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Reader Comments (4)

Posted: Dec 14th 2007 3:36PM (Unverified) said

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The long-dead Ultima Online Worlds: Origin project had some intriging notions along this line. If I remember correctly, there were plans to track your actions (both quest-related and everyday tasks) along the lines of the 8 Virtues Of The Avatar, and that would have in-game implications in terms of the weapons you could use, potency of magic effects, etc.

Having various ethical dilemmas in quests, Bioware-style, is all fine and good, but really unleashing the potential in an MMO game would be weaving morality throughout the world and mechanics. Making a quest choice is very much a conscious decision - it's much more interesting to see what people do when "no one is looking".

Posted: Dec 14th 2007 5:55PM (Unverified) said

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I'm surprised you didn't mention Tabula Rasa in this column. TR presents a fair number of "choice" quests where you decide whether to feed a prisoner or use the food for torture, turn someone over for government experiments or set them free, etc. It hasn't had significant effect on the actual game yet, but the very presence of the choices is interesting and has a lot of potential.

Posted: Dec 16th 2007 11:10PM (Unverified) said

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And of course, no one said anything about Grand Theft Auto (yet)... I have not played that one, but the write up and everything I've heard about it, says it leaves choices like whether or not to kill someone up to the player. In WoW one can take out a bunch of mobs with the comforting thought that they'll be back in five or ten minutes. For that matter, the mobs can take your character out with the comfoting thought that you'll be back in five or ten minutes, and they can do it again....

WoW certainly has enough races that such content (racial conflict) could be worked into the story lines, but honestly, I think most people play these sort of role playing games to escape reality, and not be judged by their ethnicity, age or real life capabilites. I don't know anyone in real life with the shape changing ability of my Druid character, and I certainly woudn't want to be hated in game, just because my ears were really long and I had green hair.

Maybe that's over-simplifying things, but WoW strikes a balance- the guy one has to kill in a quest, while he may be of a different race to the quest giver, one usually has to kill him because he "done the quest-giver wrong" in some way (invaded his/her turf, stole his/her necklace, the list goes on).

I can't speak to the Star Trek games- I haven't played them (yet) but with the Voyager TV show at least, I thought the story writers missed the boat for character/racial conflict by making the Maqui "like" the Federation crew, at least on the ship so far from home; I have a feeling they'll duck putting in racial issues to any great depth in their games, handled intellegently or not.

Cheers,
Jurarandonee

Posted: Dec 17th 2007 8:36AM (Unverified) said

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One could only HOPE for a 40K mmorpg.. (sigh)

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