This is my 6th post for Blaugust.
I was playing The Witcher 3 the other day (yes, still). Geralt and a fellow witcher were trekking out to a cave to do witcher things and all of a sudden, a child’s voice calls out. Someone may need help, Geralt thinks, while his companion chides him – they’re in the middle of nowhere, there are no children here. I know it’s not a child calling for help. The voice is odd and echoey, it’s clearly a monster pretending to be a child. Geralt, seasoned monster hunter, should know this as well. From an RP and common sense standpoint, I should ignore the voice, and continue on. But, from a player of video games with completionist tendencies standpoint, I can’t. It could lead to a quest, experience, items, some kind of content I may not see otherwise. I guess you could call this a choice, but it’s not much of one for me. I follow the voice. Surprise, it’s a foglet. I kill it and get back to my quest.
There’s a disconnect between what I’d choose as my character vs. what I’d choose as a player. As a player, I’m always going to go for the option that may give me more content even if it means taking an action my character would never do.
I find this kind of “optional” quest comes up a lot in RPGs and I don’t think it’s something that’s handled very well. I could be playing an evil wizard, but if I come upon a little girl whose kitten is stuck in a tree, goddamn it I will get that kitten out of the tree. There are NPCs who I’d really like to slap for treating me like an errand girl (or boy) but rather than give them sass, which is what I or likely any character I make would like to do, I run and get their dry cleaning for a few slivers of XP and a nominal reward.
Do you ever find your choices as a player in games don’t line up with the character you play in games?