Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by RedSwirl » Sun May 17, 2015 7:25 am

This isn't really for me, but I was just thinking about the issue in general. I've tried a few searches, and have found basically no lists of CRPGs or WRPGs for beginners. Maybe every genre or large franchise should have a definitive "guide" for outsiders looking in. On my Wordpress site a while ago I spent 2,000 words typing up one for the benefit of people who still haven't played Zelda.

Anyway, I guess I would define a good entry point CRPG as:
--1. A game that's accessible for people who've never dealt with wizard/tank tactics and don't know what "DPS" means.
--2. A game that suitably summarizes and teaches tenants shared by most games in its genre/series.

I've heard of people asking for beginner JRPGs and from my perspective that seems like a much more straightforward thing to answer, but maybe it's just because I have slightly more knowledge about them. Final Fantasy X for instance is an excellent starter JRPG because it's both a very quintessential JRPG and goes to good lengths to sit players down and teach them basic mechanics shared by most Final Fantasy games and many other JRPGs. Super Mario RPG literally has a tutorial for people who've never played turn-based games before. Pokemon is specifically designed to teach 2nd graders how concepts like "HP" and "potions" work.

Most mainstream audiences (including myself admittedly) are probably being exposed to "CRPGs" by way of the console versions of games like Skyrim, Dragon Age, The Witcher, Fallout, and Mass Effect. Let's be real though, for the most part those games are probably pretty damn easy compared to the likes Baldur's Gate or something. Of those games, I would say Dragon Age Origins is the most "traditional," but it's also cumbersome to play on consoles.

The other thing is, unlike with most console games, you can't really start at the beginning if you want something really accessible (ironically that's pretty much exactly what I plan to do). Console games started out really simple and got more complex as time went on. PC games have always been designed around modern keyboards and as a result older CRPGs are at least as complex as today's games but a lot less user friendly. Maybe modern throwbacks like Divinity Original Sin and Pillars of Eternity have married traditional depth with modern accessibility (I don't know, I haven't played those games).

Thoughts?
User avatar
User

Raven2785

Posts

54

Joined

Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:26 am

Location

The caustic bucket that is New Jersey in the US

Favorite Genres

RPGs, Visual Novels, FPSs (Both single and multiplayer) Racing, and anything that might have a unique hook or story

Now Playing

Dust: an Elysian Tail, Saint's Row, Payday 2, Drakengard 3, NFS Shift

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by Raven2785 » Mon May 18, 2015 2:23 am

I believe you just answered your own question Red, JRPGs.

But one thing that you're missing in all this is that a lot of things relating to RPGs in general, whether they're on a console or a PC, have become part of your usual gaming lexicon thanks to both RPGs existing for a very long time as a genre and the leakage of RPG elements into other genres, for example, you really don't have to explain XP and leveling up to someone who has only played Call of Duty online in their entire life, so you can kind of build from the angle of a lot of this information being just part of public knowledge in general
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by RedSwirl » Mon May 18, 2015 3:52 am

I don't know about JRPGs really being able to prepare someone to jump into something like Icewind Dale. For starters, tactics that seem to be standard in CRPGs like utilizing tanks in tandem with wizards or whatever are almost nonexistent in JRPGs. Freely distributing a limited number of stat points is also a very rare system in JRPGs.

As an example, when I started playing Fallout 3, I had no idea how to plan out a character build for an RPG and kind of screwed up my first attempt at it. It felt intimidating. JRPGs usually either have pre-planned stat progression for characters or set you on a relatively gated path that might have a few choices, which is more straightforward to handle than just tossing you a bunch of stat points to assign. The Souls games are the only recent Japanese RPGs I can think of that have a similar form of character progression and require planning.
User avatar
User

A.I Impaired

Posts

127

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:16 pm

Location

Ottawa, ON

Favorite Genres

Computer RPG's

Now Playing

Doom, Overwatch, Dark Souls

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by A.I Impaired » Tue May 19, 2015 2:51 pm

I don't recall any formative crpgs actually taking the time to explain to you how to play class roles, or even giving more than a cryptic hint as to what a good character build would be. Maybe I missed that in those gigantic manuals they came with. I think Baldur's gate and fallout brought some user friendliness to the genre, tool tips and the like. Not to say these games aren't a little dense for begginers, I do think curiosity is a pre requisite for entry though. Failing that GameFAQs.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by Beige » Tue May 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Is it flip to say that pen-and-paper roleplaying is the necessary prerequisite? I mean, I came to Baldur's Gate and soforth after a high school education in D&D 2nd edition, Spelljammer and Dark Sun. Especially if you're playing something from a D&D license they expect you to kinda know what HP, XP and different character classes are.

