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Poll: Most/Least Ethical Faction?[G5]


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This is of course analogous to the concerns over genetic engineering. Today we can create better crops that are hardier, resistant to disease, grow faster for higher yearly yields, and so forth through direct manipulation (as opposed to generational breeding). Then there is the future of genetic engineering where we work upon animals.

 

From the GF1 & GF2 backstories I recall that the Shapers did something similar using magical radiation which tweaked the genetic structure of living animals and crops. They started out as mages with the ability to make limited modifications. In time their abilities diversified and they rose in power accordingly. Given time they became the premier power with their abilities to reshape the land to human preferences. Eventually we reach a critical point. Shaping has existed for so long that the Shapers know deep down in their bones that Shaping is merely a creation, property. Livestock. A servile is livestock. A fyora is livestock. Intelligence is not wanted because A. it defies the livestock model and B. it could go rogue.

 

Of course when someone takes things too far or when nature runs it course (GF1) we finds the seeds of a new race are born. I suspect that for the longest time serviles were dumb workers. Now skip forward to GF5.

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I would have liked the G2 kill everything that moves, slithers, flies, or crawls option.

 

Kill all the shaper council members, kill the rebel leaders, and then release the purity agent to destroy and purge creations that have clearly gone out of control and have gone against nature.

 

At that point, the world could start over.

 

I like G5 as a game. It is a good game. But ALL of the endings are really lousy. Honestly, they resolve nothing. Canisters are everywhere. There is no way to undo that. Another geneforge is bound to be created. For all we know, a drakon could have flown or somehow traveled to Sholai lands. Creations could have packed up and left known lands on shaped boats. There is no way to put the pieces back and have some means of control.

 

The Astoria ending is pleasant enough, but there should be an option to truly strike out against the madness and bring it to an end. Burn it all and start over.

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The future of genetic engineering is now. We've already got engineered goats producing antibodies and attempts to make spidersilk wool, giant salmon, glow in the dark anything and everything, lean and overmuscled cows, and many other engineered animals. There may be a future of Geneforge-like custom critters one day, but tweaked critters are already on the market.

 

—Alorael, who of course excepts Europe, which will have none of it, and many American markets, which know where consumers' preferences lie. But they're out there!

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DV, isn't your option basically just the Taygen ending, plus dead Shaper Council members? I fail to see how that makes the ending truly bring the madness to an end; it seems like it would only add an element of chaos and fighting for power among the survivors.

 

I think I would have enjoyed a Trakovite ending that killed Ghaldring and the council (but not Litalia) and installed a servile in power.

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Originally Posted By: Delicious Vlish
I like G5 as a game. It is a good game. But ALL of the endings are really lousy. Honestly, they resolve nothing. Canisters are everywhere. There is no way to undo that. Another geneforge is bound to be created. For all we know, a drakon could have flown or somehow traveled to Sholai lands. Creations could have packed up and left known lands on shaped boats. There is no way to put the pieces back and have some means of control.

The Astoria ending is pleasant enough, but there should be an option to truly strike out against the madness and bring it to an end. Burn it all and start over.


I always wondered what kind of person would choose the Tracer Tong ending in Deus Ex. Now I know.

Anyway, isn't the whole point of GF is that those things that you want to undo can't really be undone? I don't see how any ending could resolve all the things you want resolved, really. As you pointed out, there's nothing that can be done about all those canisters still lying around.
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Originally Posted By: Delicious Vlish
I would have liked the G2 kill everything that moves, slithers, flies, or crawls option.

Kill all the shaper council members, kill the rebel leaders, and then release the purity agent to destroy and purge creations that have clearly gone out of control and have gone against nature.

At that point, the world could start over.

I like G5 as a game. It is a good game. But ALL of the endings are really lousy. Honestly, they resolve nothing. Canisters are everywhere. There is no way to undo that. Another geneforge is bound to be created. For all we know, a drakon could have flown or somehow traveled to Sholai lands. Creations could have packed up and left known lands on shaped boats. There is no way to put the pieces back and have some means of control.

The Astoria ending is pleasant enough, but there should be an option to truly strike out against the madness and bring it to an end. Burn it all and start over.

It's worth noting that games that have one side advocating this usually have that side as the villains and their opponents as the sole playable group (i.e. House of the Dead 4.) Similarly, those who advocate this in other fictional works tend to be the antagonists and wind up dying brutally (
Click to reveal..
Linderman
and
Click to reveal..
Adam
in Heroes.) Mind you, what is right by the standards of the society producing such works need not be what is right in an absolute sense, but it is worth considering whether the damage outweights the gains.
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There still should be an optional ending that you can only get once everyone that you can possibly meet has been killed. That would be my prefered ending. Wipe the slate so clean, it's not there anymore.

