jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

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Javolenus
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jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 10th, 2011, 7:30 am

Hi There,
I’m new to this site and have come on a quest for RPG knowledge . . .

I started playing pc games a few years ago. I started with city-building games like Caesar III and moved on to tactical/strategy games like the Total War series. I tried a few first-person shooters but quickly got bored. I then discovered the RPG genre.

Well, I’m fifty years old and I work in publishing as a freelance author/editor/indexer/proofchecker/mapmaker. I mention this because it probably explains my critical attitude towards pc games. Basically, I’m looking for a pc game that is fairly mature and well put together.

I started my foray into the RPG genre by looking at a pc game ranking website. I made a note of the top-rated games and bought them in order to judge for myself. While each game I tried contained some good stuff, I actually gave up on all of them for one reason or another.

The Witcher: Boring quests. The 'adult' content was pretty immature. Combat was confusing. Moving around the map was a chore. The camera was a pain.
Mass Effect 2: I couldn’t get into the story. Seemed too ‘Hollywood’ and shallow. The whole game just got on my nerves.
Baldur’s Gate/Icewind Dale/Neverwinter Nights: I just got really bored with killing goblins.
Dragon Age Origins: More ‘Hollywood’. I found the story and characterisation shallow. Reminded me of old episodes of ‘Scooby-Doo’.
Fallout 1: Started the game three times. Got killed by giant scorpions each time. Gave up.
Spellforce: Couldn’t get into the story. Found the combat annoying.
Disciples II: Graphically, the game looked a mess on my system (heavily pixelated) so gave up.
Grotesque Tactics: Unplayable due to a camera with a mind of its own.
The Bard’s Tale: Looks ugly (everything is brown and green). Combat is just a frantic keyboard-bashing mess.
King’s Bounty Armored Princess: Combat takes forever. Just can’t engage with the basic ‘story’.
King Arthur Role-Playing Wargame: There’s nothing ‘role-playing’ about it. Didn’t like the real-time combat system.
Magicka/Torchlight/Titan Quest: All seem very light on characterisation. Just endless fighting.
Hinterland: Wouldn’t run smoothly on my system. Gave up.
Majesty: Just looks too grainy and pixelated on my system. Nothing to really engage with. You just build things and kill things.

Having played with these games, I’ve pretty much had my fill of goblins, orcs, wizards, apocalyptic storylines, warring factions (i.e. thinly disguised simplifications of the Christianity-Judaism-Islam dynamic), and ‘go kill my enemy’-type ‘quests’.

Another pet-hate of mine is the whole ‘levelling up’ concept. In real life, you gain with one hand and lose with the other. I find levelling up in games annoying. People are born with talents and can develop skills through practice, but advances in one area usually mean stagnation or degeneration in another. ‘Levelling up’ forces the player to repeat the same combat ‘mini game’ ad infinitum in order to advance through the game world. I find that a bit tiresome.

Anyway, I found the Eschalon games on Steam. I’m wondering whether to buy or not? Please help! I’m looking for an absorbing, challenging game. But not one that’s impossibly hard. I’m looking for good graphics but that doesn’t mean they have to be ‘awesome’. I’m looking for good characterisation and a solid story that isn’t pretentious, shallow or just plain silly. I’m looking for a game that can be played a variety of ways, to suit my own (fairly slow) pace. I’m look for a combat system that requires thought rather than fast reflexes. I’m *not* looking for a story that’s basically a justification of current Western foreign policy.

OK, rant over. If anyone can give some help or advice that would be much appreciated.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I also tried Morrowmind and Oblivion. Both seemed a bit disturbed. Oblivion (apart from CTDs) got on my nerves because of constant travelling up and down hills with impossible inclines. The whole thing gave me motion sickness and was tiresome in the extreme. In fact, the game kept crashing when my ingame character 'fell off' the scenery etc. I spent most of my 'Oblivion' time pressing down the key that makes your ingame character walk. Seemed boring and pointless.

OK, rant definitely over now. Promise.

