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Do you enjoy character generation?

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Baronius, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    [​IMG] Just wondering, do you enjoy character generation in CRPGs?

    Two people I chatted with said the opposite. One of them enjoys the whole process, while the other one is looking forward to the gameplay, and character generation is only a must he wants to finish quickly.

    (I really enjoy it, and enjoyed it e.g. during Baldur's Gate and BG2. It's great fun to choose the name, class, skills, and adjust the stats according to my notions.)
     
  2. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I enjoy the character generation where I have a decent range of choices and/or there is random variation. If it's just a point-buy system where you make obvious choices and there isn't great room to vary the character (i.e., only a moron would not choose skill A and B/Feat 1 and 2) then I don't particularly care for it.

    So, examples. In BG 1 and 2 and IWD 1, using the 2e system, I could (and did) spend a lot of time rolling stats and figuring out whether I wanted a paladin or a wizard or a FT or a RC, etc., along with what weapons they were going to use, race, etc. In IWD2, I spent very little time and did not derive a great deal of enjoyment, because it seemed to me that I would be gimping my characters if I did not raise certain stats and did not choose certain skills and feats. All of my characters were pretty cookie cutter with any other similar class character I would make.
     
  3. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    ^ That.
     
  4. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I tend to be in the camp that enjoys it. I particularly loved character generation for IWD and IWD2. I would sometimes spend a week or more planning my party, trying to make sure that I would have all of the bases covered in the game.

    Often I would even write a detailed synopsis for how the party came together, what their goals were, and an individual biography for each member. I think I can say that the character generation process for me is every bit enjoyable as the game itself.
     
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I get bored with character generation. "To hell with this ... I'll just SK my old pnp characters...."
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I spend a few hours on it in IE games where you've really got a large range of choices and variations to make, but most of that time is probably spent on getting good dice rolls. I don't really obsess over it too much though because I know well enough that even an average party wouldn't really have that much trouble getting through the game. I guess I could say I enjoy it to an extent.
     
  7. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Definitely. I like fiddling with both the statistical and visual aspects of my characters. I spend hours getting the characters "just right", down to researching new names to find one that fits. Obviously, I don't always do it, since it gets old after a few dozen characters, but I do think that it's a vital part of any good RPG to have a decent character generation.
     
  8. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I enjoy it, I invest a fair amount of planning and such into my protagonists. And there's also that tingly thrilling kind of feeling that you're stepping out the door to signify the start of the adventure.
     
  9. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Once took me an hour just to decide what class.
     
  10. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I dislike it when it is random whether you get a good character or a bad character. With P&P the DM will usually do something to help balance the party or at least adjust the encounters to something the party should survive, but with a CRPG most of the time the stuff is fixed or random (especially in old school cRPGs like Rogue, Moria, Omega, and other Roguelikes) , and I hate having to spend hours trying to get a great character that will survive.

    Heck, I dislike it even more when whether you succeed or survive depends mostly on the random number generator, and you can get killed even when making no mistakes. That includes games like "Klondike" solitaire (the version included with Windows) with the default "draw 3" setting, and Minesweeper.

    On the other hand, when you can create different, equally viable builds for different playstyles, character generation can be interesting, especially if most if not all the options can be nearly equally valuable. On the other hand, if as described above only an idiot or somebody looking for a challenge wouldn't select certain options or the options are just cosmetic, it's not so fun.

    So, my answer is "it depends" on how much my choices are useful.

    Oh, and I found character generation less fun with the 2nd edition Infinity Engine games than with the 3rd edition games. All you can really vary with 2E was the weapon choice, spell selection, and thief skills.
     
  11. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Character creation in games like BG2 are not really that interesting. The most fun is in deciding what character build or combination of character builds I would like to play for this playthrough. After that I just SK in the details.

    In games like IWD2 and NWN the creation of a build that I would be satisfied with is a lot more complicated, due to all the possible combinations. For NWN I could spend literally hours thinking and trying out builds to start the next game with. For IWD2 I even have to create an entire party, which is rather daunting. So daunting, in fact, that I left it unplayed for a long time.

    And then there's games like Arcanum where the different little options and details are not that important, but I can lose myself in it for a good while, looking for the right combinations of class, race, stats, background, etc.

    For Jade Empire, on the other hand, character creation is mostly inconsequential. The starting stats matter little beyond the first couple of levels and even the skills matter little as you learn so many others during the course of the game.

    And if there's the option for custom portraits, I feel obliged to dive into the collection and find the perfect one.
     
  12. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    In some games, character creation can be even frustrating. In the old Gold Box games, I'd just use the modify option to give everyone max stats.
    When you just pick your race and class, then get assigned random stats, I don't find character creation fun at all, I find it frustrating since you can't pick the kind of stats you want.
    In P&P it might be different because the DM can adjust things to accommodate what the party is capable of, but in CRPGs, getting low stats just makes the game harder instead of a difficulty option. Takes the choice away from the player, who might be wanting to relax and breeze through it, or might be wanting a challenge, and then has to sit there and keep re-rolling until he gets what he wants.
    Things put in place to discourage lots of re-rolling don't improve the game, they just add frustration.

    This is NOT limited to AD&D games.
     
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