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Are You "Evil?"

How evil are you?

  • Paragon of virtue

    Votes: 12 57.1%
  • RPG hero, Strategy game villain

    Votes: 3 14.3%
  • RPG villain, Strategy game hero

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • Always evil

    Votes: 1 4.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 19.0%

  • Total voters
    21

Gathomas88

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How do you generally conduct yourself in video games where issues of "morality" are concerned? Do you walk the "straight and narrow," or could your play style best be described as being that of a sociopathic man-child?

I ask because I just started playing Dishonored recently, and I found myself having serious misgivings about a lot of the actions the game wanted me to perform. For instance, the hordes of guards the game gives you option to mercilessly slaughter aren't really "villains" per se. They're little more than common city watchmen simply doing their jobs.

This got me to thinking about "videogame morality" in general.

In most RPGs which present "moral choices" for the player, I am pretty much as squeaky clean as you could imagine (my rampant kleptomania in games like Skyrim not withstanding :mrgreen: ).

When it comes to strategy games, however; I notice that I generally tend to play like the bastard spawn of Adolf Hitler and some genocidal African warlord.

I'll sacrifice my loyal soldiers and execute captured enemy combatants by the thousands before casually putting entire cities to the sword in games like Total War. The same goes for the use of "planet busting" weapons in space based strategy games.

Hell! My default mode of operation on a good day of playing Crusader Kings 2 would basically make me a monster to rival the evil English King from Braveheart in even his worst moments. :lol:

Longshanks.jpg

What about you, good people of DP? Do you generally walk the path of the "Dark Side" for fun, or is your's a more pragmatic and impersonal sort of villainy, like my own?
 
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digsbe

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I don't usually play games that have a "good" and "evil" path system. As an MMO player I like helping others, I usually play as healers or mages, some may consider the mages to be evil.

Although I will say the other day on a healer character I refused to heal another player that constantly stole monsters and wouldn't let the tank do their job even after I told them to stop. That may be evil :mrgreen:
 

Spriggs05

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How do you generally conduct yourself in video games where issues of "morality" are concerned? Do you walk the "straight and narrow," or do could your play style best be described as being that of a sociopathic man-child?

I ask because I just started playing Dishonored recently, and I found myself having serious misgivings about a lot of the actions the game wanted me to perform. For instance, the hordes of guards the game gives you option to mercilessly slaughter aren't really "villains" per se, they're little more than common city watchmen simply doing their jobs.

This got me to thinking about "videogame morality" in general.

In most RPGs which present "moral choices" for the player, I am pretty much as squeaky clean as you could imagine (my rampant kleptomania in games like Skyrim not withstanding :mrgreen: ).

When it comes to strategy games, however; I notice that I generally tend to play like the bastard spawn of Adolf Hitler and some genocidal African warlord.

I'll gladly sacrifice my loyal soldiers and execute captured enemy soldiers by the thousands before casually putting entire cities to the sword in games like Total War. The same goes for the use of "planet busting" weapons in space based strategy games.

Hell! My default mode of operation on a good day of playing Crusader Kings 2 would basically make me a monster to rival the evil English King from Braveheart in even his worst moments. :lol:

View attachment 67151080

What about you, good people of DP? Do you generally walk the path of the "Dark Side" for fun, or is your's a more pragmatic and impersonal sort of villainy, like my own?
In games such as Fallout series, where karma affects the endings and that crap. I try to be the good guy.
However if im playing a strategy such as Company of Heroes, then there many a dead soldier. Same with the Total war series, then its just a straight on charge banking on experience or numbers.
Good RPG (most times)
Evil Strategy
 

Rainman05

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Depends what the game offers me.
I'm also a big clepto in Skyrim... Dragon Age... Risen.... Gothic... almost every RPG really. But I don't see cleptomania as making me a bad person. I think of myself as a person who suffers from a condition. Like today's cleptos. They can't help themselves, neither can I.