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Doom Warrior, in past games killing friendlies did have a potential impact on the way your sect viewed you. I'm not sure about G5 in this regard, but I would personally be loathe to kill friendlies as I would fear it might impact my standing with the sect and possibly my ending.


Oh, I know that, I just wish that you could get a good ending by killing everyone. Plus, if you did do that, you wouldn't have to worry about any factions; they would no longer exist.

Quote:
I would start over and get a Shaper character. Lifecrafter, Shaper, or Shock Trooper will do. I personally like the Shock Trooper because she has an extra point in strength and more health. If you really pump up the intelligence and a Shaping skill (I recommend Battle), there is no way to lose the game. By the end you can have some rothizons, war tralls, wingbolts, kryshakks, etc. Powerful creations make all the difference.


You can be able to shape all creations with a minimum skill of 3 in the shaping catagories, pumping those skills makes them stronger, but only noticeably somewhere around 10.
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Originally Posted By: Doom Warrior

You can be able to shape all creations with a minimum skill of 3 in the shaping catagories, pumping those skills makes them stronger, but only noticeably somewhere around 10.


Well, you can shape all the basic creations with a skill of 3, anyway. Upgraded creations like Shock Tralls require a higher skill level. You can beat the game quite comfortably without using any high-tier upgraded creations, though.
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Originally Posted By: Gandalf the Purple
Is it "a moral failure" to fight and kill a race that has dedicated itself to eradicating yours, even if you drove it to that point?


Treason never triumphs; survival is never wrong.

Or to put it another way, a job digging ditches is as good of a cure for deontological angst as it is for solipsism.
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That would sort of put a damper on the whole "united," wouldn't it? But if it's good enough for Harry Turtledove...

 

—Alorael, who still can't decide how the Civil War can be justified if the Revolutionary War can also be justified. The victors not only write the history books, they also apparently don't want anyone to read too hard.

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Originally Posted By: Not the ugliest of things
And yet people, even people who dig ditches, do sometimes sacrifice their own lives for the greater good.

Or at least what they believe to be the greater good.

WWI in a nutshell.

—Alorael, who wonders if the Lost Generation was after all not so much lost as ditched.
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Originally Posted By: Doom Warrior
There still should be an optional ending that you can only get once everyone that you can possibly meet has been killed. That would be my prefered ending. Wipe the slate so clean, it's not there anymore.


To make that ending truly work the PC would also have to be killed somehow. After all, if the state is to be clean, there cannot be some super cracked out god wandering around.
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  • 1 month later...

I haven't been reading the other posts but my opinions:

 

Most: Alwan.

 

Least: Taygen.

 

I say Alwan is the most ethical because he has a certain set of opinions, and sticks by them. There is no lying around his camps. Everybody else lies to some extent.

 

I say Taygen is the least ethical because A. He is trying to mass exterminate at least a dozen individual species, B. He is betraying the Shapers (by killing their creations) and C. constantly lies about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rawal isn't the least ethical. Sure, he's a vulture who'd gladly feed on the carcass of civilization to keep his belly fat. But at least he's the devil you know, and a pretty predictable one at that. As long as he's not permitted to dismantle constructive leadership and his own power is held in check, he may be capable of supporting enlightened self-interest. Even he found Taygen to be a complete madman. The reason Rawal can still be found fit for Council is because, as Taygen shows, there could be someone far worse taking his seat.

 

Alwan is without a doubt the one most firmly guided by his principles. Even though I can't agree with his objectives, I have to admire his honor and convictions. In GF4 it sounded like he was amenable to internal reforms among the Shapers, though hardline against letting outside pressures influence it. Unfortunately getting a fortress collapsed on him seems to have paved a bitter streak across his stubbornness, and he'll dissent to the death against a treaty engineered by Astoria, another Shaper Councilor.

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Principles are not the same as ethics. Alwan is loyal to the Shapers because he is loyal to the Shapers. He'll spout the party line about why the Shapers are right, but I don't think he's been one to deeply consider it.

 

—Alorael, who admits to having next to no knowledge of G3. If Alwan is different in that game he'd love to hear about it.

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He does admit at one point in G3 that there are problems with the way creations are treated, but he believes that relaxing the controls on them in wartime would be taken as a sign of weakness. Of course, once the war is over, the motivation for reform disappears, as we can see in the Shaper ending of G4.

