Path of Truth Questline: Needs Warning

Discussion in 'Quests & Lore' started by Iszela Argentoile, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. queenbee

    queenbee Avatar

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    Normally I'm usually pro freedom of expression and freedom of speech. But the artiface and abuse of children in this game has been disturbing to me. I used to hold a raffle to see if new players going through the artifice would step on the pressure pad. If they did, it was always accidental. Thus I agree it should not affect virtue since it's usually not intentional. I do believe the "twisted" aspect of this game was summed up when someone said "Look, the children are following me like puppies, except they are burning." These days there are some twisted donkeybutts trying to redefine pedophilia and the abuse of children. Maybe it's time this game removes anything that might contribute to this ideology.

    Disclaimer: I am not accusing the person who said that quote as being twisted. He was just describing what was going on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021 at 12:02 PM
  2. queenbee

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    Generally, cannibalism is viewed as taboo. But there are rare situations where cannibalism will be totally acceptable and necessary (The Donner in the 1880s and the soccer team that crashed in the Andes). But I cannot come up with ANY scenerio where abusing and killing children would ever be necessary or accepted.
     
  3. Sannio

    Sannio Lead Quest and Level Designer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    This topic comes up now and again, and we devs saw this thread and were chatting about it behind the scenes.

    I love that SotA is a game that centers on ethics and ethical choices, and the avatar sometimes is asked to make virtuous or immoral decisions. But if I wear only my game designer hat, this "activity" we're talking about has always bothered me because the mechanic related to the children is hidden and the related horrific event almost always happens accidentally, robbing the avatar of the chance to make a conscious A or B ethical choice. For this event to mean something to the core character of the avatar, they must be able to make a conscious, ethical choice. The event should be "choose A or B" and never "realize you accidentally killed others when you entered a room."

    I've added issue #69946 to my to-do list to adjust the related mechanics for this event so avatars can make their own decisions here, and they can clearly make the heroic or villainous choice instead of accidentally tripping into one.
     
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  4. queenbee

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    The artifice has to do with displaying indulgences: greed, gluttony, and sex. Killing and abusing children is not an "expression" anyone should have a right to do and it's certainly not an indulgence. It's just wrong.
     
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  5. Cora Cuz'avich

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  6. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    I think then we need more representations of nice kids, as is a good example in "Tanglemire". I think it's about contrast if we keep this instance the way it is. There are so few children that the instance takes on a more total representation of all children. It may sound brutal, but in seeing more children in our cities then takes importance away from that instance's.

    Those are just some thoughts about deluting through adding, thus creating contrast within importance. That works the same as when seeing a few single children dead in Syria which causes public outrage, vs the media only showing the wedding/school/family dwelling being blown up, which allows the audience to feel more at ease about the children's mass deaths.
    Hidious but that holds true in media coverage. If there are many, then the few loose a bit of their importance when compared to the whole.
    A bit more nice children sprinkled throughout the towns.
    That's just something to think about.
    ~TL~
     
  7. DaisyShimmer

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    Sannio, thank you for taking time to consider these concerns and for being willing to edit this quest so it is more in line with freedom of choice. The fact that you and other developers have spoken about this issue, is something I consider a win and I appreciate that you have all validated our concerns with your attention.

    That being said, while I hesitate to mention anything more because I KNOW developers/GM’s work extremely hard to make things enjoyable for all players. The children that can still be found in cages throughout the lower levels of this dungeon, where the men and women are provocatively dressed is still a concern of mine. I do not know if you all will continue your discussions about this questline, but if this too could be reviewed/debated among you all—I would greatly appreciate it.

    While the world is a really dark place where children are in fact subjected to horrible moments like this in reality, this is a reality that adult gamers should have a chance to avoid. I thought perhaps I was reading too much into the visuals of this quest, but now that the conversation has occurred it is obvious, I wasn’t the only one uncomfortable. At the least, a simple content warning on the wiki would be wonderful, so those who are inclined to avoid such an encounter can be given fair warning.

    At any rate, again thank you for your time and attention, as well as giving me the opportunity to speak my peace.
     
  8. FBohler

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    There was a story about an Ultima game tester who quit after seeing children get killed, and LB was glad about it because the game made the guy feel it for real.
    It's the intended effect, I presume.
     
  9. Cryptic Inquiry

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    The child abuse bit is just distasteful. Both the Death Room of Doom and the cages before. It was just nauseating to see and it did not sit right with me. When I got the room with the pressure plate I was already so fed up and done with the whole place that I just wanted to get to the next room and let it all be over with. So I unintentionally stepped on the trigger. And I was not happy.

    Frankly, I wish we would have an option to enact terrible vengeance on the monsters running that place. In fact, I was extremely disappointed to see that I could not slay the guards or the Head Honchos in charge. From the very beginning, it was pretty obvious that there was something wrong with that place. And the deeper you ventured into those halls of excess and profligacy, the more and more distasteful things you saw... When I got to the caged kids, I was ready and rearing to stab someone.

    So that said, it would have been a great option to have; to enact great and terrible Punishment on the whole place. I sure would have taken it.

    But what did I get in the end instead? An arrogant elf who dared to try to gaslight me, of all things.

    All of that, from start to finish, just left a bad taste in my mouth.

    ...

    But to return back to the the core problem at hand, the issue is not how easy it is to trigger the Death Room unintentionally. It is not whether you can avoid it or not. No, the actual issue is that there should not have been be any scenes depicting child abuse in the first place. It just simply does not belong.

    So that said, here's a suggestion how to fix this.

    Replace all the caged children in the Halls of Artifice with adult characters. It would make the whole thing immediately much less controversial, yet still carry the same shock value.
     
  10. queenbee

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    The irony of this is that two certain named children are safe in a certain castle. Does this comment give people a "real" feeling? If it does, another reason why children should not be used in such a negative manner in the game.
     
  11. Sannio

    Sannio Lead Quest and Level Designer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    I'll swap out those kids for adults. Thanks for mentioning it.
     
  12. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Suffice it to say that we can make choices to be "good" or "evil" here in SotA, but involving children in any way has no place anywhere - especially here.
    I did the Shroud quest many years ago, and was not aware of any children being killed.
    Had I been, I would have responded here with some version of the OP - which I agree with completely.
    Sannio has said that he is swapping the children for adults. Good.
     
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