An Empirical Analysis on GF3 Diplomatic Agents

AuthorTopic: An Empirical Analysis on GF3 Diplomatic Agents
Apprentice
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An Empirical Analysis on GF3 Diplomatic Agents

Table of Contents
-Introduction
-Definition
-Character
-Game-play
-Training
-Metatinkering
-Disclaimer

Introduction

The objective of this analysis was to evaluate our training of diplomacy and to modify the curriculum to suit the present war. We conducted the observation on an apprentice agent who secured the Ashen Isles.

Definition

A diplomatic agent is an agent trained with priority in leadership and mechanics.

Character

The subject of this analysis was proficient in mental magic and ranged weapons beside diplomacy. She followed the tormenting route of a loyal shaper with no corporeal alteration and minimum damaged tissues.

The subject demonstrated great immersion and great freedom with her skills. The subject was seen limited in carrying goods, making friends and helping the rebellion. All factors will be discussed in detail.

Game-play

All diplomatic agents use stealth. The subject, loyal to no one but the Council, also steals.

-Stealth
Stealth is a technique of motion in combat so that enemies don’t see the subject. She used it to avoid battles in which she would not prevail or would waste too many supplies.

In combat mode, enemies only registered the presence of the subject when they saw her at the beginnings of their turns. Anything happened between them is but blurred shades. Therefore, by standing within nobody’s sight ending her turn can the subject run past people inches from their noses and remain unnoticed.

The subject was observed to spent the majority of her time in combat mode. If she encountered enemies in adventure mode, they registered her presence immediately. The subject could escape alive most of the times, however, as she was very dextrous from her training in ranged weapons, allowing more room for mistakes.

Moving in combat mode aided immersion as rushing from corner to corner is what a realistic spy will do. It was also observed to be extremely tedious when the subject had a friend travelling with her.

-Thieving
The subject did anything to achieve her ends without the slightest remorse. She showed a need to steal as her supplies were constantly consumed. She genuinely had to explore everywhere and acquire everything accessible.

There were reports of sighting rogue shapers command their creations to steal. Such phenomenon was not observed in the subject. She had little problems picking vaults herself with her proficiency in stealth and mechanics.

-Assassination
The subject performed multiple surgical operations. She sneaked into enemy bases, killed the key target and sneaked out without alerting the majority of rogues. She reported her relative ease in the Geneforge. She also reported that the Inner Keep looks much harder, if ever possible, to infiltrate.

Training

Leadership and Mechanics
The subject achieved 10 leadership and 8 mechanics on Greenwood Isle. Those were seen as just adequate. She didn’t focus her attention on those skills later on as she discovered many infiltrator’s items along her way. She reported that her diplomatic quests would require 16 leadership and rumours had it that a rogue shaper managed to survive with 14. Her level 17 skill on mechanics, beside saving the life of dozens of living tools, helped her to turn those horrifying spawning machines against the rogues who constructed them.

Mental Magic and Spell-craft
The subject used this branch of magic to disable foes without (generally) killing them. She escaped from tricky situations more than once by hiding herself after dazing or maddening the rogues around her.

Might or Magic?
It has been subjected to extensive debates in the Council whether we should focus the agents’ training on battle magic or ranged weapons.

Battle magic is the traditional and the strong. Many altered agents abandoned the path of diplomacy in favour of burning down everything in their paths. But the subject was trained in ranged weapons. We extracted a few reasons from a the subject’s report on her education and experience.
1. The effectiveness of ranged weapons is related to the sum of ranged weapon skill and dexterity. To raise the efficiency to a certain level, agents need to spend the least amount of time training. [Physiological details deleted here]
2. A high dexterity results in acting faster in combat. Thanks to it the subject risked walking in adventure mode sometimes knowing she could escape before the rogues could hit her.
3. To everyone but the subject and hunter guardians, ‘supplies’ mean consumer goods. It is economic to actually make use of the crystals scattered all throughout the infested mines. The subject killed only with absolute necessity, both out of her personal ethics and with consideration of her ammunition’s worth in gold.

Meta-tinkering

The subject didn’t like being encumbered or spending time on her muscles. Fortunately our researchers have worked out a way to grow very light lances and living tools. Here is the procedure.

