81 Best Games images, Games, Video games, I am game. (This review was written back in '15, when the game was first released. It doesn't factor in any DLCs released since then. ) I've played the game for a good amount of time so far. Unfortunately, I didn't really get the thrill that I had hoped to get from it. Putting aside all the hype and background with the game, from an unbiased, ordinary gamer's standpoint, this game is pretty "boring. And I shall elaborate. First off, it's quite evident that the game is story driven. There is a heavy emphasis on story, and you're constantly driven into situations where you must make conversational choices that could potentially affect your gameplay later on. And that sounds wonderful! But, just because a game has a great story base and intriguing lore doesn't necessarily mean that it's a great game to play, especially if you're not much of a reader who prefers walls of text (believe me, you're given pages and pages of text in this game. The main issue which caused me to give this game such a low rating was because I found the combat rather uninteresting. If you're looking for the thrill of fast-paced gameplay, you're better off looking at other RPGs. This game was developed solely for the patient gamer. Throughout the game, due to the difficulty of the fights, you're forced to always utilize the pause feature to issue commands to each individual character every 2-5 seconds. The AI in the game is pretty poor on your end; it can't seem to figure out how to make educated decisions during combat (even if you have auto-pilot (anti-idle) enabled in the game's settings) and often causes characters to just stand still and do nothing. This can become a bit of a chore if you have some one-dimensional characters you'd prefer to just do whatever while you control the more important characters that have many abilities. Another major issue is the lack of character progression and improvement. You characters do not change much over the course of several (real-life) hours. What that means is, the game forces you to use the same set of abilities for an overly long period of time. This can bore the average gamer pretty easily. Not only that, but for whatever reason, the developers decided to eliminate "healing potions" by replacing it with a health and regenerating armour system, which is familiar to those who play shooters. The game also incorporates a "Final Fantasy cooldown" feature for attacks and skill usage, as well as unrestricted movement while it's happening. This could make or break the game for you, depending on if you can work with this new system of gameplay. "Hit and run" tactics would work, if not for the "issue" where enemies can "back attack" you while you're running. And this happens because there are stats in the game that involve dodging attacks, and allowing you to avoid attacks physically would remove the point of said stats. Most enemies move quicker than you do, which makes attempting to run pointless unless you are a distance fighter. Levels don't come often, but that's because progression doesn't come often either. Ironic how that works. Regarding equipment, you're generally stuck with the same set of starting weapons and armour and won't find any better ones until much later on in the game. Unfortunately, you probably already be bored by that point in time. You earn pennies selling the junk you don't need, and the equipment sold in stores are impossibly expensive. The stores aren't tab based, which makes finding items a chore. Especially since your sold items are shown as well. I think all of these "cons" exist solely because the developers wanted to create a realistic role-playing game and strongly believed that in a real fantasy world, this is how you would progress. Basically, no progression at all for long periods of time. Anyway, in terms of what I like about the game, I can't really say much. There's a strong emphasis on decision making and story, but that's about it. If you aren't much of a fantasy lover or a book reader, you probably won't like this game. It becomes a chore really early on. I suggest buying it only after it hits sub-20.
I clocked more than my fair share of hours rerolling stats on Baldur's Gate. But in retrospect, it seems like outrageously shoddy game design. "We're going to have a permanent set of stats that determine how powerful your character is for the whole game, and how good those stats are is going to depend mostly on how much time you spend clicking 'reroll' and a little bit on luck. And we're going to make you do this all in one go, right at the start of the game, before you even get to have any fun. " This reminded me of how I spent multiple nights re-rolling my party on my Mac port for Wizardry I. I eventually hit a point total that allowed me to start one character as a ninja, which apparently must have been a bug because that was supposed to be impossible. My cheesiness knew no bounds however. At some point I acquired a shuriken, which would increase your total HP by 1 every time you equipped it. I did the righteous thing and spent a few more nights unequipping and equipping it, which left me with some outrageously high HP. Feeling that even this munchkin level insanity wasn't enough I fiddled around with the save game and figured out how to clone my character. Finally my party had a front line of 3 ninjas with unassailably high HP totals. Finally, Werdna was mine. And you got an enormous amount of enjoyment from it, which is what a game is for. I remember doing a similar thing with save files and the old Ragnarok game. Same but with stuff like Diablo 2 and D2Edit / Jamella. Gameshark Pro was also fun stuff. It's honestly sad that you can't gameshark modern consoles since it was so much fun to mod games in ridiculous ways. Mod support for PC games is what keeps me buying PC games. Edit: excited for the potential mod support for FFXV on PC. I no longer have time to dedicate to games like I did as a kid so cheats are a huge deal to me (single player only. They don't "ruin" the game for me at all. I only play games a few times a month but my steam library contains hundreds. So on that one random Saturday I've got the free time to dedicate to 5+ hours to gaming I want to get as far as possible in a couple of games. I've been playing the Witcher 3 seemingly forever. I have a Ps4 and a few big games for it, Yakuza, etc and I've played