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In G3, Alwan is every bit the "lunatic islander" or whatever Rawal calls him. He isn't just unapologetically hard-line, he's angry and vengeful. If anything, he is cast in a more sympathetic light in his G5 ending.

 

Alwan is a sort of Geneforge frat boy, while Greta's a hipster with no backbone. Litalia would be her pothead friend who decides to come clean.

 

Dear god, it's Geneforge: The College Years!

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Alwan was given more sympathetic treatment in G4, where the foundation of Shaper principle was exposed in his ethical views; in G5 he's gone back to angry and vengeful, a bitter old cripple. But just as in G4, the rebels keep demonstrating time and again just how dangerous it is to let Shaping fall into undisciplined hands. Perhaps he's justified, since he was there to witness the worst of his fears, the Unbound, born right in front of him. And it didn't stop there, now the rebels have planted dangerous, multiplying vermin to destroy the farmland right outside his gates.

 

He makes some good points, though I don't agree with his conclusions, much like Greta and Litalia. Even if he doesn't have much respect for sentience in creations, he's still the most ethical, both in motive and modus operandi.

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Rebellion must be exterminated.

They bring death and destruction to Shaper lands.

Creatures created by the Shapers must obey Shapers, and there is no excuse for them for killing the citizens of Shaper Enpire.

That means the rebellion is a bunch of criminals, because of them tens of thousands were robbed, raped, tortured and killed, they began the war - the most horrible crime against humanity.

Such filth must be destroed in real life, and in G-series i prefer to crush the rebellion without "switching the sider to earn some artifact or exp". After all it is a roleplaying game smile

 

P.S. -In G5 Alwan fraction seems the most adequate and clode to my understading of right and wrong.

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So, if you spawn a child who grows up to threaten you, who's responsibility is that? Say your 8-year old kid is cussing you out and waving a gun in your face, who's fault is that?

 

Life takes on a life of it's own, but if the life you've created has gone rogue and knows nothing but hate and lack of respect for your life...well, where do you think they learn that from?

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Taygen is easily the least ethical with his concentration camps and final solution. Then we have Rawal who appears to be willing to do anything to aquire power. The Shapers, represented by Alwan are probably the next most unethical with their continuing desire to create and enslave intelligent creatures.

 

The most ethical would have to be Astoria and the Trakovites since they're not only willing to allow intelligent creations freedom and autonomy, but they don't seem like they would stop short of unleashing something that would cause as much devastation as the Unbound. They're more than willing to cause destruction and chaos, but not enough to risk destroying all life on the continent.

 

Ghaldring is somewhere in between. He's obviously willing to go to extreme lengths to overthrow the Shapers, but then again he's also fighting for the survival of his race. Whereas Astoria and Litalia chose this fight he was forced into it by Shaper decree.

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I think you're confusing ethical and moral. Ethics (in this context) have more to do with your "modus operandi" (i just love that term), while morals have to do with what you personally believe is right. Everyone in the game, just as people do in real life, try to follow their morals to the best of their ability.

Now with ethics, its hard to say that the Shapers are unethical. While you may disagree with their morals, they do stick to them and try to benefit the world. As shown in a number of the endings, even Alwan shows sympathy in letting the rebels live on the Ashen Isles.

Personally, I find Astoria's ethics to be similar, although less so, to Rawal's. She stabs her society in the back. While she believes she is helping, she is taking the fate of the Shaper society into her own hands and gambling it all on the murderous, vengeful leaders of the Drakon rebellion.

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The opening post said "To clarify, this may not necessarily be a faction you agree with, or one that is ethical in and of itself. Rather, this is the faction that you choose to help when you're trying to be a good guy." That's consistent with the definition of the philosophy of ethics. The good guy never practices slavery.

 

And the leaders of the rebellion are no more murderous and vengeful than the Shapers who would eradicate them without a thought even if they were seeking peace, simply because they could potentially threaten them and possess knowledge that the Shapers desire only for themselves.

 

The Shapers offer no quarter to most of the rebels. By their morals all creations are their possessions, even intelligent ones and they are justified in committing any atrocity to retain control of their power. Even many Shapers question their morals because they realize they are ethically bankrupt.

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The main reason for such debates, I think, is a thought thar creations are something like children of Shapers.

But technicaly they are equivalent of robots, cyborgs created as a tools.

To choose rebellion side is almost like choosing machines side in "Terminator" setting.

Yes, some of them want freedom (they were told to want freedom), but mainly it is a result of unaccurate work, failed sequrity, and it has to be destroed like any mistake.

