In January of this year, Hogwarts Legacy caused a stir when one of its developers said the game would not convict you of serious crimes like murder. While this was news for the Harry Potter novels, it was also very typical for a video game to have NPCs who ignore crimes committed before them. However, what baffles me is the reputation system, which a data miner discovered while going through the game files.
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Read more: Hogwarts Legacy takes no moral stance
A YouTuber named GrandTheftDiamonds opened up the files of Hogwarts Legacy and discovered an entire morality system under the hood. This is very funny considering lead developer Kelly Murphy said, “Characters will react visually and audibly when they see the player cast an Unforgivable, but we don’t have a morale system that penalizes them for doing so – that would be closed.” condemning.” the role of the gamemaker.” It now seems more likely that the developers simply didn’t have the time or resources to fully engage with a proper morality system. And what a morality system it is.
“The game itself has no house point system or morale system, but the data found in the game files shows that the developers worked on it,” the video’s caption reads. GrandTheftDiamonds then presents viewers with a table of game variables that indicate a morality system.
Potterheads will remember that young witches and wizards at Hogwarts are rewarded or punished together through a system called House Points. Whenever a student is helpful or academically successful, they receive house points. Whenever a student misbehaves, they lose a certain number of points per offense, giving their classmates an incentive to keep their friends in line. The datamined files revealed that this system originally returned in Legacy, with the exception that Avalanche Software also attempted to assign point values to the Unforgivable Curses.
For those who don’t know, Unforgivable spells are so stigmatized that using them once will land you in wizarding prison for life without parole. Among the most well-known are the Avada-Kedavra curse, which kills its victim instantly, and the Imperius curse, which forces the victim to obey the sorcerer.
According to the game’s scoring system, applying the Killing Curse to someone would result in a penalty of 100 points. For comparison, you would have lost 25 points if you blackmailed someone and 20 points if you bullied someone. In theory, five cases of bullying equal one case of murder. Or if you really want to hit the ground running, deduct 10 points for sleeping in class. So sleeping in 10 classes is as bad as manslaughter. What a world.
Incidentally, the world of Hogwarts Legacy could have been more responsive than what players expected upon release. They can use the Lockpick Charm to loot private rooms, but the hidden moral variables would have classified certain actions as crimes – such as burglary and pickpocketing. NPCs could have responded by summoning authority, fleeing, or retaliating.
Warner Bros. owns the copyright to Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system, which allows NPCs to remember actions players take against other members of their faction. Enemies can become stronger and relate to previous experiences with the player over the course of games utilizing the system. It would have been nice if Avalanche Software (a subsidiary of Warner Bros.) actually used the system that its publisher is currently monopolizing. Instead, players didn’t even get school point deductions in the final product.
Of course, the lack of a morality system would not have been nearly as controversial if the creator of the intellectual property had not been a committed transphobic. While Legacy’s developers have tried to avoid the JK Rowling controversy altogether in interviews, it seemed suspicious that a game born of Rowling’s famous ownership shouldn’t make one think too much about the consequences of his actions .
Apparently they should be thought of at some point in the development process. Remember: Bullying is one-fifth of a murder.