How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

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pjknibbs
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by pjknibbs » Fri, 15. Mar 19, 18:34

One thing to remember about CRPGs is that you often don't have to kill *everything* in order to finish the game. I recall there being a rather nasty boss monster right down at the bottom of the basement in PoE who I never even got close to killing, but he was optional, so no biggy unless you're desperate for 100% completion.

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by brucewarren » Fri, 15. Mar 19, 18:54

Final Fantasy 8 had a couple of those hidden away in remote places.

If memory serves there was one called "Ultimate Weapon" It was stupidly hard to kill and nothing to do with the plot whatsoever, but you could
draw a powerful GF from it so of course I had to give it a go. (Gotta collect 'em all and all the that).

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fiksal
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by fiksal » Fri, 15. Mar 19, 21:37

Rug wrote:
Thu, 14. Mar 19, 23:46
I just get the impression that everyone just naturally knows what to do to build a balanced team and control them against all comers
That's not true. People dont know and it depends on each game, as well as depends on what each game names those roles, as well if that game implements all those roles as they are "accepted". [1]

MMOs function one way, MOBAs function another way... Coop games differently yet.

All things in general have been commented on it seems though.


For specifics I think it's worth looking for builds specifically to your game. I havent played Pillars so I cant comment.



[1] for example, Blizzard's MOBA game "Heroes of the Storm" went away from those terms into several of its own : Warrior, Assassin, Support, Specialist. They later caved under a pressure from other MOBAs and will change those into who knows what, but possibly something like : Tank, Bruiser, Assassin, Support

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Olterin
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Olterin » Sat, 16. Mar 19, 01:52

People most certainly don't instinctively know what to do in terms of build/party composition, it's just that they have played other similar games in the past and have a quick selection of pattern recognition based on that. Intuition, in other words. However, it was arrived at by figuring out those game systems at first. Things like, how does damage mitigation work, how does damage work, what can reasonably be expected from combat (regenerative or damage-mitigating for semi-permanent damage), what can be expected in terms of peripheral systems (conversations, sneaking, lockpicking, trap detection). Let me tell you, my first-ever game of this kind was Knights of the Old Republic (the first one) (yes, I'm a young'un), and the first ten or so hours I had next to no clue how to do things properly. Many saves and reloads were had. Trial and error, see what works and what doesn't. See what's fun and what isn't.

... Hope this helps.
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Morkonan
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Morkonan » Sat, 16. Mar 19, 19:45

Olterin wrote:
Sat, 16. Mar 19, 01:52
People most certainly don't instinctively know what to do in terms of build/party composition, it's just that they have played other similar games in the past and have a quick selection of pattern recognition based on that. Intuition, in other words. ...
And, this is how "genres" are created. :)

"I like this type of gameplay. Developers should make more games like this." After awhile, creating the genre game becomes formulaic. Then, that's when Devs choose to attempt to "break the mold." But, if they get too far away from the "swing big sowward, do teh big damaj" model, their fans may not be amused.

I played D&D before "computer games" so didn't have an issue understanding what a party-based RPG game was going to be based on. Ah, the days of the good ol' "Gold Box" games. Those were great! And, others, like "Bard's Tale" etc... Great games.

Now, my current favorite squad-based RPG is "Kenshi" which combines that genre with an "open world sandbox survival build explore research real-time pausable" genre...

PS - I was just thinking - For games like the X games and others that have some tradition/mold-breaking elements, how many genres to they combine and how advantageous is it for "experienced gamers" to already know and comprehend the activities in those genres? What learning-curve would "I never did "computer game" players" be faced with? Ouch...

"OK, you can move this using WASD and-"
"What's WASD?"

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Rug » Sat, 16. Mar 19, 21:15

@ Fiksal - I had to google MOBA to see what it meant. I don't think that's my cup of tea, but at least I know what it means now !

@ Olterin Good to know that it's not simply inbuilt in most people ... But I'm still struggling to learn who is good for what. For example a fighter character would seem to be ideal for a Tank. Which to me would mean a character who deals a load of damage. But it seems (from what I am learning) that a Tank is more of a wall for the team to hide behind, while the weak as you like wizard types deal out the big hits. Then there are priests, who are actually field medics, and thieves who are really sneaky assassin types ...