If your computer would suddenly tell you, that he will not work for you anymore, what will you do? Make treaties with IT just because some random defect spawned some kind of self-awareness?

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You need to replay Geneforge 1. Nobody needed to tell the serviles on Sucia to want freedom. They were abandoned by the Shapers and so they learned to survive and create their own society. They're intelligent and self aware and, ethically, they have an inherent rights to continued survival and self-determination.

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Well... we are speaking not about rights, but about Shaper Empire. Awakened and Takers at Sucia Island are lawbreakers. Awakened can be converted back and Takers are to be eliminated at any cost. They are CREATIONS, tools with a measure of intelligence like complex automatons.

 

Guys, are you fighting for humans, of for some malfunctioning organic machines, infected with corrupt program code???

 

smile

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I don't think the distinction between creations and life is black and white. It says in many places in all 5 games that Shapers have the power to create life. The majority of people agree that life is precious and should not be treated with disregard.

 

That said, I still think that while the Shaper (not just Taygen) are more ethical and morally just than the rebels, they are certainly not angels.

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Africans used to be viewed as tools with a measure of intelligence. For that matter Ukrainians were nothing more than tools to Stalin. Millions of Ukrainians died of starvation as Stalin took their agricultural output to feed his own people. Anyone who resisted was deported to Siberia, but who cares about malfunctioning organic machines who rejected the supremacy of Stalin's superior, moral (in his eyes) regime?

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One crack in your opinion: humans are not created with a force of willpower and some organics. Every HUMAN being, not depending on race and nationality, belongs to a HUMAN race.

 

And creations are artificial lifes.

 

As I've told earlier: main reason for debates is a view of ALL creations (including serviles, drayks. drakons an other intelligent beings) as independend life OR organic tools with malfuctioning program.

 

All this reminds me of a christian legend about Eden. While Adam and Eva were mindless decorative creatures, everything was good. Then they got intelligence and free will and were banished from Eden. Why? Because they became dangerous for current government, they got the potential to start rebellion in future and of course were punished to ensure the safety of god. From god's point of view they became dangerously malfuctioning toys.

 

Such is a rebel creations: if they are left to exist, sometimes they will destroy human race, not only Shapers, so they simply cannot be allowed to live and enjoy freedom (it is not a GOOD solution, but a rational one, and rational desicions are often horrible, such as that).

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"Millions of Ukrainians died of starvation as Stalin took their agricultural output to feed his own people. Anyone who resisted was deported to Siberia, but who cares about malfunctioning organic machines who rejected the supremacy of Stalin's superior, moral (in his eyes) regime?"

 

Mainly destruction of Ukrainians was not because of need of food for other republics of USSR. Main reason was to suppress nationalists fractions - in our country rebels are quite active (and that do not do us, people with brains, any good frown ).

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Originally Posted By: Nenayar
One crack in your opinion: humans are not created with a force of willpower and some organics. Every HUMAN being, not depending on race and nationality, belongs to a HUMAN race.


Humans are created with a force of willpower (as in consenting to mate) and their offspring is created by some organics. Everything else is rules and laws.
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Originally Posted By: Nenayar
All this reminds me of a christian legend about Eden. While Adam and Eva were mindless decorative creatures, everything was good. Then they got intelligence and free will and were banished from Eden. Why? Because they became dangerous for current government, they got the potential to start rebellion in future and of course were punished to ensure the safety of god. From god's point of view they became dangerously malfuctioning toys.

This is certainly one viable interpretation of that story, but it isn't the only one. (It's also one that doesn't make very much sense in the context of any monotheistic religion -- how the heck could a human being pose a threat to God's safety?)

My favourite interpretation came from a professor of mine in college who worked from oldest extant sources and examined discrepancies between source languages and later translations. She suggested that the banishment from Eden, though clearly a consequence of Eve and Adam's actions, was not a punishment per se. Rather it was a sort of coming-of-age, or developmentally, the beginning of rapprochement. The issue was not so much that God had been disobeyed, as that Adam and Eve had outgrown the garden.
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How you look at the Garden of Eden depends on your answer to one simple question: do you think ignorance is bliss? Or, more accurately, do you think ignorance is compatible with bliss?

 

—Alorael, who has another question. Would you be happy to be a brain in a vat pumped full of happiness-inducing drugs all the time or a normal human being?

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From stories I've read, the banishment from the Garden of Eden was that once Adam and Eve had eated from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were likely to eat from the second tree, the Tree of Life, and gain immortality too. So banishment was to prevent that from occurring and making man closer to godhood.

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