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Posted: Feb 7th 2008 5:28AM (Unverified) said

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The main problem with simulating morality in games is that computers are better at crunching numbers than working with fuzzy quantities currently. It could be argued that morality in roleplay is the one thing flesh-and-blood GMs will always wind up doing far better than MMOs ever can.

It's just not very extensible - you need people who know how to write plots and how to see the long-term effects of this action or that. Contrast that with writing algorithms to cope with math.

It's not a tough call currently to see why dumb lookup and math-based methods (in all their various forms) are the most common method of dealing with the impact of players' actions in MMOs. :(

The game that manages to add that sort of non-deterministic AI on top of what WoW already offers will be the one that winds up killing WoW, at least for roleplayers. Dumb math is more than enough for a lot of people who luv their grind, methinks.

Posted: Feb 7th 2008 6:13PM (Unverified) said

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In TR really all the morality choices boil down to is which path you'll take in the future regarding quests (and hence the rewards for said quests), as in which factions will give you quests and which won't.

I've heard it also holds some sway regarding the "ending" but haven't got there yet so idk personally. More than anything it seems just to add a little more replayability to it if you don't just wanna run the same quests over and over (that being said there are some that you will), but it's nice to put the choice in there. Last I heard the next place their taking it to is these so called flash points (which are like the control points currently in game but on a bigger scale), and I hope they put them having a little more sway over the dynamics of the battlefields.

Currently the only real effect the control points have is at a very few if the enemy controls it, you can't get quests there and it can make travelling to certain areas a little bit more annoying, as you can't zap to an enemy waypoint. However some of the funniest experience have been when I've inadvertantly warped in when the bane were just taking over one, hehe they give you a free trip back to the hospital of your choosing often ;).

As you have aluded to though to get real moral decisions in an online game would be a nightmare to code, as often what would be termed as "evil" simply would be douchebaggery and in a multiplayer environment there's very little place for it, cause that sort of conduct tends to drive away subscribers.

So it seems to me that pretty much as far as it can really go in terms of MMOs is different factions to ally with which is already present in many MMOs. I mean other than that the only real "evil" aspects I've ever partaken in or seen done is market manipulation. Once again that's just mild douchebaggery.

In single player games there really is room for improvement though cause well, u can play it how you want it without offending, or razzing others. Personaly I'm hoping they ramp it up in the next installment of the Elder Scrolls series, cause man it's fun to be a douche in that game.

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