I remember the first time I encountered an anti-clepto mechanic. It was in the game Two Worlds. A pretty bad game overall but it introduced, at least from what I saw, the first mechanic that detected if you entered a house uninvited. So you really had to work to indulge in your cleptomania. Well... I ended up killing the entire first village so that I could steal their ****... and then got upset because I had nobody to play with or trade my stuff :)

As a rule, I play the good character in video games if I have a choice. I do try to stick to the original intentions of the character if he is a character with a personality (like Geralt of Rivia in Witcher) for the first playthrough and then mix it up for secondary playthroughs if the game has any repeatability value.

When I play classic Dungeons and Dragons RPG inspired games... I usually go with the evil character or neutral for the first time because it allows for more versatility in my gameplay. Like in Neverwinter... or Temple of Elemental Evil.
 

Rainman05

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Oh and on the strategy side... I make calculated risks. Generally I don't see it as a good/evil but as a winning/losing kind of thing.

I played Empire Total War recently... and whenever I was outnumbered I would gladly sacrifice entire regiments as fodder if it won me the match. Ofc,I tried to minimize it because it's expensive to retrain troops... and highly trained troops are a lot better than making new ones. I do try never to lose an entire regiment. As for other Total war series... hmmm... depends. I remember once playing as France in M2TW with some mod and I released all the prisoners I had from England after every battle because I knew either England wouldn't be rich enough to ransom them or if they did, I would just beat them again and take them prisoners again. France is really OVP in M2TW if played right.

When I play Hearts of Iron 3 I actually like playing as Adolf Hitler because playing as Germany is the most fun. Generally playing Axis is really great in hearts of iron 3. Alternatively, you can play as USA, go solo and rolfstomp the world by 1945.
 

Goshin

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Well, on the one hand it is just a game. No actual people are harmed.


OTOH if we're talking about serious role-playing games where part of the fun is taking on the persona of an other-reality character and playing the game as if you WERE that person... I tend towards mostly-good roleplay. In old D&D terms, say Chaotic Good to Chaotic Neutral.... could give a fig about laws-as-written but very reluctant to harm an innocent, or a noncombatant, or steal from same.

When I absolutely HAVE to delve into "the dark side" to complete a quest line, I often find it a bit annoying... like the last bits of the Thieves' Guild questline in Skyrim, or the Dark Brotherhood.

I prefer to be mostly heroic... though I can be more than a little ruthless too when it seems necessary.


I'm currently trying to decide whether to join the Imperials or the Stormcloaks for the Civil War questline in Skyrim. I'm inclined towards the stormcloaks... I'm a rebel at heart and a believer in local rule, but the big one is I DESPISE (as much as you can despise NPCs in a video game without being in danger of your mental health) the Thalmor and their inquisition-like tactics. OTOH Ulfric is no saint, he's a brutal and conniving murderer driven as much or more by personal ambition as by any real Nordic loyalty.


Of course, it's really a little silly to get exercised about it... it is just a game after all... but there's a certain amount of fun in treating your decisions as if they mattered and playing accordingly.
 

MMC

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Well Put it this way.....we were playing Halo See,
and these guys always kept grabbing the jeep and running people over. See,
So the next time we started.....I threw grenades into the Jeep and by them.
Then I started shooting everybody that was around my ass. Some dude yelled out.....you evil ****er. Then I got booted from that group.


ya knows.
 

Paschendale

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I like to mix it up. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes in between. In Dragon Age, for example, I was ruthless and coldhearted, pragmatic for the greater good. I like the variety. Playing essentially the same character over and over can get boring.
 

Gathomas88

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Oh and on the strategy side... I make calculated risks. Generally I don't see it as a good/evil but as a winning/losing kind of thing.

I played Empire Total War recently... and whenever I was outnumbered I would gladly sacrifice entire regiments as fodder if it won me the match. Ofc,I tried to minimize it because it's expensive to retrain troops... and highly trained troops are a lot better than making new ones. I do try never to lose an entire regiment. As for other Total war series... hmmm... depends. I remember once playing as France in M2TW with some mod and I released all the prisoners I had from England after every battle because I knew either England wouldn't be rich enough to ransom them or if they did, I would just beat them again and take them prisoners again. France is really OVP in M2TW if played right.

