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I picked this up because I've always enjoyed dialogue in RPGs. However, I can't really be sure that I'm making effective use of it. Most times, the conversation will plod along until I can activate pheromones, and the person I'm talking to gives in. But I'm a bit baffled as to the more subtle aspects of it.

Alpha, Beta, Omega types - these light up when the other person is speaking, but what specifically is it trying to tell me? Do they correspond to the 'best' response choice? Do they imply something else?

For some characters (like Sarif) I get a little info box describing his personality, and when I'm talking various animations pop on screen, like a heart, lungs, what I imagine is epidermis - but there's little indication as to what these mean. For others, I only get the Alpha, Beta, Omega boxes (like O'Malley).

In short, I feel like I'm getting results because I can just use the pheromones to get what I want, but I want to understand why.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

The heart/lung/skin temperature monitors are just frill, as far as I can tell - the same animation plays every time they show up.

However, the box at the upper right corner gives extremely useful information as to the target's personality type that will help you decide how to approach the topic, and the persuasion bar in the upper left will show you how effective your tack has been so far.

As for the alpha/beta/omega types, the various personality types react differently to certain kinds of pheromone influence. If you decide to use them, you need to make your choice of which pheromone to use based on which personality type the subject has demonstrated most strongly during the conversation.

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For the alpha/beta/omega types, is it known if the scores count in aggregate? For example, would somebody who showed two beta pips twice and three alpha pips once respond better to an alpha or beta response, give that he showed four total beta pips? Or does it base it off of strongest single response? – Gauzy Aug 27 '11 at 18:32
I believe you have to sum it up as the conversation goes along, so it counts as 4 beta 3 alpha when you make your next decision. – z ' Aug 27 '11 at 19:49
@Gauzy What I've found is that if you're unsure, after pressing the space bar you will also see a box with Alpha/Beta/Omega. – user56 Aug 29 '11 at 13:40
@Arda Xi I'm playing on Xbox, so no spacebar. What's the spacebar's function on the PC, so that I can see if this works on Xbox/console as well? – Gauzy Aug 29 '11 at 16:33
Thanks, that'd be LB for Xbox, and I assume L1 for PS3. – Gauzy Aug 29 '11 at 17:09

The short answer:

Watch the squares. Go with the most squares. Alpha is left, Beta is middle and Omega is the rightmost choice. Many characters flash one alpha square but show the other types longer and stronger, earlier in the conversation.

The long answer:

It seems to be derived from dog training. If I ever do a second playtrough I'll check the game against this theory - I'll try to win the conversations without the CASIE mod. (And help poor Malik this time. ;) ). I agree with Shadur's answer. Except that it also helps to read the psychological fact sheets. It contains hints like: "Can be destabilized by emotional arguments."

According to this theory Alphas are natural charismatic leaders, with natural authority. Like Hugh Darrow and David Sarif. And I guess this politician too. They should be susceptible to real power and strong arguments.

Betas are noisy wannabe leaders. Like the terrorist guy in the first mission. You can bark them into place.

Omegas are the real underdogs. Lowest ranking, lacking in confidence. So according to the theory you can boost their confidence - in the right direction, that is. I'm guessing most scienctists are omega.

It's a funny choice of theory for human interaction. DISC, or MBTI would have been more appropriate.

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Shadur's answer has the gist but I will add more details.

Basically it allows you to pick the dialogue choices that are most likely to convince the person you are speaking to. In short it comes with the pheromones and you can match those to the right person whatever the first high rating is the subject will be. For example, a guy who scores two alphas then two beta will be an alpha, but if they score three omega then they are omega.

Alphas are best spoken to either by Redirecting or appeasing they are actually the easiest to beat in social battles because the appease option will most always work though be careful not to use the other as you will end up losing out quickly.

Betas are harder because they often mix with either Alpha or omega and only listen to rational arguments Luckily there's a grand total of 5 betas in the game. Betas respond to the charm tactic and facts.

Omegas are easy to negotiate with like alphas but be careful as two omegas in the game can mess up later levels badly and others will cause a drop in potential rewards, they respond to the pressure tactic (aka hard speech tough love etc).

Two characters have all three classes: Malik And Zelazny. They cannot be negotiated with at all but you can get extra dialogue from them.

There are tips on one side about the social boss battles that make them easier (Sarif is very easy thanks to this) besides that there are small line next to the dialogue options that help there too they look somewhat like this: ///// ones with longer dashes are better options.

One pro tip: don't guess the type by appearance or character in the game, some are not clear cut and others are strongly one way when you would think they are the other just look at the boxes others can be a royal pain in the ass even with the mod (Taggart and Tong in particular) generally as a hard and fast rule though:

  • Appease/ redirect an Alpha
  • Charm/ Compliment a Beta
  • Pressure/ persist an omega.

Always choose the Dialogue with the most ///////////// on it and you will do fine.

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