy.
Well I like it all the same (maybe just the mood I'm in). Thanks :)

Quote from: DaEezT
Well, you just went through a lot of text to tell us what we already know: Computer (PC & Console) RPGs are limited by the options the creators implemented. If you don't like it: don't play it.*
Im not sure who you are talking about but I took Portmans post to mean:
1) He doesnt like being a complete bustard/typical bad-guy
2) Current games favour people playing as the good-guys

My response was:
1) I love being as evil as possible
2) I agree completely

:S
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I want my games for entertainment and escapism, not ethics education, thank you very much.

Conker

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 04:07 »

If you don't like it: don't play it.*

That is such a terrible sentiment for anything. If more people espoused that kind of thing, there'd be a lot less progress in general.
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Rola

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 15:52 »

Looks like I'll be one of the very few people who will join Potman's side. "By default" I play a goodie-goodie in all cRPGs - in Fallout series I was always the good spirit of the wasteland helping grannies to cross the street. And I love that good feeling it creates - maybe I'm a good natured person? (LOL! who am I kidding)

But sometimes - when time and game permits - I play both sides (ie: twice), to see all game endings, all cinematics etc. - e.g. in Jedi Knight series (plus frying people with Force Lightning is mmmm.... marvelous! :) I guess Palpie converted Annakin this way: "try it kid, you'll love it, I do that all the time and never get bored" LOL!)
Does playing "TIE Fighter" counts as playing as the bad guy? LOL

Right now I'm trying to go through the KOTOR2 again only to see how it will end if my girl's gonna be a baddie.

But I do enjoy some wanton violence from time to time. In "Gene Wars" I played the chick-side only to gun down those squirming for mercy, whiny men!

I'm trying to never push myself too far. I want my baddies to retain some style, like a fallen dark knight Vader was in original old Star Wars. I wouldn't get the "child killer" trait from Fallout either, even though I sometimes kill civilians in other games.
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Igor Savin

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2008, 17:30 »

But I do enjoy some wanton violence from time to time. In "Gene Wars" I played the chick-side only to gun down those squirming for mercy, whiny

It was "G e n d e r   wars"!..
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Rola

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 13:32 »

You are absolutely right - I mixed up two actual game titles, oh well, I was sleepy while writing that, LOL.
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torch

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 02:51 »

I had an idea for a game...suspension of disbelief to maximum please. 

A space ship full of colonists has crash landed on some disagreeable hell-hole.  It can't be repaired and the captain of the ship (you) has to build a colony here to survive.  The hold is full of telephone sanitizers...just kidding, the hold is full of colonists held in suspended animation, but the crew of the ship are all awake, including the marine compliment. 

The planet soon proves to be hostile and as a good captain you send many a marine to their untimely death, although the game structure would have to let you win the initial battles but slowly find yourself out-classed by whatever alien species are out there. 

You have a weapon that you can take a persons current abilities and inject them into any number of other people.  Taking a person's abilities like this kills them, and you can only inject that template into another person once.  An example is called for I think, say you have a marine, he's fought some battles and now he is the master of the sniper rifle.  You give him to the scientists to take his abilities from him (sniper rifle skills in a test tube!), this kills him, but you get five more marines together and now you have FIVE sniper rifle experts. 

This is moral choice one, do I kill this person for the greater good? 

Later on, you will run out of marines and have to start using the passengers.  You might say it is not going well.  So, you wake up a passenger, inject them and bang!  You've just been recruited soldier.  I should say at this point there is no end to the number of injections you can get from one "template". 

This is moral choice two, I'm conscripting people from the hold who didn't sign on for this. 

Act 3, the aliens get worse as the game goes on.  So bad in fact that you would need similar aliens on your side to actually win this war.  So...and this is a bit of a stretch, the game would have to let you take the abilities from an alien and inject them into a human.  Most important would be that this would also change the human's appearance into a hybrid alien/human. 

This is the last moral choice, can I make civilian people into alien soldiers to win this war. 

So the captain is always the colony's saviour, but he sinks to ever lower depths to achieve these means. 
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Daqin

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2008, 03:00 »

I second the insight. As for myself, I don't see them as good or bad guys. They have their own reasons and conditions they live/lived under. So the guy who doesn't trust and sticks to caring for himself has his own reasons based on life experiences that make him believe things are some way and he acts accordingly, for his own survival. He may act different way when he feels safe, not threatened, or with honest person. So I rather would sort guys as reasonable/sensible or ignorant/fools. For example someone who acts as if he is walking goodness may be very foolish and behave in a way to confirm this selfimage he has, obviously ignoring some dangerous facts that require different action. On the other hand the guy who destroys everything without the reason for that, and acts blindly on emotions without considering or concern for anything, is just as same ignorant or idiotic. Those reasonable guys however, no matter if their way of life is stealing or helping people, I would put into same category. The difference between them is just way of seeing the life, however whatever this way is, they base their actions on reason, sense, considering many factors without ignorance, although their knowledge and understanding of life may be very different. No one is alike, so how we can tell what way should the other person behave if we don't know how he sees the world? So, if we don't know, how can we tell what way is good for him and what way is bad for her, if we can't tell what the person should do to benefit (since we don't know what is beneficial for others). What may be beneficial for you at the same time may have opposite effect on someone else. Because of that, what sense is in generalisation of way of behaving and judging which way is good or bad, if it doesn't fit anyone (except the person who made the judgement). That's why IMO we can only base our view on reason, consideration and experience. When experience is understood it becomes actual knowledge and understanding. Since we have different experiences, we are at different progress of understanding them, so our knowledge is different. If I base my action on my knowledge, it would be not required to expect from you to behave the same way, because you base your actions on your knowledge, and it just wouldn't make sense and wouldn't work. Actually forsaking your own knowledge and blindly doing what you are convined to, ignoring any understanding that you may have, leads to creating those silly guys who destroy everything in their path or do something oposite just for the sake of concept.
Thats MHO.
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Daqin

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2008, 04:01 »

This is moral choice one, ...

