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Re: Moral[message #321166] Thu, 30 May 2013 02:46 Go to previous messageGo to previous message

Registered:August 2006
Location: Bavaria - Germany
I think we must differentiate between tactical morale and strategical morale.

Tactical morale is, when enemy soldiers see their squadmates getting slaughtered by the dozens and decide to flee for their lives or simply surrender against overwhelming opposition or due to crippling injury that makes it pointless for them to fight on.

Strategic morale is, when the enemy AI becomes more careful and defensive after too many failed assaults on the player and the overall combat effectiveness and cohesion of its troops, especially the lower tiers, suffers in general. Maybe even having the overall reputation of the player affect how enemies behave in both strategic and tactical regards.

The first thing would be a nice and sensible feature to have, opening up the possibility to conquer a sector by merely making the enemy force panicking, by eliminating their leaders/officers, applying overwhelming firepower and surprise or compromising their defensive positions by flanking, forcing them to retreat instead of getting slaughtered to the last man, but also risking that the enemy could regroup in an adjacent sector and come back in greater force.

It would help to make the AI feel more "alive" if enemies could be forced to surrender or retreat, instead of having to hunt down and slaughter every last one of them like mindless robots.

This would also help to differentiate JA:F from other games and genres, where slaughtering enemies down to the last one is basically mandatory and standard behavior, which is not in actual war, giving it a more realistic vibe and also enhance the roleplaying aspect, by giving the player the choice to take prisoners for interrogation and maybe even converting them to aid you or simply slaughtering everyone, adding dread to your reputation as a merciless and ruthless mercenary, probably also affecting who is actually willing to join your cause.

Complex moral choices affecting the gameplay profoundly is what makes the Witcher games such special and deep RPGs. Giving JA:F some of that depth and complexity would surely help to set it apart and make it stand out even further.
But that would definitely be an advanced bonus feature and not something mandatory for the base game.

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