When I play Hearts of Iron 3 I actually like playing as Adolf Hitler because playing as Germany is the most fun. Generally playing Axis is really great in hearts of iron 3. Alternatively, you can play as USA, go solo and rolfstomp the world by 1945.
That's true. A large part of the reason for my "evil" behavior in many strategy games is that it simply happens to be more expedient to achieving my goals than the more restrained variety.

Executing captured soldiers in Total War games prevents you from having to fight them again further down the road, and brutally sacking cities provides you with valuable income to sustain your wartime economy. Likewise, ruling over your nobles with an iron fist is basically required if you want to not be overthrown in a game of Crusader Kings 2.

However, that being said, it's sort of hard to deny that a lot of the decisions these facts lead you to can still tend to be pretty messed up. :lol:

In Total War games, for instance, it's not at all uncommon for me to basically "ethnically cleanse" unruly provinces after a certain point simply because I get sick and tired of having to put down the rebellions they constantly spawn. A smaller population simply makes them easier to manage.

Furthermore, on at least one occasion while playing Crusader Kings 2, I actually found myself facing a pretty serious dilemma with my son and heir's choice of spouse. I had arranged the marriage when they were both children because she was from a decent family. However, she ultimately grew up to be hideously ugly and possessed of an abundance of negative personal traits (stupid, greedy, cowardly, weak, etca) which would prove to be horrifically counter-productive in any potential ruler.

I ultimately wound up having her assassinated simply because I didn't want to risk having any of those traits pass into my dynasty's gene pool, and because I wanted to set my heir up with a more "suitable" mate.
 
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Your Star

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I end up playing the good gal in basically every RPG. Went full Paragon in Mass Effect, was a noble hero in Dragon Age 1, and 2, and maxed out my good karma in Fallout.

Also hardly killed anyone in Dishonored, found out most of the non-lethal options for your targets, and played like a ghost. Was rather fun.
 

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I'm currently trying to decide whether to join the Imperials or the Stormcloaks for the Civil War questline in Skyrim. I'm inclined towards the stormcloaks... I'm a rebel at heart and a believer in local rule, but the big one is I DESPISE (as much as you can despise NPCs in a video game without being in danger of your mental health) the Thalmor and their inquisition-like tactics. OTOH Ulfric is no saint, he's a brutal and conniving murderer driven as much or more by personal ambition as by any real Nordic loyalty.
For the empire!!!!

**** the Stormcloaks :lol:
 

Gathomas88

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Also hardly killed anyone in Dishonored, found out most of the non-lethal options for your targets, and played like a ghost. Was rather fun.
That's what I'm trying to do now, though I still usually wind up killing at least half a dozen people every mission simply because I suck at stealth and inevitably wind up having to fight my way out of a corner at some point. :lol:

I won't do non-lethal for the major targets though. I branded the first bad guy as a heretic in the interrogation room chair and put an arrow through his chest for good measure.

It just seemed much more fitting from a stylistic standpoint. :mrgreen:
 
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Rainman05

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That's true. Part of the reason for my "evil" behavior in many strategy games is that it simply happens to be more expedient to achieving my goals than the more restrained behavior.

Executing captured soldiers in Total War games prevents you from having to fight them again further down the road, and brutally sacking cities provides you with valuable income to sustain your wartime economy. Likewise, ruling over your nobles with an iron fist is basically required if you want to not be overthrown in a game of Crusader Kings 2.

However, that being said, it's sort of hard to deny that a lot of the decisions these facts lead you to can still tend to be pretty messed up. :lol:

In Total War games, for instance, it's not at all uncommon for me to basically "ethnically cleanse" unruly provinces after a certain point simply because I get sick and tired of having to put down the rebellions they constantly spawn. A smaller population simply makes them easier to manage.

Furthermore, on at least one occasion while playing Crusader Kings 2, I actually found myself facing a pretty serious dilemma with my son and heir's choice of spouse. I had arranged the marriage when they were both children because she was from a decent family. However, she ultimately grew up to be hideously ugly and possessed of an abundance of negative personal traits (stupid, greedy, cowardly, weak, etca) which would prove to be horrifically counter-productive in any potential ruler.

