• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Poll: Do you have decision paralysis when starting RPGs?

Your usual style?

  • 1 - Go in blind and just wing it.

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • 2 - Light research before playing.

    Votes: 13 36.1%
  • 3 - Heavy research before playing, one or two restarts if needed to achieve a good start.

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • 4 - Accept nothing less than perfect min/max optimized gameplay, restart until achieved.

    Votes: 1 2.8%

  • Total voters
    36

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,639
468
126
So we all know the deal: start an ARPG/RPG/Dungeon Crawler which has character building depth, and you’ll soon hit the character creation screen. Multiple races, classes, stats, powers, party composition, etc.

In a lot of these games, what you choose at the start can make the difference between a great game and a rage quit. This is especially true when starting choices influence each subsequent level-up and your end-game situation.

As an example, over the course of three days I studied Oblivion’s leveling system and I also restarted a few times to build the character I liked.

Also in my current replay of Legend of Grimrock 2, I’m finding my new party is far easier with less frustration than my first party.

I’m option 3. I don’t like frustrating gameplay just because I made uninformed decisions at the start. It's a waste of time playing the game under those circumstances.

Min/max takes things too far in the opposite direction and also ruins enjoyment for me.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: OCNewbie

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,096
873
126
Depends if its a mmo or single player.
If its a single player, ill load up cheat engine and break the skill tree to see what is actually good.

If its a mmo then heavy research for min and max or best meta build for that class.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
10,817
153
106
I just pick whatever I think is good and go at it. Part of the fun is playing out what you get andseeing how to make it owrk. Second playthorugh I might try to min/max more.
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,669
59
91
option 2:
i read whatever is available at the creation screen, about stats and bonuses, and i know which gameplay styles i like so that helps me decide which way i want to go.
also, if i find out later in the game that my party is gimped, i stick with it and try to finish the game anyway. i also never play on Normal/easy difficulty. i start from Hard unless there is a lot of learning involved.

the only RPG/tactics game i remember quitting in recent times was Blackguards, it was needlessly hard and punished you for no apparent reasons. it was just not fun.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Modular

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,755
203
106
Depends on the game, really. Most ARPGs can get you to the ending with a jack-of-all character and don't require min/maxing for any of the main content. However, if the game is really fun, I'll likely end up playing multiple characters so I learn as I go.

Pretty sure I'm always Option 1 since I only look at end-game content after I've already experienced the main game. Some games require very specific builds to finish the special/secret stuff at the end so you either need to work your way up to that point, or cheat your way there. In some cases, cheating isn't even enough and you still need to learn the game to beat the content (looking at you Grim Dawn and Borderlands).
 

nakedfrog

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
49,837
2,593
126
Between 1 and 2 for the most part. I still usually end up spending a long time at character creation itself.
 

rivethead

Platinum Member
Jan 16, 2005
2,550
81
91
I always have the intent of option 2 - some light research and dive in (usually I'll read someone's guide for noobs on Steam before starting).

But I always seem to end up with a restart or 2 to find the gameplay I like/want.

So I voted option 3.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,217
598
136
I do a little light research at first, really just to see if the game is particularly unbalanced against certain playstyles. I really like the "battle mage" archetype in RPGs, but some game systems just don't handle the warrior/mage hybrid very well and it makes the game frustrating to play. My gaming time is limited and I'd rather avoid that.

As such, my research typically revolves around "what playstyles is this game compatible with" then loosely build a character around what sounds functional and appealing and dive in.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
101,306
15,468
136
I guess it depends on the game and the setup...but my answer is either dear-god yes, or somewhere between 2 and 3.

I prefer games that allow some fun multiclassing, but obviously some really punish this idea with their skill set and attribute layout, and it only really works for min-maxing. If the game doesn't have an obvious, relatively cheap skill-reset option, then I spend more time agonizing at the beginning. I just hate being stuck late game with a garbage build that is no fun because I can't kill anything.

If I'm just going to wing it and not care because I can't make this determination early on, I just default to high crit whatever, and whatever class seems to allow for most of crit chance/damage, because that almost always works, haha.
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,732
666
126
RPG's are very not my forte, so I typically do a little reading up before just diving in. Some games, however, just don't work out for me no matter what (Witcher 3) and I typically end up abandoning them entirely if I cannot progress within a reasonable amount of time. I have, in the past, started over once or twice just to see if I can maybe I can start out better (this happens with pretty much every Fallout game) but for the most part I run with whatever at first--in order to learn the game or feel it out before actually diving in and committing my time.