Is that right ? Is there a really simple guide to what the classes "should" do ? Does it matter ? Will it vary so wildly between games that one description would be useless for another game ? I was imagining that there would be a fair amount of transferable knowledge from Pillars of Eternity to Baldur's Gate to Planescape Torment to Divinity: Original Sin 2 etc.

So it's just a question of keep trying different things and maybe watching let's play stuff until it finally clicks ?

I have the same kind of dilemma with Civ games too. Just too many options at any one time, and not enough idea which is the rightest (?) one ... Linux as well, come to that. OK so I have a choice of 42,000 ways to play media files, all of which claim to be the bestest. Too much choice is too much for my poor brain. I don't like the constant feeling that I really should be doing things better ...

Oh well.

Rug
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by pjknibbs » Sat, 16. Mar 19, 21:51

Rug wrote:
Sat, 16. Mar 19, 21:15
Is that right ? Is there a really simple guide to what the classes "should" do ? Does it matter ?
No, because it depends on the game, and possibly the character build. For instance, back when I played WoW (jeez, is it really 13 years ago I quit that?) Warriors could be specced as main tanks, in which case they'd take all the talents which reduced incoming damage and allowed them to generate threat, or DPS, in which case they'd use a whopping two-handed sword and spec the talents which increased their damage output. Priests could be healers, or they could be Shadow Priests who were actually a DPS class. Then you got druids, who had animal forms which allowed them to (badly) replicate healers, tanks *or* DPS...

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Olterin » Sun, 17. Mar 19, 00:11

Well, for myself I've broken down the process of how to build a party into roughly this:

Step 1: Imagine the ultimate "I can do anything" character. Does this work within the ruleset of the game? How much could the stats be pushed?
Step 2: Figure out (look up or try out) how the stat progression works (for example, the KOTOR paperback manuals notably feature a stat progression table, how many points of which type you get at which level)
Step 3: Split up the character imagined in step 1 into multiple ones that can each attain a reasonable subset of attributes with one, or at most two, main lines.

Step 3 usually results in a reasonable party. Figure out what each attribute is for within the game you intend to play, and see what stacking one (and maybe a secondary one) will get you. If the game has pre-defined strict classes, they may have a bias towards some attributes due to the skills they have, otherwise it's "make your own class" in the sense that you'll need to figure out which skills you want to be using and then boost the attributes that affect them. Not all games allow you to have everything at once in the same party. Depending on the ruleset, a usual good set of archetypes to run with is as follows: Crowd Control, Healer, Ranged Damage, Melee Damage/Tank (for a 4-member party setup). How that looks specifically in each game is very different, but this is a pretty broad bread-and-butter set of character archetypes that I've used (and seen used) to great effect in games ranging from KOTOR to XCOM:EU and XCOM2. These archetypes are fairly self-explanatory, however, for the sake of completeness here's the idea behind each of them:

Crowd Control: character that has abilities/items that influence enemy actions in your favor (applying movement impairment effects, accuracy effects or flat out stuns/dazes (which are also known as hard CC)); this is your primary force multiplier
Healer: character that is focused on keeping the rest of the group alive through damage mitigation and health replenishment; this is your other force multiplier that makes your character health go that much further
Ranged Damage: depending on setting, this is the character sitting out of range of the enemy while dealing pinpoint precision damage to single targets ... or wide area-of-effect attacks, the latter is another force multiplier which is usually very nice to have
Melee Damage/Tank: this is Gimli, he says hi to your enemies' faces with an axe ... or a shotgun, depending on the setting; the point is, this is the guy who gets in thick with the enemies and doesn't fear taking damage either as long as the healer's around somewhere - also, tends to draw attention away from the more vulnerable members of your party

The lines separating these can get rather blurry, and generally-speaking, the more different archetypes a single character combines, the weaker any single aspect will be. However, when mixing these with each other within reason, one can get pretty interesting and fun results. A common-enough example would be a Battlemage for a fantasy setting - he's the guy with magic spells, but also heavily armored and ready to get into the thick of things. The damage won't necessarily be quite as impressive as a pure glasscannon backline mage in the same setting, but this guy won't die from a stiff breeze either.
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fiksal
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by fiksal » Sun, 17. Mar 19, 04:10

Rug wrote:
Sat, 16. Mar 19, 21:15
@ Fiksal - I had to google MOBA to see what it meant. I don't think that's my cup of tea, but at least I know what it means now !
Right on :)

It's a good example because MOBAs really dig into those terms and concentrate on their special meanings.

