Something I would appreciate to have in other RPGs as well (based on CP2077 and BG3)

Antimatter

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Dating. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I feel like role-playing should affect relationships with NPCs as well.

BG3 (especially with the latest patch) and now also Cyberpunk 2077 added long-requested features to be able to hang out with your partner and spend time together. It's been a long road since PoE 1 stance on no romances to this. Especially with good visuals, games now can do that, they can provide a feeling you have friends, and more. Some players want meaningful conversations and activities, and meaningful resolutions to these relationships. I'm one of them. I agree with Paul Tassi from Forbes:

"Dating – This is what I think longtime players will like the most, the ability to just chill and hang out with your partner in a non-mission setting once you follow their romance path. In this instance, I was playing on my male V who had recently romanced Panam. You get a message from her that she wants to hang out, and you can invite her over to any apartment you own in the city.

Once there, you can chat about various mission related things including updating her on Dogtown (I think you could do this before), but different apartments have different hangout things you can do. There didn’t seem to be much in Japantown, but in my Glen apartment, we cuddled on the couch with what I thought were some new lines in there, and recreated the “hair petting” from the 2.1 trailer.

But the highlight was going to the “dance floor” in the apartment where Rosa Walton’s “I Really Want to Stay at Your House” blasted, the song having a special meaning to Cyberpunk Edgerunners viewers. You start slow, but Panam started hopping when the beat drops in the song. I swear to god I almost choked up from the whole experience.

To end the night you can go to sleep where you partner will show up in their underwear and be there the next morning for a kiss. To answer your next question, no, no new sex scenes from what I can tell, unless there’s some sort of secret trigger to unlock them. Given the context of the multiple environments and the scripting that goes into a scene like that, I wouldn’t hold your breath. So really, this is PG-rated affection which may not be what some are looking for, but it’s all really…sweet."


I'm having a big smile just reading this. It's exactly the feature I missed when played CP2077 on its release. I hope more RPGs will add role-playing to relationships with NPCs.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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That's really nice. Pity I finally finished the game in July and have uninstalled it to free storage space. There was one repeatable interaction with Judy at her apartment but this is much better, to have various day-to-day activities and be able to invite them to the apartments you own, and not just have the same repeating conversation over and over. And if I had to choose between "PG-rated affection" and "adult interaction", if it's either/or, I'd take the former. Both would be better of course, but it's the right step.

Tbh I find BG3 a bit lacking in both regards though, unless the epilogue camp party thing changes that significantly.
 

Cahir

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That's really nice. Pity I finally finished the game in July and have uninstalled it to free storage space. There was one repeatable interaction with Judy at her apartment but this is much better, to have various day-to-day activities and be able to invite them to the apartments you own, and not just have the same repeating conversation over and over. And if I had to choose between "PG-rated affection" and "adult interaction", if it's either/or, I'd take the former. Both would be better of course, but it's the right step.

Tbh I find BG3 a bit lacking in both regards though, unless the epilogue camp party thing changes that significantly.
Perfectly timing, buying a new laptop, then 🤗 I hear Night City is calling me. And the call is strong.
 

m7600

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Interesting. Dating in RPGs isn't really my thing. I'll usually choose some romance option in a game like BG2 or more recently Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but it's not an important part of my gaming sessions. That being said, for those of you that want more of this feature, I'm curious to know if you would like to see more realistic dating being implemented in RPGs, or if you prefer a more idealized version of it. For example, would you like to have things like jealousy, mistrust, and such? Couples usually fight over these and other things from time to time. I'm not saying it's the right way to live, far from it. It's just the way things generally are. Or do you like dating in RPGs because you can leave behind all of the nasty aspects of real world dating, so that you can focus on the good things?
 

Antimatter

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I'd say it depends on the setting. For CP2077, definitely more realistic. The game is very realistic in all other aspects already. That said, if you behave not like a jerk and invest in those relationships with NPCs, you should get a happy development & ending for your romance. For BG3, more idealized. This is a grand adventure, and I want it to end in the best possible way.
 

InGameScientist

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I agree and I'd like to see more games explore ways to develop relationships between characters as a central part of an RPG.

But it doesn't necessarily have to show up as dating/romance (though that seems to be the easiest implementation). Games like Wartales and The Iron Oath have their own versions of relationships (with each other and with you as their commander), but I think the best implementation I've seen is in Wildermyth, where your characters can be friends, lovers, or rivals with each other, which affect game play.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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For me I'd say it depends how you define "realistic".
Do I want game romance where the partner has their own life, opinions, doesn't immediately simply do what I want if it goes against their core belief, has their own story path that at some point I might have to decide if I go along with it or not, that sort of thing? Then yes, realistic, especially if the game is not in a fairy tale setting but CP2077 for example, as Antimatter said above.

Do I want to play an RPG, spend time and care and emotions on the (potential) romance partner and after 200 hours of gameplay they leave me without it having any connection to story decisions or die of cancer? No thanks.
Do I want to come back from dragon hunting, arrive at camp and have an argument about why there are still chicken bones lying around on te floor and whose turn it is to cook this evening? Probably not.

Let's say if you have a game that is basically just a dating and daily life sim, then it would probably make sense to have all kinds of partner conflicts you can imagine as well. But if it's a side aspect of an RPG, not the main purpose of the game, then if I behave correctly towards the romance partner, I'd want it to have the possibility of a positive outcome, or at least one where I can clearly see how my behaviour and choices affect that outcome.

I do realize that's not "realistic" though, because it never depends on only one person what happens, but that's games, right? When I say I want NPCs that feel like real people, real friends, I'm aware that means they can and should have their flaws and weaknesses and personalities, but I'd still want them to be predictable and reliable and trustworthy and forgiving and all that, so maybe it's not "who are like real people" but "who are like I wish real people should be" and I can behave towards them as I should, or reload if I screw it up, and do better next time, and get rewarded for that with a nice happy ending.

It shouldn't be that you need to read a romance guide before playing a game so that you get a nice and rewarding ending to your romance, and especially it's not fair if the romance outcome is decided by factors that had nothing to do with it per se, even if that doesn't count as realistic.

And I'd especially wish that sometimes it wouldn't be quite as obvious that in some cases there clearly was a writers' bias on who is the "good" or default romance, and if you picked one of the others, well too bad.
RPGs nowadays are very long, there are several out there, and life is busy, so the likelyhood of replaying it soon and experiencing the "right" romance along with it is slim in the next months or even years, and you can only play a game for the first time once. So the lasting impression of a great game can leave a bitter taste foreverif it was paired with a sad, bad romance ending just because you didn't happen to pick writers' favourite, or couldn't even pick it because you played female character and that one only dated male protagonists, for example.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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I also forgot to mention, the most important aspect of the change now added in CP2077 as mentioned in the original post, is the fact that you can have a continuing meaningful interaction with your partner.

In too many games, it's "the kissed, declared their love, spent the night together" and from there on the box is checked, the "quest" is finished and all you get is one repeatable sentence for the rest of the game. That's problematic especially in open world games, where you can't really tie romance progress to story development or such things. You're "done with the romance" at some point but still have half of the game unfinished, that's always a bit sad.

I would also like to add that the same thing would be really nice and cool to have for friendship as well. It's often the case that the only way to know more about your party member or companion is to date them, but sometimes it would be nice to have better fleshed out friendship paths as well.
 

WarChiefZeke

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Interesting. Dating in RPGs isn't really my thing. I'll usually choose some romance option in a game like BG2 or more recently Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but it's not an important part of my gaming sessions. That being said, for those of you that want more of this feature, I'm curious to know if you would like to see more realistic dating being implemented in RPGs, or if you prefer a more idealized version of it. For example, would you like to have things like jealousy, mistrust, and such? Couples usually fight over these and other things from time to time. I'm not saying it's the right way to live, far from it. It's just the way things generally are. Or do you like dating in RPGs because you can leave behind all of the nasty aspects of real world dating, so that you can focus on the good things?

One of my favorite things about the BG2 romances, which I think are the only ones that have ever been done well in video game format, was the fact that different companions would spark jealousy in others, and sometimes, a love interest wouldn't even be primarily interested in you, depending on party composition.
 

Skatan

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100% agree on the original post and also agree to many of your comments above. Having relationships, not only romantic ones, with your NPCs in games add a layer of meaning to their outcomes in the end but more importantly also to the main journey there and the feeling of us a players being _present_ in the game world not just an outside observer.

I always compare to ME when thinking about these things, it was the best one yet of the games I've played and it's pretty darn old by now. DA:O a close second. I enjoyed CP2077, but I never did fall in love with Panam. I liked Judy the best but as a male character she was unavailable. Wasn't too keen on the guitar dude who's name now eludes me, but tried out the route just to see it. Trashing a boat as foreplay was.. something.

I keep referring to how AI will (hopefully) revolutionize games soon and seeing what modders are already doing in old Skyrim I don't understand why proper devs aren't already working on games with AI personalities instead of hardcoded responses and tickboxes (Gave flowers: Yes. Increase rep: +1. Rep>10: Engage kiss dialogue yada yada).
 
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