Otherwise, I'd echo what AI said - Instruction manuals. All those old Fallout style games came with a deep primer that included not only control and gameplay instructions but also world background, lore, etc. Even Diablo, if you believe it, had a super extensive instruction manual.

Entry level...? I dunno. Board games?
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by Calin Kim » Tue May 19, 2015 6:31 pm

Unfortunately, I feel like a big part of it is getting thrown in the deep end and being told to sink or swim.

I ended up starting Wasteland (the original) about 10 times before I finally beat it. I had to figure out what combination of characters I needed in order to make it through. I feel like that was part of the game back then.

Ditto Pools of Radiance, a game that I still have flashbacks to getting lost in.
Image
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by Angry Jedi » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:37 pm

Late to the party on this thread, but a good, reasonably accessible starting point would be the dungeon-crawler genre of console/JRPG. Something like Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss or Etrian Odyssey is quite "Western" in its sensibilities, while still keeping the accessibility and flashiness of J-games.

These games have typically "Western RPG" characteristics such as the ability to build your own party with custom classes, allocating stat points, a certain degree of being left to your own devices to fuck things up and an emphasis on exploration/getting lost, but they don't necessarily rely on preknowledge of something like D&D, so long as you know the basics, like what a hit point is.

I haven't played Etrian Odyssey or Operation Abyss (yet) but I can vouch for Demon Gaze's quality and accessibility.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by RedSwirl » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:59 pm

Angry Jedi wrote:Late to the party on this thread, but a good, reasonably accessible starting point would be the dungeon-crawler genre of console/JRPG. Something like Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss or Etrian Odyssey is quite "Western" in its sensibilities, while still keeping the accessibility and flashiness of J-games.

These games have typically "Western RPG" characteristics such as the ability to build your own party with custom classes, allocating stat points, a certain degree of being left to your own devices to fuck things up and an emphasis on exploration/getting lost, but they don't necessarily rely on preknowledge of something like D&D, so long as you know the basics, like what a hit point is.

I haven't played Etrian Odyssey or Operation Abyss (yet) but I can vouch for Demon Gaze's quality and accessibility.


I understand that since EO there's been a huge trend of Wizardry 5 riffs in Japan. If those games basically are old school Wizardry but with more in-depth tutorials and a smoother difficulty curve that might be the right thing.

Overall, I think the biggest issue is I haven't found a game out there with any in-game content that even gives you suggestions on how to plan a character build.
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by Calin Kim » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:45 pm

Baldur's Gate has a pretty gentle learning curve in the sense that you're only creating your own character instead of building an entire party. You can recruit members to fill in the gaps. It's also widely influential and important blah blah blah.
Image
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Where would you start someone off on traditional CRPGs?

by RedSwirl » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:59 pm

I think the issue I have with a lot of PC games in general is, they may give you tutorials on the basic controls, but won't actually teach you how to play the game. I mean like, in terms of what you're supposed to do strategically. It's kind of like if you're trying to get into basketball and someone teaches you how to dribble a ball, run down the court, and maybe the form you take to shoot the ball, but nothing else.

I had this problem the most when I tried to step into Total War. The tutorial teaches you the controls, how to navigate the UI, and a few other things, but I never actually understood how to win battles or where certain kinds of units are supposed to be for maximum effect. There were times when I'd actually won a battle without realizing why -- I couldn't understand the win and loss states. Another example is Ghost Recon 1. It has a lengthy tutorial that teaches you the basic controls and how weapons work, but never how to avoid getting shot. I had to learn the hard way how you have to crawl everywhere, check corners, and take the time to confirm where all your targets are. Basically, a lot of games like these don't really teach you the mindset you need to be in.

I seem to have this problem the most with heavy simulation-oriented games. Maybe this isn't unique to PC games though. A lot of people have this problem with fighting games. It's easy enough to learn the basic controls, the meters, and the moves. But you'll almost never find a tutorial in the game itself that'll teach you frame advantage, spacing, wakeups, or anything like that. I think when you're absolutely forced to seek outside material to not suck at a game, something has failed in the tutorial process.
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by happyfish | phpBB3 Style by Beige
cron