them all once or twice because of the time investment required to get through the story. I WANT to enjoy the story. It's really unfortunate. I'd love to speed up my progress, instead I'm forced to watch Lets Plays of those games. Oh I did. I don't think 40-something me could spend the amount of time 10 year old me did but I played the hell out of that game. That reminds me of a PC Hockey game, NHL 2001 or something like that. On regular season mode you could trade a player for a slightly better player. Half an hour of trading later you could have an all-star team, without even playing a game. > At some point I acquired a shuriken, which would increase your total HP by 1 every time you equipped it Dear god, why does such an item even exist? Nope, that was legit. They probably didn't count on people doing that for hours on end. and/or back then there was a "sure, why the heck not" attitude if they did think about it. Note that it's not because the game was designed this way, but because the Dungeons and Dragons system was designed this way. It's not optimized for first-time and impatient computer players, but for roleplayers. It's not really a fair defence, because D&D also had rules for point buy (limited points to add to stats. They just choose not to use it. Planescape, from the same era, used point buy instead of random rolls. (Which fixes the pointless rerolling until you get stats you want, but not the part about making important decisions before the game starts) Planescape effectively changed the impact of all of those stats on the game as well though. Personally I preferred Baldurs Gate. It's not really inherint to role players. Plenty of popular RPGs had radically different (and often non-chance based) character generation systems, ranging from the sublime (doling out combinations from a pool and trading strengths and weaknesses, like GURPS and Shadowrun) to the ridiculous (Traveller, where your character can die before the start of the game. To be fair, in some games, Hackmaster for example, your character dying during char creation can give benefits to your next character. But then that game also had you roll a D10, 000 for critical hits; The difference is that it can be fun to role-play a weak warrior, a stupid mage or a clumsy thief - or disagreeable bard. No computer game come close to that kind of storytelling / social / intelligent interaction though. The second best thing is stuff like Moria/Angband where each stat has a clear use and game effect - and of course in such games some form of re-roll/prioritization makes a lot of sense (the automagic re-roll based on min-stats targets (I need at least 17 dexterity) introduced in some version of Angband is probably the best if you want player-visible stats. D&D didn't allow rerolls except for the "no stat above 13" and "total modifiers 0 or less" situations. If you complained to the DM (and/or bribed him) you might get another chance, but no one would sit there and wait for you to roll more than 2-3 times. I think they were trying to replicate the tabletop experience. Now imaging replicating the classic Traveller RPG, where you had a decent chance of your character dying during generation. I think that any computer RPG with D&D like stats needs to have point buy by default and only use a random generation as an option for tabletop like simulation. Yeah, I think it's inappropriate/thoughtless use of an idiom that might have made sense in tabletop games but doesn't really make much sense on a PC. Agreed. One factor to remember though is that any deviation by DnD-based CRPG's from the original ruleset risked getting dinged in reviews for being "not enough like the original that we know and love. true DnD players should look elsewhere for their fix... before you know what stats are important for what, or even what play style you may enjoy most. I always found it a bit strange that many games frontload you with decisions (what class? what stats? etc) before you even know anything about the game, what is effective or what you might enjoy. In Angband (ascii rogue-like) there was an auto-roller to solve this problem. So char generation was also a bit of "what are my chances to get a reasonable character with two or three really good attributes in the time I am willing to wait? That sorta makes sense- it's kind of the logical conclusion of the situation in the Bioware games- But I also feel like it exposes how bad an idea the whole thing is. I'm trying to remember off the top of my head how Skyrim did it. During the character creation, I don't remember doing a class assignment, certainly not explicitly like Morrowind or Oblivion. I think everyone just started at the same base character level, and your "class" fell out of your behavior over the course of the game. Do more destruction magic, earn more magic power. Regardless, if it wasn't Skyrim, that seems like a better system all around. Leave the character a blank slate, start every stat at 0, and the character has to be molded through the course of the game. I've played several games over the years that handle skills/classes that way, Skyrim being a recent one. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Often times it's easy to abuse the system to get high stats quickly and unrealistically. Plus, these games will usually have a scale on enemy difficulty based on you instead of the game world. So if you somehow run into something that should be incredibly dangerous for your beginner character, it is not that hard to defeat. Remember that rabbit you smacked a couple of times to kill for its meat in the early game? Later it requires gear designed to fight gods to kill that rabbit's brother. I exaggerate, but that type of system bothers me to no end. I HATE level scaling in games. Enemy level scaling in Oblivion and Skyrim made it pointless to fight things, item scaling in The Witcher 3 made every item drop dull and boring. Instead of meeting a new monster and thinking "ok, shit, how do I beat this. and then going on to figure out a strategy, or instead of finding an awesome new weapon and thinking "wow! amazing. every new thing barely even registered because it wasn't exciting. This was extra irritating in The Witcher 3 where you receive swords as quest rewards and the characters comment on how its this amazing magical sword renowned for its history or whatever and I check the stats only to see that it is either 