I ultimately wound up having her assassinated simply because I didn't want to risk having any of those traits pass into my dynasty's gene pool, and because I wanted to set my heir up with a more "suitable" mate.
Oh yeah. One of the best things to do in RTW and M2TW is to grow your biggest city to max, and then make it riot... and retake it. Huge cash when you kill everyone in it and take all. And no more penalty for a long time. Rinse and repeat for all major cities. Kind of messed up, but it pays the bills. Especially since in major cities, the bulk of the money doesn't come from taxation.

And for CK2... yeah... I do the same. Though when I marry myself or my heir, I pick regardless of rank. Helps to find the spouses with genious or strong or such. Going for the ubermensch kind of heir :). Though you always find yourself having that annoying tradeoff... do I want my heir to be trained in stewardship so that he can have all these counties... or make him good in killing people and find him a wife that can compensate :).

Needless to say, I think more people die from assasinations in my kingdoms/empire than on the battlefield in mid-to-late game :p
 

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That's what I'm trying to do now, though I still usually wind up killing at least half a dozen people every mission simply because I suck at stealth and inevitably wind up having to fight my way out of a corner at some point. :lol:

I won't do non-lethal for the major targets though. I branded the first bad guy as a heretic and put an arrow through his chest for good measure.

It just seemed much more fitting from a stylistic standpoint. :mrgreen:
Yeah I'm pretty good at stealth, was able to get through most levels without anyone noticing me, and when they did I usually hit them with a sleep dart.

Might do a playthough where I go in and just kill everybody, sounds cathartic :lol:
 

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I can get into any character I feel like. Part of being a writer, I reckon. When I play evil, I'm playing an evil person, not me.

That doesn't translate into reality at all, where I'm dealing with real people and real ethics. I don't think being able to play evil is going to make you worse person.
 

Cephus

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I had many of the same issues with Dishonored, there are things I just didn't want my character to do, but to be honest, most games these days are on rails and don't give you any choices, you have to do what they want you to do. If I stopped playing a video game every time it did something I had a moral problem with, I'd never play another video game. I don't let it bother me, it's just a game.
 

Cephus

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I'm currently trying to decide whether to join the Imperials or the Stormcloaks for the Civil War questline in Skyrim. I'm inclined towards the stormcloaks... I'm a rebel at heart and a believer in local rule, but the big one is I DESPISE (as much as you can despise NPCs in a video game without being in danger of your mental health) the Thalmor and their inquisition-like tactics. OTOH Ulfric is no saint, he's a brutal and conniving murderer driven as much or more by personal ambition as by any real Nordic loyalty.
I went with Imperials because my daughter had already played through the Stormcloak storyline and I knew how that turned out. I will say that during the Assassin Guild storyline, I killed the leader of the assassins at the very beginning because I balked at killing an innocent. Might have been a favored moral choice but it meant I didn't get to play through any of the Assassin story.
 

Goshin

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I went with Imperials because my daughter had already played through the Stormcloak storyline and I knew how that turned out. I will say that during the Assassin Guild storyline, I killed the leader of the assassins at the very beginning because I balked at killing an innocent. Might have been a favored moral choice but it meant I didn't get to play through any of the Assassin story.

Yeah, I hear you. I did the opposite of my son sometimes just to see how it turned out that way.

Even in games though, there are some things I just don't want to do, even if it isn't real. (like kill an innocent, as you said)
 

Gathomas88

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Oh yeah. One of the best things to do in RTW and M2TW is to grow your biggest city to max, and then make it riot... and retake it. Huge cash when you kill everyone in it and take all. And no more penalty for a long time. Rinse and repeat for all major cities. Kind of messed up, but it pays the bills. Especially since in major cities, the bulk of the money doesn't come from taxation.

And for CK2... yeah... I do the same. Though when I marry myself or my heir, I pick regardless of rank. Helps to find the spouses with genious or strong or such. Going for the ubermensch kind of heir :). Though you always find yourself having that annoying tradeoff... do I want my heir to be trained in stewardship so that he can have all these counties... or make him good in killing people and find him a wife that can compensate :).

Needless to say, I think more people die from assasinations in my kingdoms/empire than on the battlefield in mid-to-late game :p
It's kind of funny actually. If you really think about it, an average game of CK2 is almost as much about eugenics as it is political or military conquest.

