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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


Nov 24, 2016
I mean. Here's an example. In Lethian's Crossing, there will be loot icons on the minimap before and after the Bronze Brotherhood attacks. Eldian tasks you with finding people in the village to aid, but you don't know where to find them yet, so you have to go through town to find them.

But, the beauty is that, no matter where the fog of war is, you can always see opportunities to pick up loot. And those loot nodes happen to be right next to the questgivers that they wanted you to hit; Gino and Deya.

So, clearly, someone sat down and thought about, "Hey, I want the players to be motivated to go to these places so they won't miss the content". That's smart game design. So, clearly they put thought into how their quest progression is supposed to work. It's a basic example, which you will find in a lot of games and it's really the job of the level designer to place those loot nodes, but you get my point.

Therefore, it is odd to me that the content of the quests wasn't in the same way controlled. Clearly, they wanted a quest in Lethian's Crossing that allows you to max out your Wrath with them.

So I think the way it went was, the Game Director told someone from the Narrative Design team, "Hey, narrative designer. Can you make me a quest that gives the player a lot of Wrath with Lethian's Crossing if they wanted to? Thanks." And then the narrative designer goes, "Oh, I know. I'll write this small story about Deya and tie in the Wrath mechanic into it". Not realizing that this was not in line with how the Wrath mechanic was intended to work. And, keep in mind, the Game Director isn't the same as the Original World and Story Designer. I find it hard to believe that Chris Avellone wouldn't have a complete vision of what the arc of Tyranny was going to be and how the mechanics of the game and the mechanics of the Archons weren't supposed to be mirroring each other.

And I think that is what lead to the confusion. After all, the quests were already created and they needed some way for the rebellion Fatebinder to max out their Wrath. Perhaps because they didn't know the way that it was written, just the way that it was functioning. Perhaps because they did know, but they couldn't think of the right alternative. (I've been a narrative designer. I know that it can be a special kind of hell to communicate with the rest of the team if your visions misalign).

To me, it just looks like a failure of communication. Someone made something, whoever was supposed to document or check it missed it or didn't check. Then other members of the narrative team looked at that, shrugged and copied it. It corrupted the smaller quest-interactions, but left the arc set out by the Original World and Story Designer untouched.

I think that is what happened. That the questlines aren't always aligned with the vision of the Original World and Story Designer.


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Dec 6, 2016
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I disagree with the OP.

I think Tyranny is ultimately about the snowballing nature of evil, and how it can and does appear where you least expect it, often with a very understandable motivation behind it. A great example would be the Rebel narrative, when you get to Stalwart and kill the regent and then your Unbroken ally wants you to execute a baby. It's an evil act that nobody likes, yet it makes perfect sense in the mind of the Unbroken guy (what's the life of one baby, compared to the freeing of his people from a horrible edict?). Philosophers could discuss the ethics of it for hours, and the fact you can avoid it via a legal loophole speaks volumes.

As for the setting itself, sure, we don't get much information, but it doesn't bother me because this information is just background to the conquest of the Tiers which is the immediate thing you have to deal with. It's not like the regrettable Prometheus movie, or the disgrace that is StarCraft 2 story, where crucial plot points make no sense and information that is necessary to understand what the hell is going on simply doesn't exist.

In Tyranny, things that we don't know, nobody knows. It's not like Kyros's nature is kept just from the player - it's kept from everyone! The Spires are mysterious but we gradually discover more and more about them, and the biggest discovery is that we can use them to cast Edicts, and so on. To me, that's the perfectly fine amount of mystery.