So, same for me I guess... a blend of 2 and 3
 

ArchAngel777

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
5,228
60
91
I am between 3 and 4... The reason for 4 is because some games never implement respec features and had broken feats/skills, etc... I don't like playing a game where I can break my character due to a choice that I didn't fully understand (and may not understand until HOURS down the road), and I don't like my character broke by a "balance" update. If I know that respecs exist (even in limited form), I fall to option 3. No one wants to restart a game, go through 90% of the content again, just to correct a choice.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
4,839
541
126
When I started to play Pillar of Eternity II, I spent like 3-4 hours going over different classes and builds and what I may want to do. Decided to do a Ranger multi-class, played for a few hours, and I was not feeling it. So I went back, researched more, and ended up with a Sorcerer build (Wizard/Druid multi-class) that I liked, and ended up using through the full game.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,376
9
81
I do something between options 2 and 3, and read a few faqs and forum posts when starting the game. In a lot of RPGs, you have no idea what skills/powers/items are actually good until trying them out, and they often need to be teched up to be useful, so you can't just save and reload. I tend to focus on weapon and direct combat abilities (magic/the Force/biotics/etc. categories tend to contain more useless powers despite having some good ones) as well as anything that will unlock more dialogue options. I only have time for one playthrough of a game these days, and try to have a build that will let me see as much of the game content as possible.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,995
833
126
it *used* to be that i would get it minmaxed on the second playthrough, but nowadays i fire up the Youtube and get a build guide before i even start.

Tbh i am aware that this makes it much less enjoyable, and probably the reason why i dont do RPGs anymore.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,755
203
106
it *used* to be that i would get it minmaxed on the second playthrough, but nowadays i fire up the Youtube and get a build guide before i even start.

Tbh i am aware that this makes it much less enjoyable, and probably the reason why i dont do RPGs anymore.
So why don't you change it up and try a blind playthrough on your next RPG? It's the same as playing the game using a guide/FAQ and doing exactly as the author tells you to do - you're not even playing the game anymore, you're just following instructions. There aren't many games out there that cannot be completed with a blind "jack of all" build, so just jump in and have fun.

This goes hand-in-hand with why I stopped playing Grim Dawn. I saw all the content and the only thing that was left was to make OP builds that were specifically designed for the end-game secret bosses, but after a few hours of crafting a single character whose sole purpose was to kill a single boss, the game lost any shred of meaning. It became work and wasn't fun anymore. Same goes with min/maxing a build for me. If all I'm doing is following someone else's build, then it stops being a game I'm playing and becomes work.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,995
833
126
ah, i would want to, but when that PRESS START screen is up, i lose all self control.

also, i'm not sure there *are* any RPGs left, out there. they all seem to be ARPG, JRPG, MMORPGs, FPS ...

i mean OLD CLASSIC DWARF & ORC & SWORD & WARHAMMER medieval fantasy with dragons n stuff RPGs. None of that "rpg elements" bull**.

You know what, Neverwinter Nights (the first) is still unbeaten as a RPG.
It just ticks every box; 1. classic setting 2. proper PnP character building 3. groups 4. excellent realtime/turnbased control scheme 5. INFINTE ADVENTURE MODULES FOR FREE!
I really cannot understand why ANY modern RPG does not allow for user-generated scenarios. Fear of money, maybe?
 

nakedfrog

Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
49,837
2,593
126
Have you played the Divinity Original Sin series?
So much this. Four playthroughs on the first one, over five hundred hours.
On the third playthrough for the sequel... and now I've migrated to PC, so there are mods to play with, adding new classes, etc. Haven't even checked into additional adventures yet.

I'm also playing Etrian Odyssey 4 on 3DS, for first-person party-based dungeon crawler goodness, and enjoying that a lot too.
 

Modular

Diamond Member
Jul 1, 2005
5,027
67
91
I'll do the menu reading (light research?) and build from there. Most of the time I end up being a Mage-like character.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
101,306
15,468
136
Have you played the Divinity Original Sin series?
This is the most recent series that causes the most serious mind-numbing RPG/dialogue fatigue with me. I used to love games like this, but the dialogue is just grating. Every single encounter with everything is a novel...and not a content-based novel, but obnoxious, excessive, filigree text that doesn't really add anything. Part of me gets it...but I don't need someone trying to make me pretend that this fisherman sprite speaks in the colloquial speech patterns of street lecher from 1870s Staffordshire.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
100,179
3,310
126
i got intimidated by the character creation process in morrowind. too many options.

in daoc i gimped my character badly by picking the wrong weapon trait for my class type. there wasn't any explanation of what stat the weapon type was based on, only which armor type the weapon was good against. so, being in albion, and knowing the other 2 realms didn't have plate, i picked piercing because it was good against chain. but, piercing was based on dex, which my class didn't get on level up. by the time i learned that i was a couple hundred hours into a grindy game. with no retrait on offer (they eventually came a couple years into it). very lame.

pick axe was a cool looking weapon, though

/csb
 

Artorias

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,108
249
116
Not when I start, but when I get flooded with quests and not being sure which one to progress.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY