One thing I'd like to address is how "optimal" a choice or set of choices are.

Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
In the above image the conflict begins at "start", and this has set an inevitable series of events in motion. The three dots below "event" denote that you may influence it in three different ways. Maybe you get there early and address the problem before it gets out of control. Maybe you arrive with not enough civilians to influence the event, and you miss a chance to get the best outcome. Maybe you show up so late that it's already happened and left things in the worst possible state. These three options are just examples, each key event can have any number of different states.
The talk of best and worst outcomes suggests that there are right/optimal and wrong/suboptimal actions and choices. I tend to be suspicious of such weighted choices and branching because it suggests there's a "correct" set of choices. These correct choices and the best overall outcome may involve actions that are more difficult, but then the choices are less about role playing and more about getting the equivalent of 100% completion.