Author Topic: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A

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Klyde Chroma

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Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« on: January 13, 2017, 05:55:48 PM »
Pretty much as the title states, I've gamed on console for 25 years and never once touched a CRPG. I am going to take the plunge because I love trying new things but BEFORE I do that I'd like to foster some insight.

1. Likely starting with Baldurs Gate because it just seems appropriate. However, at my disposal I also have Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, Icewind Dale 2, Baldurs Gate 2 and Planescape Torment. What I am looking for is something with character creation and some exploration freedoms as I'm not necessarily so concerned with B-Lining a narrative at the moment. Just sort of playing around and seeing what these ol' CRPG's were/are all about. So, if given that criteria you think BG is a poor first choice let me know your suggestion.

2. I literally have NO EXPERIENCE with these titles whatsoever. That includes no knowledge of the interface, et cetera... Are these games played stictly with a mouse? Mouse and keyboard? Or, on steam, should I/could I use a Steam Controller to make it "feel" more familiar?

3.  I pose the question "What is the greatest differences between console JRPGs and CRPGs I should be aware of diving in blind."

4. How complex is the likes of Baldurs Gate? That is, can I say pick up and play on weekends? Should I even consider trying them at present if I don't intend to dedicate myself to playing every day/ super consistently? Finally, can I just jump in with my console experience and intuitively "find my way around" or would it be worth reading about/learning how to play first.   

I thank everyone ahead of time for their input. I've poked and prodded about this subject here and there before and the whispers and nudges have finally turned into legit curiosity and ambition. Nothing more valuable in the realm of gaming journalism than what I discern from this community. 
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Ranadiel

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 06:17:38 PM »
1. Honestly I feel like recommending you start with BG2 rather than BG1. BG2 is kind of a stronger entry and it has the advantage of starting you at a higher level (so you have more options to play around with). Based on your criteria....I don't remember how "free" you are in BG1. In BG2 though, the second chapter of the game (where you will probably spend the majority of your time) is basically, "Go do sidequests to raise funds," and you are let loose to do whatever you want to.

2. For BG, it will primarily be mouse with keyboard for shortcuts. I never tried playing it with a controller before. I feel like it would be really awkward with a controller, but I could be completely wrong (and I will be finding out one way or another in a month with Torment).

3. The stylistic difference between JRPGs and WRPGs (I don't like the term CRPG since it could mean console RPG or computer RPG) to me is that in JRPGs you are playing a predefined character (with occasional choice). With WRPGs you are playing a blank slate with unlimited possibilities for who you are. The advantage to having a set character is that it easier to craft a story around the character since the developer knows who you are playing as at all points. The advantage of a blank slate is that the player fees more in control, but it is harder to craft a story around the character since they could be anything from an asshole to a saint.

4. Really don't know how to answer this one. I think you'll be fine with your play schedule? I don't think the controls should be too confusing? Might help if you are familiar with D&D 2nd edition, but not necessary.

Side note, one option you could do instead of play BG2 would be wait about a month for Torment Tides of Numenera to come out to play something more recent inspired by BG2. Mind you, I have 0 idea of how good it is since it isn't out yet. I only suggest the possibility because it is so close to release.

Willy Elektrix

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 06:31:44 PM »
With all of the Dungeons & Dragons games, some familiarity with the D&D pen-and-paper rules is recommended. There are some good FAQs for Baldur's Gate that explain these rules (especially for character creation) but you'll probably want to do a little bit of reading ahead of time.

For instance, here are some questions you will find yourself asking:

How do my attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution) affect my ability to fight?

What does "memorizing" spells mean?

How do "saving throws" work?

Good luck and have fun! Playing both JRPGs and CRPGs is part of being a well-rounded RPG fan.

Artimicia

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 06:40:28 PM »
I've played tons, and there are a lot of good choices.

The most iconic games that stuck with me are Baldur's Gate 1, Neverwinter Nights (from Bioware), Diablo 1 and 2 (from Blizzard), as well as World of Warcraft from them. But yeah I would say Baldur's Gate 1 is a great start.

NWN is a bit more "casual" but still a really good game IMO.

Nowadays the Witcher 3 was a great game to get into and be invested in the franchise in general.

As for complexity and all that, it's mouse and keyboard stuff, so point and click, occasional use of the keyboard but really mostly the mouse.

As for differences between JRPGs and CRPGs, IMO, the biggest difference is that IMO JRPGs tend to have more fluid and engaging gameplay, whereas CRPGs are often somewhat of a struggle to play (IMO) but usually have more emphasis on epic kind of plots and storylines.

Also I disagree with Mickey-san I think BG1 is overall perfectly good to start compared to BG2.



« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 06:47:55 PM by Artimicia »
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 06:47:05 PM »
I have a somewhat middling experience with computer RPGs, and have enjoyed those such as the Knights of the Old Republic games and the first two Diablos, but not so much titles such as Baldur's Gate.

Rook

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 08:42:14 PM »
I've never been a fan of Canadian RPGs

Artimicia

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 09:07:47 PM »
Well I mean I don't think there's anything expressly "Canadian" about Baldur's Gate, per se, it's basically just the Forgotten Realms/Dragonlance D&D universe made playable. Unless... Forgotten Realms is somehow Canadian in ways I just don't understand..

I guess arguably some of the humor might qualify as sort of "Canadian" I guess but it's also specifically relegated to the jokes and a few side quests.

