Theories about the affinity system

#1ChibiLeenPosted 6/15/2012 9:27:58 AM
[SPOILER ALERT: I've tried to stay as spoiler-free as possible in terms of plot, but I do mention a couple of places and sequences by name, so be warned.]


So, having completed my second playthrough, and discussed the affinity system with a friend who is on his fourth run, it appears that the game is indeed extremely picky about who it chooses for your love interest, and the mechanic seems rather complex.

Here are some thoughts on the matter:

* Although the game makes you believe that an NPC is "maxed out" when he/she has a pink halo around his/her head, I believe that the hidden affinity stat can actually grow beyond this pseudo-maximal value. On my first playthrough, I only had to toss Selene a couple of times to make her lose the pink cloud, while on my second run, I had to throw her around 20+ times before it disappeared.

* The affinity stat decreases with time. If you neglect a character for too long, they will lose affinity with you. Happened to me with Julien and Valmiro. I got them blushing, but their blush was gone when I spoke to them again after ignoring them for several in-game days.

* If you have several NPC's with a pink cloud, some seem to be scripted as love interests, and have priority. As long as you do their quest line to the end, they will be kidnapped, even if you maxed out other characters in the meantime. Happened to me with Valmiro: after completing his quest Iine, I accidentally maxed out Mercedes with no possibility of lowering her affinity, but I still got Valmiro at the Tainted Mountain ; it also happened to my friend with Aelinore: he ended up with her even though he maxed Madeleine's affinity after Aelinore's, and despite giving the Arisen's Bond to yet another NPC. But this may be linked with the hypothesis that once a character has a pink halo, their affinity stat can still grow (if I'm right about that).

* Also, I'm starting to wonder whether the sequence right before you fight the Seneschal for good has some kind of impact on who you get for the beach scene. By all known accounts, I should have gotten Valmiro - I took all the precautions I know of, which did the trick with Julien on my first run. But for some reason, Quina had the pink halo when she tried to stop me from advancing, although I hadn't spoken to her in days, and I had made sure then that her affinity was low. And I ended up with her during the beach sequence. The fact that this time I slashed at every NPC in the Chamber of Choice - except Valmiro - may have had an impact as well (I just ran past everybody on my first playthrough), although if it did, it is extremely weird.

* It seems that if an NPC has a personal quest line - like Aelinore, Valmiro, Reynard, Madeleine, Quina, etc. - completing the quest line will get them a pink halo. I had to keep lowering Reynard's affinity because he kept getting a pink halo during the "Search Party" quest, and before I finished said quest, his affinity must have been fairly low. But he got the pink cloud again as soon as I completed "Search Party". Same thing with Madeleine.

* As a side note, it seems that the beach sequence is really oriented towards female love interests. I've yet to come across a single testimony of a male love interest actually saying something during that scene. Which brings me to the conclusion that in case of a perfect tie between a male and a female NPC, maybe the game will choose the female one.

Do share your own theories about affinity in this game, as well as the experiences that support them. I believe that if we work on this together, we can soon crack this system open. :)
Also, if you have conclusive evidence that disproves my theories, by all means, let me know! I'm extremely interested in the affinity system, and would like to collect as much data as I can.
#2NoxatroxPosted 6/15/2012 1:16:02 PM
I feel bad that this didn't get more comments. Bumping this for you.
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#3Kain_XiorcalPosted 6/15/2012 2:09:53 PM
I'm not certain, but I think if you keep lowering the affinity low enough, you will scare the NPC away even if you're not hurting the NPC.

What happened to me is that I wanted to lower the Innkeeper in Gran Soren's affinity. At first, I combined running into him and sheathing/unsheathing my weapon, after a while, he ran away.
I thought maybe it had to do with me running into him (might be too offensive/violent) since this was the last thing I did before he ran away.

So I reloaded and this time only did the sheathing/unsheathing and after a while he still ran away.
#4ChibiLeen(Topic Creator)Posted 6/15/2012 2:30:05 PM
Right, I had completely forgotten about the running away thing! It hasn't happened to me in a while, thank you for reminding me of it. It is probably a very good indication that the affinity of the NPC is at its lowest. But the NPCs that run away from you eventually return, don't they?

Also, sprinting into an NPC is indeed a great way to lower they affection. My favorite way is throwing people around, it's like playing fetch with your pawn. :D
#5Kain_XiorcalPosted 6/15/2012 2:52:59 PM
ChibiLeen posted...
Right, I had completely forgotten about the running away thing! It hasn't happened to me in a while, thank you for reminding me of it. It is probably a very good indication that the affinity of the NPC is at its lowest. But the NPCs that run away from you eventually return, don't they?

Also, sprinting into an NPC is indeed a great way to lower they affection. My favorite way is throwing people around, it's like playing fetch with your pawn. :D


Last time I threw someone, the guards didn't like it. Although, by "people" I mean the Duchess.

I didn't test it myself, but I'm pretty sure that the NPC that runs away come back eventually, they come back something like 4 days after getting killed, which should be a bigger deal than just showing your fancy blades to get props and the NPC takes it too personally.

So, perhaps just like you mentioned that the affinity stat decreases over time, if the Affinity is under 0 then it increases over time; basically getting back to the default neutral affinity stats over time.
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#6ChibiLeen(Topic Creator)Posted 6/17/2012 4:31:15 PM
Kain_Xiorcal posted...


Last time I threw someone, the guards didn't like it. Although, by "people" I mean the Duchess.


From what I've experienced so far, if there is no guard nearby, you will not suffer any consequences for throwing people around. I've done it quite a lot - especially with Selene and Reynard - and never got arrested for it. But throwing NPCs on other NPCs counts as assault, it seems (I did get arrested for that). Maybe - but this is pure speculation - your location also factors in. If you misbehave in the castle, you will definitely be locked up in the dungeon (throwing the Duchess around is certainly not proper courtly behavior, I bet).
#7ChibiLeen(Topic Creator)Posted 6/21/2012 11:30:33 AM
(Apologies for the double post)

New interesting tidbit about the affinity system: I've lowered Aelinore's affection to the minimum (she ran away from me), which took quite a long time. But when I returned to check on her several story-missions later (to make sure that "Duchess in Distress" wasn't available yet), she didn't run, and it took several sheathing/unsheathing's to make her flee.

So we have confirmation that if you make an NPC run away (or if you kill them), their affinity stat returns to a neutral value with time.
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