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Heartwarming/rending romance all up in your tactical whatever video game? It's more likely than you think.

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Ok guys, I totally get that MASSIVE CHALICE is supposed to be all about tactics and strategy and all those things you eggheads dig. That's cool. Since the game operates over generations and your soldiers all die eventually I assume it won't be possible to really build up and add unique character and development to any particular relationship. The marriages should support gameplay and not be an end in themselves, right? It's a game about war, not a tactical smooching simulator. Keep your cheesy Harlequin romance out of manly man video games. Totally.

But oh wait. I actually like cheesy video game romance. In Mass Effect I found Liara/Shepard talkin' and smooching about 1000% more interesting to watch than the big evil space lobsters. In Fire Emblem: Awakening I found the little romances far more interesting than saving the world from ultimate evil or whatever. So maybe I can suggest a compromise. I understand that your King/Queen is going to be immortal for whatever reason, right? So, it's not outside the realm of possibility to have other characters who are immortal. Maybe some of these other immortal characters can be potential love interests. Because these immortal characters will be few and because they can hang around for the whole game, it's possible to put in some unique, fleshed out, well-written story and dialogue. Each love interest could provide a particular bonus so there's still a little strategic decision to make there, too. Plus there's replay value in seeing how each romance plays out. In gameplay terms maybe you can compare it to how XCOM: EU let you choose which continent to put your base on.

Also put a cute little royal wedding cutscene in there for each pair. Indulge me, Double Fine!

*prepares for backlash*

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This is great! Massive Chalice Tactics: Matchmaking and Courtship.

Romance might be handled best through your heroes, rather than through your immortal, god-king, player, avatar thing. That is, allowing for a more procedural approach that ensures happy families and royal peace or something would allow for a more replayable experience.

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Heh. ;)

Personally, instead of a direct romance in a game like this, I'd like to see something more... up to the reading. Like, if I've used two heroes together, and had them fight by one another's side for ages, I can imagine them starting to fall for each other. Being able to take that one step further with a wedding makes that 'player read' narrative have a bit more meaning to it without adding any other game mechanics. Though I do think some kinda yardstick should be employed to mesure relationships and bonds between your heroes. (might just be me, but still)

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My idea is that romances for the mortal characters would be like a player-created narrative and wouldn't have any wedding cutscenes or extraneous stuff like that. Only the King/Queen character would be able to engage in more defined relationships. That way you can get the best of both worlds. (Of course, if someone doesn't care about story or has already seen the story and wants to focus strictly on gameplay, they can skip any cutscenes or dialogue that comes up.)

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Hmm... A lot of that would depend on how important the King or Queen is to the narrative as things stand. If they're not too important, I don't see it as something that'd add an awful lot. It could fit if there's other stuff planned around the Monarch specifically, and romance could form a strand of that narrative (a la what Dragon Commander seems to be promising), but if the Monarch took the role of the XCom Commander, a character who only exists to be our window...

Eh, could go either way. : ) For now, the prospect of the player narrative is what's got me happy. And whilst it could easily become overused, I would like a wedding cutscene to be possible. Perhaps a 'public wedding' being something that can be done to show support for a union or such? That'd stop it playing all the time, and make certain matches feel more significant. : )

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If DF decided to do something like the XCOM commander, then the stuff I'm talking about here would make a lot less sense. I think that Massive Chalice might have better thematic justification for more romance and narrative, though. XCOM is straight-up about kicking alien butt, so it lends itself better to action than it does to lots of romancing. On the other hand, generations are going to play a major part in MC, and generations are a result of coupling, and coupling is often a result of love, and there is more potential for narrative and dialogue when love is involved.