Open the file
/data/scripts/G3itemchar.txt with any word processor.
Find the name ‘javelin’.
A few lines below is ‘item_weight = 10;’ without quotation marks.
Change that to ‘item_weight = 1;’.
Find the name ‘living tool’.
Do likewise.

Some Council members are against the use of new techniques as are in controversy with the Code of Realism. Others think the absence of the great tedium of carrying javelins is well worth the risk.

Disclaimer

The above analysis is subject to criticism, correction and suggestion.
Posts: 20 | Registered: Saturday, July 30 2005 07:00
Agent
Member # 6581
Profile Homepage #1
quote:
Originally written by Phase Equilibrium:

Definition

A diplomatic agent is an agent trained with priority in leadership and mechanics.

And the luck? Is useful when you are a diplomatic.

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Download Geneforge 4: Rebellion

You have 6 posts. Nobody cares what you think. - Thuryl

Wikipedia may be your friend, but UBB is not. - Dikiyoba
Posts: 1310 | Registered: Tuesday, December 20 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #2
This is a very interesting thread, but I'm afraid it may not generate a lot of replies. Everything you say sounds very reasonable. I've often wondered how a more purely diplomatic game would work out, but I've never really wanted to try it. I don't think it's so much that I can't bear to miss the thrill of making little red splotches on the tiles. It's more that it bothers me if I leave anything undone in a zone, and hostile creatures patrolling around is a big undone.

Silly, really, and I could probably talk myself out of this attitude and enjoy the Diplomatic Agent. So maybe I should just ask, Was the Diplomatic Agent much fun? Did it bother you to know that after you had turned a zone green you would still have to sneak through it if you ever went back there, because it was still full of live enemies?

I guess the other problem for me is that the diplomacy and mechanics aspects of the game seem a bit too crude for me to enjoy manipulating them. Getting through mines and machines just means raising one stat high enough. Likewise for unlocking the best dialog options; and choosing these when they are available is almost always straightforward. The extra 'good' dialog options are generally all well done, but you almost never have to think or role play much in order to recognize why they are good choices, or guess what they will do. At most you might have to have visited the right room and read the right book first, so that you can regurgitate the fact it presented.

Plus, in the worst case, there are only a few dialog options, and since success or failure in diplomacy is evident immediately, you can just save-load until you get the conversation right. Combats can also be save-loaded, of course, but there are in principle more options to try, and the possibility always exists that you are simply not strong enough for that fight, and have to come back later. I can't really think of any examples in the games where you have to plan ahead how to gather information in order to 'win' a key conversation.

Finally, it would be very hard for me to enjoy a diplomatic game if it was not my first, because once you know the plot, it's hard to be excited about ticking off the conversation gambits that you know are right. If the more elaborate scripting of G4 means that you have to find out and figure out a lot of things in order to trigger the better conversation options, then it would be less than thrilling to push my character through the steps of discovering a sequence of secrets that I as a player already knew.

Having said all that, I can imagine that a really ingenious and intricate story could make the diplomatic game fun, even for second or subsequent playings. For this to work, there would have to be quite a lot of branching plot paths, and there would have to be conversation results whose implications took a while to become apparent (otherwise you just save-load through the options to get the obvious best one). On the other hand, it would be bad if it were too easy to get locked out of good outcomes by making dialog mistakes whose consequences were not apparent until too late.

[ Thursday, May 04, 2006 12:24: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #3
Love it. Too hungry to type more, but I'll bump it for now.

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One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 6652
Profile #4
I did something like this, but to the extreme, without killing anything at all.

It was interesting, and I actually thought it was much easier than playing as a shaper, say, and fighting things. Jeff did a nice job of making the game easy to play with diplomacy.

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
Posts: 420 | Registered: Sunday, January 8 2006 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #5
Very nice game report. It's fun to read these in-character reports.

PS SoT, to make a game like this fun, you'd have to completely role-play your character: making decisions she would make, regardless of what you, the player, know about consequences, picking dialogue options she would pick, never reloading (unless you die, but only if you do everything possible to aviod death), etc.

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
Hmmm. Yeah, I guess I can see how that might work. Maybe not on the fourth time through the game, but okay, it's probably asking a bit much for any approach to do that.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00