Until Baldur's Gate 2 when I guess yeah that's pretty much the whole game is the jokes and stuff, also way more linear for good or ill.

"I don't live by labels, I can be anything I want, I'd rather die a pauper than live on as someone else's fantasy!" - My best attempt at quoting the protagonist of Vandal Hearts 2.

Klyde Chroma

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 10:17:29 PM »
Man oh man guys!!! Thanks for the quick and informative replies. I really wanted to get scratching this itch tonight post work thus being so prompt with your input was mondo helpful.

Based on what everyone here said thus far I feel better about my selection. Looking at BG1 vs 2 however I think I'm going to heir for 1 based purely on the release chronology and gameplay reputation. That is, I HATE playing games in reverse and that is all the worse if from a mechanical standpoint things are improved upon in the latter entries. In short, if I play 2 first I know I will never ever go back and play 1.

@ Willy Elektrix -- gonna heed your advice and take a gander at a character creation faq beforehand as well. Thank you

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Aeolus

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 11:41:30 PM »
Try the latter Ultima games (4, 5, 6 & 7s 1 & 2; ignore anything that has EA's influence to them). They're the OG open world games and the series that Enix cloned to make Dragon Quest.

Also Martian Dreams, as while its not really an RPG as an Adventure game running in Ultima 6's engine, its hard to deny the value of a game that features Ultima's Avatar and 'guy who eventually developed the Deus Ex series' Warren Spector going back in time to save Earth's most famous Steampunk celebrities from having their bodies hijacked and being stranded on Mars.
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Klyde Chroma

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 06:36:12 AM »
Fantastic suggestions Aeolus!!

It's exactly things like this I want to look into. That is, the stuff I never got a taste of on console.
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Rucks

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 09:37:07 AM »
the learning curve for Baldur's Gate is rather high.  It has scared more than a few people off. 

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Kevadu

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 12:11:19 PM »
Klyde, BG1 was a very flawed game.  It's slow-paced and clunky with large portions of its world being mostly empty yet also has huge difficulty spikes that can frustrate even veteran players.  I can understand wanting to play the games in order but I honestly can't recommend it to somebody new to the genre/style.  BG2, on the other hand, was damn near perfect.  But it does build off the story in BG1...

What about Planescape: Torment?  It's self-contained and a lot more accessible.  It's also really friggin good.  Or for that matter how about something a little newer like Dragon Age: Origins?

Well I mean I don't think there's anything expressly "Canadian" about Baldur's Gate, per se, it's basically just the Forgotten Realms/Dragonlance D&D universe made playable. Unless... Forgotten Realms is somehow Canadian in ways I just don't understand..

Bioware is a Canadian company.  He was making a joke...

MeshGearFox

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 02:08:39 PM »
Torment's, mechanically, a lot easier than BG since you don't really need to know how D&D works so much I guess?

Quest for Glory 2 Remake is free, although not really indicative of the genre.

There's also Geneforce, which is more indicative of the genre.

Anyway 90s PC RPGs have kind of unique interfaces that... I'm not going to say are obtuse because they were very common at the time but they're different enough from what's common *today* that they're going to seem counterintuitive at first. Presumably this stems from gamepads being relatively rare in the 90s and not as ubiquitous as they are now, also a fondness for "immersive" interfaces (the pipboy UI in modern Fallouts is kind of an extension of this).
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 08:38:37 PM by MeshGearFox »
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Ranadiel

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 06:13:51 PM »
BG2, on the other hand, was damn near perfect.  But it does build off the story in BG1...
I played BG2 first, and I did not have any real issues with the story. There are a few connections I missed my first time through, but none of them were really important. Most of the important ones are hard to miss the significance of even without playing BG1. Only instance I regretted not having played BG1 was in ToB with one character...who if you have played it you can probably guess who it is.

Klyde Chroma

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Re: Never played a CRPG before, Q&A
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2017, 07:28:14 AM »
Klyde, BG1 was a very flawed game.  It's slow-paced and clunky with large portions of its world being mostly empty yet also has huge difficulty spikes that can frustrate even veteran players.  I can understand wanting to play the games in order but I honestly can't recommend it to somebody new to the genre/style.  BG2, on the other hand, was damn near perfect.  But it does build off the story in BG1...

What about Planescape: Torment?  It's self-contained and a lot more accessible.  It's also really friggin good.  Or for that matter how about something a little newer like Dragon Age: Origins?


I sort of want to go "clunky and rough around the edges" first before moving on to something more refined.

That stated, I guess I sort of fibbed a bit in the naming of the thread as I have already played Dragon Age Origins and loved the heck out of it. So I'm not TOTALLY unfamiliar, but I played it on console and just always thought it of a different nature for that reason I suppose.

My mistake in that I should have clarified I was looking more into ye' old computer-only games of yesteryear I missed growing up a console kid. Hence your Planescape suggestion is right on point. I'm still gonna hurt myself with BG1 a bit as I took the weekend here, read, and played the tutorial. But I already picked up Planescape and have it sitting in the ready in my GOG library.

And yes @ both you and Mesh... I agree completely with the descriptive terms "clunky" AND "unintuitive". Still the appeal of "I've never seen this before" fascinates me enough to enjoy learning the intricacies of it.

Ultimately this whole thing is more in the interest of exploring and discovering games I may have overlooked more so than committing myself to solid playthrough of something I guess. If it resonates with me further so be it.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 07:30:51 AM by Klyde Chroma »
I am more a battlefield than a Ninja.