Hmm.. Since the war is to save colony, it doesn't make sense to kill members, and after such act no one would feel safe with captain's actions since they were supposed to make people safe. On the other hand, sacrifice few to save the rest. Yes, that could work, but only if the person sacrifices himself. There is no right to demand or force someone into that, otherwise whole war will be for nothing, because there will be new war: war within the colony. If no one sacrifices himself, than captain could do whatever he can in other way. And if it means wipe is almost certain, then surely there would individuals appear ready to give their life for the others, since they are going to die otherwise anyway..
That's my captain way of thinking :)

Edit:
Ultimately, since being captain is due to some unique qualities, you could sacrifice yourself to enhance others with one and be ulimate example and proof, for this way to be the only way, for the rest of colonists..
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 06:33 by Daqin »
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007bistromath

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2008, 11:02 »

You think playing as a bad guy is tough? Try playing as a practical guy instead of standard, milquetoast, world-peace-and-puppies lightsider sometime. At least 90% of the time, if you're playing a good guy, you barrel headlong down every Good is Dumb trap the world has to offer. And if you get in an argument. Good god. KotOR is probably one of the strongest examples of this. If you get in a debate with anyone about anything, you only have the most obvious, simplistic, polarized tactics at your disposal, regardless of how much you've pumped into your mental stats. And god forbid you start talking to anyone older than you: instant lecture no matter what your answers are, and all you can do is sit there and say "uhhh buhhh I dunno lol."

More games should be like Deus Ex. There were parts in that game where you were the one laying down the science. I honestly believe that game should be part of a high school curriculum thanks to some of JC's dialog.
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Korimyr the Rat

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2008, 05:27 »

1) The black/white-feeling how it's done. Like, bad guys are always child-eating, puppy-smashing, granny-kicking assholes who spit on everyone's face and always get negative reaction from everywhere.

Yeah, I hate this. It's cartoonish, stupid evil and it's boring. If I have the chance to play an evil character, I want to be manipulative and ruthless, but more than anything, I want to be effective. I want to be a Magnificent Bastard, not some sneering obnoxious punk.

I just can't play with that kind of character, not without being sick of my own evilness at least. Hell, I can't even understand why they'd ever be interested in avenging their father or stuff like that, which is what you usually do in RPGs.

Even bad men love their Mamas. And if you're the ambitious, ruthless kind of evil instead of the omnicidal maniac kind... well, the world is where they keep all their stuff, and they're not interested in ruling a pile of rubble.

2) Good guys always get, not only the nice feeling of doing something that matters (that should be enough for any good guy), but also much much bigger rewards and loads more experience than the evil ones.

Hate hate HATE this. Some games actually give you more money for taking evil options... but those are typically games in which money just doesn't matter very much.

Even worse is games which allow you the evil option... but which provide you so much less plot coverage for taking it. You don't get to have evil quests, and taking the evil option usually shuts off several good quests. Not to mention (again) the lack of meaningful rewards for evil characters.

I want the most experience and the best stuff, you'll play with the Innocent Momma's Boy. I want my games for entertainment and escapism, not ethics education, thank you very much.

Yeah. I usually play the Evil path... but only after I've beaten the Good. I'd like to see a game that makes them equally compelling-- or offers you moral options besides "Good" and "Evil".
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RepoRipper

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Re: Can you play as a bad guy?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2008, 07:57 »

i have to say this: i have a very big story thats been going through my head for 10 years now (stuck at 2/3rds finished... bad guy chapter next, WAY too few bad guys. uh oh...), and my story uses what i call the "Splitting Timeline Theory" (note, this thing is to parrel worlds as the sun is to a flashlight. a CHEAP flashlight.). this theory covers all things, all possibilities, and impossibilites, even alll variations on the Laws of Reality! so, half of my characters are litterally taken from books, movies, games, anything. a few of the more debatable ones were born from images. yeah.... anyway, the story is about the endless battle between Doomsday Defender and the Recruits (good guys), and Doomsday Destroyer and the Dark Recruits (bad guys, yeah im bad with names). all the Recruits and Dark Recruits are "Legends" from their Timelines. ignore what thats about, just know that if your not a Legend, u wouldnt make it through 5 seconds as a Recruit, and if your a Legend, your either good or evil. neutral Legends exist, but once recruiterd they are either good or evil. period. no grey area. after all, Destroyer and the Dark Recruits single goal is to destroy enough timelines to destabilize the rest to the point of chain reaction.... ie, the end of all existence. id say theres no gray area there! point is, my good guys are pretty dark sometimes.... one of them, Grim, is the Incarnation of Death for his timeline. and hes a good guy! then theres the Inferness... she flings balls of *hellfire*... good ...?girl?.... lol. BUT. the bad guys, oh they are so fing bad. the most dangerous of them is Graven, Gravity Breaker. he can manipulate gravity, and he is HIGHLY sadistic. he enjoys flinging people into the walls, floors, and ceilings at JUST under what it would take to kill them. or he can just pancake you with 500 G's. and he was given a gift of the most powerful Force of Legend (all Legends have one, think of it like an ultimate attack) of any Recruit, Dark or otherwise. the "Gravedigger's Boom", a blast wich annihilates everything in its path. it can even kill gods... in fact it did once! ill continue later, i was just saying some of these guys don't even HAVE mamas, and most of those that did, usually killed them for the fun...
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