When did the concept of "pacifist" routes become popular?

When did the concept of "pacifist" routes become popular? I saw someone here recently say a certain game wasn't an RPG because you had to kill people to get through the story. Obviously that person was a retard, but I've also seen a lot of other people mentioning pacifist options as some net positive addition to RPGs. In reality, pacifist runs are usually really gimmicky and boring. So when did this line of thinking crop up and why?

  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    First time I remember was Fallout, people praised it for that.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I first saw it in gaming magazines in the 00s, i mean the praice for Fallout, and i still can't say whether that praise came from people that actually played the game or the ones mindlessly quoting fan forums of the time. Yeah, it is TECHNICALLY possible to beat Fallout and Fallout 2 without YOUR CHARACTER killing anyone DIRECTLY. But a) you still nuke the Cathedral and all its inhabbitants, as well as the oil rig b) your companions just do the killing for you, so the combat still happens, and c) "pacifist" playthrough requires pretty heavy AI abuse and metagaming, might as well cheat at this point.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >you still nuke the Cathedral
        The Master nukes the Cathedral himself

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous
      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Point C is the main one. My earliest recollection of Pacifist runs were people doing them as challenge runs. Other games I remember for that were MGS and Civilization.

        With Gandhi runs being particularly famous for doing pacifists runs. I can't remember the first RPG I saw it discussed though.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Videogame RPGs have historically focused on the combat side of the gameplay rounded out by dungeon crawling, world-building, and a story. People see noncombat resolutions as a sign the game is more like a real RPG even if the gameplay itself is sterile and boring.

    Fixating on resolutions and rewards seems to be a common pattern. Some people take gameplay details for granted, but so long as a quest has a great reward or a choice you can make that gives you a different paragraph of text at the end, everything in between doesn't matter.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Thief isn't an rpg, but on Expert difficulty you aren't allowed to kill humans. I think that was somewhat good and I wonder if it had influence on games in general.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Well in Thief it makes sense. You're a thief, not an assassin. Getting in and out without being noticed, and without bloodshed that would get more heat on you, makes sense.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Thief isn't an rpg

      Well in Thief it makes sense. You're a thief, not an assassin. Getting in and out without being noticed, and without bloodshed that would get more heat on you, makes sense.

      >Well in Thief it makes sense.
      This is really the crux of the issue, when it comes to videogames.
      RPGs may have survival mechanics like hunger and thirst. But if you design a videogame around survival and crafting, it's probably going to classify as a survival game unless you have some other substantial RPG elements.
      RPGs often involve puzzles but if you design a game that is nothing but solving puzzles it'll register as an adventure game (or a puzzle game).

      So most of the time, when people try to add non-combat videogame mechanics to videogame RPGs, they wind up sucking because they are stuck adhering to RPG expectations for shit like multiple classes/builds and choice and consequence.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    People are retarded.

    Both pacificst and murder hobo routes are dumb. It should be contextual so it can both be interesting and potentially add exta challenge.

    For example, you need to get information from a police station
    >you can kill police officers
    >you can choose not to kill any police officers
    >not kill or knock someone out at all
    >you can be detected
    >never be detected
    >these things can also combine, like killing and not being detected or ghosting it by not touching anyone and not being detected
    This could give you different outcomes and offer different challenges while also making more contextual sense,

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      The challenge here is designing an entire game with objectives that always have a non-violent solution, and still yielding a game that is both fun and recognizable as an RPG.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        thats definitely not an RPG

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          exactly

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        The thing is you don't always need non-lethal.
        If you're fighting a bunch of mass murdering psychos there is no reason to just knock them out. So there is no special condition for doing so. In fact there might be a negative outcome if anything, since they're still there and could keep killing locals.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          When it comes to lethal vs non-lethal combat solutions (as opposed to solutions that avoid combat altogether, which is what I took 'pacifist' to mean), I think videogames just tend to be lazy about this one. It's just way easier to have "kill all the enemies" be the default objective in combat scenarios. I would love to see RPGs do more with creative combat scenarios that don't just involve killing all the enemies or maybe evading them with stealth or speed.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            If we're counting non-lethal, as in you can tranquilize folks rather than kill, the first RPG I remember doing this for was Deus Ex.
            If Deus Ex counts, I don't even know.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The vast majority of discussions I've seen about "pacifist" playthroughs count non lethal takedowns as pacifist. Pacifist in common vidya parlance doesn't generally mean no combat allowed, even though it should based on the actual meaning of the word.

            Most pacifist runs are usually more about gameplay than roleplaying. Pacifist tends to be harder than just killling whenever it's convenient for progression, so it has the same appeal as speedrunning, no armour runs, no levelling runs, or whatever other arbitrary restrictions people choose. It doesn't make much sense to look at it from a roleplaying perspective.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >Pacifist tends to be harder than just killling whenever it's convenient for progression
              Pacifist is usually by far the easiest way to play the game in any game where it's intentionally designed. Look at MGSV or the newer Deus Ex games. Pacifist runs are just hands down easier because there's never any negative consequences to non-lethal takedowns.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Not RPG, but the original DOOM always had pacifist runs for as long as I can remember. Early mid ninties at the latest. Wouldn't say that popularised them, but it's the earliest I can think of with videogames.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I think part of the hype for pacifism was that often noncombat skills in early RPGs were basically useless waste of UI space.

    Yeah, sure, you can use Diplomacy to... avoid fight with some low level goblins and/or lose all the loot and most of the exp.

    Almost always all the major noncombat rewards could be gotten anyway by doing combat.

    I think pacifism was kind of an extreme reaction where "obviously" the game had to have nonuseless noncombat skills, since you don't even have to fight!! ...but instead, as mentioned, pacifism was mostly a gimmick that usually required cheesy tactics and made no narrative sense.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      And we got the best post.
      What used to be the norm was to have a HUGE skill list, but only for combat and overworld movement skills to be useful or viable.
      For example, there might be 4 language skills... but all they do is to remove aggro from some very rare enemy types. Or in the original context of DND: The skill list might be very extensive, but only Perception/Find Trap and some loot skills are useful. Or Identify Magic if you are playing a version where its tied to counterspell.

      And as the decades has dragged on, we now have people who miss the point and then implemented it into their games.
      So adding a pacifism rank and implementing 1:1 gameplay systems but brand them as non kill.
      We even got to see developers making a reboot of Theif, only to fail to understand WTF the point of the Ghost rank was.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        The biggest joke to me was always having Move Silently and Stay Hidden be separate skills. No idea what the D&D devs were smoking.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >CROSS WITH ME, REDGUARD

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm not sure where it started, but it (theoretically) gives players more options in how to approach things, and people generally like more choice, especially in RPGs.

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