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ManusDei
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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by ManusDei » March 10th, 2011, 1:24 pm

Did you like a game ?

For Eschalon, try the demos :)

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 10th, 2011, 1:43 pm

Hi There and thanks for this. Actually I kind of liked all the games I mentioned at first but then got gradually bored or irritated for the various reasons I listed. They all had some good points and some good ideas.

But I was hoping to find a game I could get involved in enough to want to finish it. I came to this site for guidance on RPGs.

I just tried the Eschalon 1 demo and liked it enough to go ahead and buy Book 2. Fingers crossed that I'll get something good out of the game. Looks promising so far . . .

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by nigmashumma » March 10th, 2011, 1:47 pm

Maybe you'll like Planescape: Torment? It differs from the others.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 10th, 2011, 2:35 pm

Hi there and thanks for this suggestion. I've heard of Planescape before. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks again.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Dragonlady » March 10th, 2011, 2:56 pm

Have you tried the demos for Din's Curse (has an add on Demon War now) or Spiderweb games? They have a new one out now - Avadon: The Black Fortress.

There must be something out there you could like. I like Bw's games and Spiderweb, being turn-based is a great help at my age (66 in 2 weeks). Not as fast as I used to be. :wink:
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ManusDei
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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by ManusDei » March 10th, 2011, 4:17 pm

Try DKS (Dragon Knight Saga) demo. You should find combat is too much button smashing, but the rest is awesome.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 10th, 2011, 4:25 pm

Hi Dragonlady and thanks or this. Am downloading demos for Avernum 6 and Din's Curse as I type!

As for my rant above - I just want to say that all the games I tried impressed me at first, but the shine wore off and I was unable to complete any of them. I was hoping to learn more about what RPGs are on offer - so I really appreciate the suggestions. Thanks again.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Dragonlady » March 11th, 2011, 1:56 pm

Javolenus wrote:Hi Dragonlady and thanks or this. Am downloading demos for Avernum 6 and Din's Curse as I type!

As for my rant above - I just want to say that all the games I tried impressed me at first, but the shine wore off and I was unable to complete any of them. I was hoping to learn more about what RPGs are on offer - so I really appreciate the suggestions. Thanks again.
:D Your welcome. Hope you enjoy them.
Sometimes the dragon wins...
Help save the earth. It's the only planet with CHOCOLATE!

Javolenus
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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 11th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Dragon Knight Saga - OK, I'll definitely check that out too. I appreciate the help and thanks again.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by llew silverhand » March 11th, 2011, 6:23 pm

I am hoping to pick up DKS once it goes on uber-sale myself.

You could always check out Demise: Rise of the Ku'tan over @ http://www.decklinsdemise.com

It's a dungeon crawl. A dev team has actually been working on a HUGE update/expansion for it that I am looking forward to seeing the end-result of (I was part of the early beta on it, but just don't have the time to devote to such endeavors any longer). You may love it, you may hate it. There is a very devoted community of players that are chomping at the bit for Ascension to be released (myself included). I hope that they will put out a demo of Ascension for folks to try, but couldn't say for certain whether that will happen or not.
Llew Silverhand - Once and Future Gnome King

Javolenus
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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 12th, 2011, 3:13 am

Great! Thanks for that - I'll definitely check that out.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by quasimodo » March 12th, 2011, 3:43 pm

You really should give Fallout 1 another try it is a fine game. If you are getting killed by scorpions you are doing something wrong. You need to either redesign your character or try another approach. One of the strong points of this game is that there is usually more than one way to complete the quests.

Javolenus
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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by Javolenus » March 13th, 2011, 12:54 pm

Hi There
And thanks for this feedback on Fallout1. I think you must be right about my approach to Fallout1 because I've only heard good things about it. I ought to look at it again and maybe read around the game a bit more. Thanks for the hint.

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Re: jaded gamer seeks info on good rpgs . . .

Post by ttomm46 » March 15th, 2011, 11:55 am

What about Morrowind or Divine Divinity? :D

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