Also I just looked up this Dragon Commander game and it sounds pretty sweet. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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*nods* The idea of the Monarch being more plot critical is something I hadn't really considered before this discussion. However, if they are indeed more of a character in the game, getting to interact with others and make in character choices... then yes, I'm absolutely with you on this one. It makes sense to have a romance plot, or at least a possible romance plot. Perhaps even tying it back into the tactical level and core gameplay, somehow? (I'm reminded of that bit in the original King Arthur where you could send out a Knight to quest to find Guinevere)

And no worries. ;) I backed Original Sin enough that I've got a copy waiting for me. Though the lack of updates have left me a bit concerned

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While I'm not opposed to romance playing a role in the game, I'm directly opposed to cut scenes for weddings simply for the reason it's suppose to happen a lot and I get tired of seeing the same scenes repeatedly. But it's also sort of off to me to have the impending threat of annihilation hanging over your head and have to take courtship into account.

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*nods* I'd thought the same GC, which is why I was suggesting that a wedding cut-scene could be something player invoked, potentially a kind of 'super-wedding'. What the buffs from that might be, I'm less sure of, but I think it'd be an ok compromise, allowing people to celebrate matches they're proud of, without making us have to sit through a cutscene for every wedding.

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I apologize in advance so don't hate me for it!

THIS would make a non-game-breaking spot for same sex relationships...

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I apologize in advance so don't hate me for it!

THIS would make a non-game-breaking spot for same sex relationships...

If its just for the King/Queen aka player character. I dont see how it is? After all who is to say that in this world that there organised religion doesn't approve of same sex relationships. Thats up to the guys at DF to decide. Besides if they make it diffirent still images that shows and changes over the course of it. Yeah they'd need four sets of it all. But it would be a nice touch. At least I think so.

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While I'm not opposed to romance playing a role in the game, I'm directly opposed to cut scenes for weddings simply for the reason it's suppose to happen a lot and I get tired of seeing the same scenes repeatedly. But it's also sort of off to me to have the impending threat of annihilation hanging over your head and have to take courtship into account.

First of all I think romance can happen even in the face of impending doom. However, the cool thing is that this game happens over a very long time. There could be periods in which the threat of evil is reduced and there is relative peacetime (no active fighting), and that's when things like weddings would happen. Not when demons are up in your kingdom eating peasants.

I'd watch a cutscene of a royal wedding if it is the red kind.

aw man i know this is something game of thrones related but i haven't gotten to that part yet. so don't spoil me.

I apologize in advance so don't hate me for it!

THIS would make a non-game-breaking spot for same sex relationships...

If its just for the King/Queen aka player character. I dont see how it is? After all who is to say that in this world that there organised religion doesn't approve of same sex relationships. Thats up to the guys at DF to decide. Besides if they make it diffirent still images that shows and changes over the course of it. Yeah they'd need four sets of it all. But it would be a nice touch. At least I think so.

I think what he's saying is that this wouldn't require any more complexity in the basic game mechanics. They could focus strictly on making reproduction for babymaking a good gameplay mechanic, and wouldn't have to figure out how to add research couples or whatever into that formula. Remember that more complexity isn't always a good thing, and it won't necessarily make the game more fun or balanced from a gameplay perspective. (Of course I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't happen, I'm just trying to explain the thinking of others.)

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I rather like the idea of giving the heroes romantic interests just so that you can provide or not provide bonuses to couplings based on whether it's just political or they actually like each other. Additionally, I haven't heard enough talk of the immortal ruler getting in on the action. Why wouldn't you put yourself out to stud as well?

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@GoT Comments, Hot, I don't watch the series, but I read the books. I'm going to take a guess and say it's the season finale for Season 3, assuming that's the one we're now on. ;) Best wishes for it!

@Romance, I think romance in the face of imminant apocalypse is not only possible, but somewhat likely, especially if we're in a situation with periods of long waiting (such as a siege). Romance between the units is something I'm kinda in two minds about though: I kinda prefer leaving it up to the player's imagination. Self created narratives fit better there, and save the dev team work. Perhaps just give some heroes a trait, 'true love', that'd give them bonuses if married? Complicating marriage alliance plans. :)

As to romance for the crown... Like I said before, I think making it a possible quest is probably the way to go. Keeping it pure VN, like Arthur did, would probably put people off.

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To try and bring this a bit more on topic, hot, how would you handle the wider meta-game for a romance plot? The baseline for this game is the strategy and tactics stuff, rather than a traditional RPG or VN style of format.