MOBAs are highly competitive PVP games, in general. If you ever want to try one, I'd still suggest Heroes Of The Storm over League of Legends or DOTA. If.

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by RegisterMe » Sun, 17. Mar 19, 06:40

But they are not RPGs.
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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Morkonan » Mon, 18. Mar 19, 21:07

Rug wrote:
Sat, 16. Mar 19, 21:15
...So it's just a question of keep trying different things and maybe watching let's play stuff until it finally clicks ?
...
Most games aren't entirely focused on "min/maxxing" anything. In other words, a good game will not present a difficulty level that is impossible for anyone to overcome without making sure all of the tools they're using to overcome that obstacle are "perfect."

So, there's certainly a degree of freedom games allow for player choices and for variables in the game. Sure, you may not have yet been able to get that +5 sword, but that's OK since any magical beasties requiring magical weapons to hit only require a +2 weapon. etc..

Don't worry about all the fiddly bits being "perfect." Do what you can to understand the basic mechanics of the game and try to plan accordingly. The game will give you all the tools to achieve all its goals if it is a good game. Pillars of Eternity is supposed to be one of those "good games" and its developers have a lot of experience creating them, so I don't have any worries you'll figure it all out.

But, keep in mind - Not every popular game/genre appeals to all gamers. So, if you find it just all too confusing or it ends up not being appealing to you, don't try to force the issue. Just play something else or, maybe, find a different game or even find some mods or ways to make the game easier for you. There is absolutely nothing "wrong" with doing what it takes to enjoy a game if you really want to find ways to enjoy it.

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by fiksal » Tue, 19. Mar 19, 16:29

RegisterMe wrote:
Sun, 17. Mar 19, 06:40
But they are not RPGs.
True that.

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Re: How can I learn to play RPG games properly ?

Post by Morkonan » Tue, 19. Mar 19, 21:51

Olterin wrote:
Sun, 17. Mar 19, 00:11
Well, for myself I've broken down the process of how to build a party into roughly this:
...
That's pretty much how most party-based RPGs are set up. Fans of the genre are used to dealing with those sorts of mechanics, so it's "comfortable" for them to get into. (Me too, as part of the "them.")

Some games break the mold, though. For instance, "classless" games that allow for the player to develop character's skills however they wish often end up with slightly different group mechanics. Predictable, since "specialization" can be difficult in those games. The downsides for not completely specializing into a proper "class role" are generally lower in those games and not penalized heavily.

A role that I find particularly interesting is "Melee DPS." In games that make specific allowances for that, there may be special mechanics. So "Dodge" and "Block" become just as powerful as "Hitpoints" and "Armor." The downside is often a form of "risk" with commensurate "reward." ie: Glass Cannon Syndrome - Character takes damage, character is grievously injured/dies in most higher-level encounters.

I'm currently playing "Kenshi" where this can be a definite factor with Melee DPS oriented characters. Heavy Armor reduces attack speed, attack damage, and some other critical "combat" stats to offset its protections. That does not matter much to end-game characters, but it does matter a bit as one slowly climbs that ladder. So, Melee DPS Glass Cannons can be a viable strat when paired with Taunt Tanks, for instance. Except, in Kenshi, limbs can get cut off an' stuff which often hamper's characters a little bit... It's also worth noting that there isn't really any such thing as "Tanky Ranged role" either. So, there's no classic "Ranger" character using a ranged weapon while armored in very protective armor.

In MMOs, some allow for some really weird combos, like "Dodge Tank", pure "Taunt Tank" with virtually no DPS, very specialized Ranged characters and spellcaster DPS or Support roles. But, each of those are played by individual players, so their play can be finely tuned at any one time during encounters which is easier to manage than one player controlling many different characters at a time. (Micromanaging highly tuned characters in a large group in a solo-RPG game can be a pain in the butt for every encounter.)

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