By the end of my last game (the one where I rebuilt the Roman Empire in 15th Century Europe), my dynasty could claim relation to the just about every royal family in Europe, and even Genghis Khan, through the Mongol princesses I married to my heirs at various points.
 

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Even in games though, there are some things I just don't want to do, even if it isn't real. (like kill an innocent, as you said)
It depends on my mood. If I'm just screwing around in Skyrim, I'm not above just wiping out everyone in a town if I'm bored, just to see how many guards they send after me. I can essentially one-hit kill anything in the game so it's just a button mashing exercise, but it can be fun and after all, they're just pixels.
 

Gathomas88

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Well, on the one hand it is just a game. No actual people are harmed.


OTOH if we're talking about serious role-playing games where part of the fun is taking on the persona of an other-reality character and playing the game as if you WERE that person... I tend towards mostly-good roleplay. In old D&D terms, say Chaotic Good to Chaotic Neutral.... could give a fig about laws-as-written but very reluctant to harm an innocent, or a noncombatant, or steal from same.

When I absolutely HAVE to delve into "the dark side" to complete a quest line, I often find it a bit annoying... like the last bits of the Thieves' Guild questline in Skyrim, or the Dark Brotherhood.

I prefer to be mostly heroic... though I can be more than a little ruthless too when it seems necessary.


I'm currently trying to decide whether to join the Imperials or the Stormcloaks for the Civil War questline in Skyrim. I'm inclined towards the stormcloaks... I'm a rebel at heart and a believer in local rule, but the big one is I DESPISE (as much as you can despise NPCs in a video game without being in danger of your mental health) the Thalmor and their inquisition-like tactics. OTOH Ulfric is no saint, he's a brutal and conniving murderer driven as much or more by personal ambition as by any real Nordic loyalty.


Of course, it's really a little silly to get exercised about it... it is just a game after all... but there's a certain amount of fun in treating your decisions as if they mattered and playing accordingly.
While I did sympathize with the Stormcloaks, I ultimately wound up siding with the empire simply because it seemed to be for the "greater good."

I figured that a united Empire would ultimately have a much better chance of beating the Thalmor back than Skyrim would have fighting them alone.

It depends on my mood. If I'm just screwing around in Skyrim, I'm not above just wiping out everyone in a town if I'm bored, just to see how many guards they send after me. I can essentially one-hit kill anything in the game so it's just a button mashing exercise, but it can be fun and after all, they're just pixels.
I do that too from time to time. I always make sure to reload my game afterwards though. :2razz:
 
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Rainman05

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It's kind of funny actually. If you really think about it, an average game of CK2 is almost as much about eugenics as it is political or military conquest.

By the end of my last game (the one where I basically rebuilt the Roman Empire in 15th Century Europe), my Dynasty could claim relation to the just about every royal family in Europe, and even Genghis Khan, through the Mongol princesses I married to my heirs at various points.
My best game, I played as Rus... reformed Russia as an Empire and then chilled back, making excursions into Scandinavia, Poland and HRE until the Mongol invasion. When it finally came, I had a huge fortune stacked. Hired all the mercs, raise all the legions of the empire and fight a defensive war for starters :). You will lose territories as Russia regardless... but the more territories you lose, the more revolts he gets, and eventually you win :).

I never did have a lot of claims on much of Western Europe or the Byzantines since a lot of my heirs married for "love", well, stats, rather than position. Rarely I found a wife with good stats and high position.
 

DashingAmerican

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Well, in Mass Effect, I played through the entire series as a renegade, which isn't really evil, just anti-heroic.
But in rts and such I have no problem with collateral damage. I thoroughly enjoy bombarding planets before I invade on Galactic Civs.
And in Majesty, I have insane tax rates.

I was always Chaotic-Neutral in D&D and in MTG, my favorite deck is an angel deck, mostly because of the play style.
 
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When I play Hearts of Iron 3 I actually like playing as Adolf Hitler because playing as Germany is the most fun. Generally playing Axis is really great in hearts of iron 3.
I also love playing as Germany. Especially against someone who thinks the best strategy is to try and mimic history.

I've beaten opponents badly just by refusing to enter France. They NEVER believe that I would really leave France alone for the entire game.
 
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