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diggity

Give Astrid some hard choices

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Really enjoyed Ep. 3.  It was more polished and coherent than the first two and can't wait for 4 & 5.
That being said, I have a couple thoughts about what happened specifically regarding the priest.

Please stop reading now if you are the type that's upset by open discussion, overly defensive and/or easily
threatened by criticism. 

Why is Father Thomas here?  We have a mild discussion with him where Astrid rebuffs any faith talk, but still she does what's asked.  Astrid is a doctor and she does what she does out of professional duty it seems - but the episode is not about moral choices, it's about endurance. Do what you're told to do.

I would have liked to seen a little moral complexity added, such as when Father announces the oncoming blizzard,
you have a certain amount of days or hours to rescue the survivors, indicated by a snowy hourglass perhaps.

Then you could make some choices - perhaps Molly told you where the rifle is, but you don't have time to rescue everyone AND get the rifle.  If you improve your own situation, and a survivor or two dies, you don't get the priest's blessing.  Maybe he is sad, disappointed and turns away in disapproval.  Maybe that bothers you, maybe it doesn't:
"Look Father, I did what I did and that's that".  "Well I hope you can live with yourself"  "I have so far..." etc.

That's one example - in dire circumstances people have to make awful choices - chop off my own arm to survive? Let this one die so that this other one can live?  Sacrifice myself?  And so on.  

This is an adult game played by grownups so I was hoping for a little more situational ethics type problems when I saw the priest, otherwise why even put him in the game?  Molly is still an unknown. Maybe it's a Lost type situation where a force for good (presumably Priest) is locked in a deadly battle with an evil force (presumably Molly) and the player is caught by accident in that struggle.   Maybe you have to choose a side.

Anyway these are just thoughts, not criticisms so please take with a grain of salt. And perhaps 4 & 5 will give closure to some of this. Thanks for reading.

Edited by diggity
grammar
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4 hours ago, diggity said:

I would have liked to seen a little moral complexity added, such as when Father announces the oncoming blizzard,
you have a certain amount of days or hours to rescue the survivors, indicated by a snowy hourglass perhaps.

I thought about this as well. I assumed the game would give me infinite time to visit the plane crash, despite the sense of urgency it implied. I made a similar assumption around rescuing survivors and collecting supplies. I figured the game would magically produce a blizzard once I turned in the quest and it would either be infinite, or last until another quest trigger down the line. I guessed right (at least as far as my experience went), but I couldn't see how this sequence could be implemented any other way easily.

One of the aspects of quest design in this game that I imagine makes things difficult is the huge variance in potential player states. You can be reasonably sure that players leaving Molly's basement will all be in a fairly similar state. Beyond that, note so much. The player is nudged towards the town, but can technically go anywhere* and complete or ignore side quests at their leisure. I think the game consciously avoids judging the player on the basis of how they spend their time in the world. 

If Father Thomas' quests were time limited or had some penalty for being left for too long (which I agree seems like a logical consequence), that would constrain the player by asking them to prioritise those quests whether or not they are reasonably prepared for them. This would result in delaying side quests and exploration until the blizzard had set in. But once that happens, both those activities become prohibitively difficult. Does that result in a better experience?  

*Now I think on it, has anyone tried going to the plane crash immediately from Molly's house? I might give that a go and see what happens. 

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20 hours ago, LucidFugue said:

*Now I think on it, has anyone tried going to the plane crash immediately from Molly's house? I might give that a go and see what happens. 

It's all blocked off.  You can't interact with the door, the fallen tree bridge is missing.  I didn't attempt any goating, I just wanted to see if it was possible to rescue the victim early, and see if it resulted in a different dialogue with Fr. Thomas when you first encounter him.

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