I just finished like one and a half playthroughs of Dragon Age: Origins. Got me thinking a lot about making choices in these games. Will contain bits of spoilers, maybe, but I’ll try to keep it vague just in case.
Towards the end of the game, there’s a part where a companion character (Morrigan, if you’ve played it) asks something of you, and you can choose to help her or deny her. There are personal reasons for you character to help (it can benefit you greatly) but there are somewhat moral reasons why you would deny her.
My first playthrough, I denied her, and was almost surprised about how upset she was. The second playthrough, I helped her, and realized how important the whole thing was because of how pleased she was that you assisted her.
She’s kind of a guarded character, so even though she tells you that this is a big deal, the pressure is kind of seen as something of a choice you’re making for yourself and someone else involved, rather than something that effects her. Or at least that’s how I saw it. It got me thinking- should choices that directly effect NPCs have the emotional pressure from the knowledge of how it affects them?
It’s kind of a hard thing for me to decide. If there’s more pressure on you as the player, then it’s entirely up to how you see it. But if there’s emotional pressure from an NPC, knowing that you’ll be DIRECTLY affecting them with your choices, would that make it more difficult? I’m worried that it would be like a leading question. “Save npc’s life or don’t”, something like that. How does one make it so it’s actually a hard choice? How can you balance the importance, so that all choices have good reasons to be made?
Especially when it comes to purely emotional things. Like the choice between forgiving an NPC or not.