I'm personally leaning towards a set of, say, four possible romantic interests for the Royal, all of whome are not exactly normal, helping with the immortality angle. Say, a Dragon, an Archmage, a Vampire and... hmm... Perhaps a 'purified' demon? Would we want them to be unique characters that stick with the game on every playthrough? Or a kind of narrative classes, susceptible to some degree of randomization or customization?

(In fact, with three of the four, you could have their arrival and existance triggered by in game events. That old magic user that had retired and was on the verge of death? Finally transcended into archmage status, and is basically a personification of magic. That dashing rogue you lost delving into the ancient ruin is back as a beautiful Vampire Countess. That demonic warlord who was ravaging your lands early game has seen a glimpse of the light upon reforming and wants to be redeemed.)

Either way, any of those outlined four lead fairly easily to a quest chain involving romance. Breaking curses, rescue, help, assistance. You could go for something elaborate and preplanned, or simpler with random elements to the quest objectives. Either way leading to love and marriage.

What benefits would a married Royal have? I'd say that should largely be a matter of choice, between having your romantic partner rule beside you, enabling the start of a royal bloodline and some powerful late game heroes, or your lover could take to the field in person as a superunit. Loosing them'd be bad, but if you've got one of the most powerful beings in the world on your side....

Thoughts?

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Romance between your regular units is totally something I'm ok with being more of an "up to the imagination" kind of thing.

As for the King, I want it to be less "player-imagined" but to still serve a gameplay purpose. I don't know what VN means (visual novel?) but I definitely wouldn't want the King's relationship to be pure narrative and have no ties to strategy. So it could certainly involve sidequests but I still would like it to have a bit more weight than a sidequest. It doesn't have to be the focus of the story but it would make me sad if it became just a footnote after the quest is completed.

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Welll, most of the ones I suggested were extended questlines. I'm still not sure how this game's going to handle story overall at all, so was kinda trying to dodge that a bit. ;) But hmm... Ok, let's see if I can conjure up an example of how this might work, using the mage as a potential example

Your heroes are sent out to investigate strange flashing lights on the outskirts of a small town. To their surprise, the lights end up forming into a portal from which [character name] falls; a mage supposedly dead from age. They are exhausted however, and the howl of hell hounds having sensed the magic lets you know that trouble is coming. Protect the mage!

The mage is escorted back to the royal palace to have words with the Monarch. Instead of dying from old age, they'd simply continued travelling, using higher magics to stave off their body's decay for a while. Whatever else might be going on, the continued demonic invasion makes death a luxury the kingdom can't afford. The Mage has located several components of a powerful ritual, used by the wizards of old to become immortal and to join something called 'The Circle of Masters'. If your mage could find certain ingredients, they could perform the spell in turn.

Mission or two spent gathering ingredients, regular fights, with occasional talks with the mage. They're uneasy about this, and don't know exactly what the result will be, but are going ahead with it for the sake of the country, their family, and their monarch. Perhaps a few hints at romance for later. Culminating in climax

The ritual is cast, and seems to work well at first. The final step however, is the problem. The demonic invasion has corrupted the older magic to a degree, and those who personified it, the Circle of Masters, are backing the demons in this conflict. They attack, and to take their place as a rightful master of magic, your mage must see them off.

Concluding in the mage stepping into the circle, seemingly sinking into the earth... before rising out of it once again, reborn as an immortal figure of power, ready to defend the country and serve the crown. And all thanks to the generosity and benevolance of the monarch....

See what I'm going for, here? It's a plot that doesn't HAVE to lead to romance, but could very easily, whilst still maintaining enough random elements to make it not exactly feel like a set story event you have to tick off every time you play through....

Does my ranting make sense?

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I'd watch a cutscene of a royal wedding if it is the red kind.

Too soon?

As someone who read the books way back when... the reaction of people who DIDN'T read the books is pretty much just as entertaining - lol!!

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The best thing about Fire Emblem is the characters' interactions and relationships. I'd love to see the same sort of thing in this game, even if it was in a more limited capacity.

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