1) only marginally better than what I already have or, more usually, 2) not even as good as the weapon I already have. On the other hand, in Gothic 3, I could walk off the main road and find end game monsters that could (and did) kill me in a single strike. Figuring out how to beat them while still low level was a ton of exciting fun. Hell, its the exact reason I play games like Dark Souls. > Often times it's easy to abuse the system to get high stats quickly and unrealistically. Or, even if you're not trying to abuse the system, the behavior that's most natural and which results in the best outcomes can modify your character from what you may have intended. It's typical get the best loot from the hardest quests. You could grind the easy ones, but quick progression requires taking on difficult tasks. In Skyrim, if you see a group of baddies that are too strong to take on in a brawl all at once, the way to proceed through the quest is to shoot them with an arrow from far away, and sneak until they de-aggro. Or if you don't want to attack it, just sneak around. Or if they're charging you and too far away to melee attack yet, put in a couple hits with your bow to soften them up. Surprise! You're not a mage or a heavy like you thought you'd be. You're a stealth archer. Gear, Perks, and Stats are 100% under your control and you can buy training. So, you might have twice the levels of stealth and archery, but be a better mage. Skyrim's biggest issue is the gear / classes are not balanced overall. Mages end up spamming high level spells endlessly while doing vastly less damage than an archer with good gear. Remember Smaug? Sometimes an archer with good gear wins the day in stories too... The problem is you can easily get to the point where a single arrow always kills everything. Not just a lucky 3rd shot: 1h/2h also get there, it's just conjuration and destruction that lag. Yeah, Skyrim was a major break from the earlier Elder Scrolls games by abandoning pre-made classes. It's probably a good idea in many ways, but you run into a similar problem if you want to level up in skills that aren't actually that much fun (which is basically anything except fighting. If you want to be a master blacksmith, instead of spending time re-reolling, you spend it. crafting hundreds of iron daggers. And you bankrupt every smith in the game because you flooded the market with hundreds of iron daggers. Umm, what? Neither Morrowind nor Oblivion had pre-made classes. You technically had the option of picking "mage" but that distinction was utterly pointless beyond the first few levels. You weren't limited in leveling up primarily skills opposite of your "class. IIRC Oblivion had you choose a class, but then you still leveled up skills by using them (it definitely had pre-made classes, though. I never actually played Morrowind, though. I don't think there's any argument it's bad game design. It's inherited from D&Ds history as evolving from the war game genre. I was hoping this was going to talk about the problem that Beamdog ran into 'enhancing' Icewind Dale 2. They can't find the source code and doing the reverse engineering to make improvements was deemed too costly. As far as this article; not my cup of tea but the author seems to have put a lot of time into it. If you like data science, dive on in. I was a huge fan of the Baldur's Gate games back in the day, but never got around to playing the IWD series, which were based on Bioware's infinity engine. I played the enhanced version of IWD1 not too long ago and, of course, had to play IWD2 to satisfy my completionist OCD, even though that meant a little bit more fiddling to get it to work properly. Verdict: Go play a newer RPG like Pillars of Eternity instead. While I'm sure some people have very fond memories of the IWD series, it has not aged well. The story isn't particularly good, and IWD2 rehashes a little too much of IWD1 for comfort. It is undoubtedly possible to give IWD2 the enhanced version treatment. It's "too costly" because IWD2 just isn't very good, and likely wouldn't have strong sales. >They can't find the source code and doing the reverse engineering to make improvements was deemed too costly The reverse engineering will be done eventually, by fans that love the game. It's been done for other games (Morrowind, Diablo II, Grand Theft Auto 3, etc) Alternate Reality, a cult classic game from the 1980s by Philip Price featured a character creation process similar to the one described in this article (it also contained many other game features well ahead of its time. A rotating series of numbers would scroll through each stat box, with the player having to hit the space bar to freeze the numbers and select their stats. However, the stats slowly degraded the longer the player waited and watch them scroll past. Interesting to see this issue examined in depth over 30 years later. (series) Captive, another cult classic from early 90s used another novel method of calculating the stats for the characters. The game used an algorithm that determined the stats based on the name the player gave to each character. I even remember seeing some recommended names on the cheats & tips sections of some computer games magazines back in the day. It seems the article talks about anything but the topic it is trying to talk about. What is the conclusion? When to stop? What do the axis in the diagrams mean? I read it like 1. 5 times and still don't get any result from it. It's sad that the plots are mostly unlabelled because that aside they're fairly clear: On the color maps, vertical is the score you got on your last roll (sum of all attributes) horizontal is the index of the current roll, color is the chance of getting a better roll. There is no "hard line" for when to stop because it depends on how risk-averse you are, and compounding the lack of labelling the labelling of color maps 3 and 4 is the opposite of what it shows: it's how the map changes when you lower risk averseness (increase risk seeking) by increasing probability thresholds compared to map 2. I don't really get why you wouldn't approach it as a dynamic programming question. The size of the table would only be about ~38 rows, according to the description, and ~38 columns. If you were given the probabilities of each sum (of which I'm sure is available) you could do it by hand, likely in an excel sheet. Roleplaying in my eyes suffered from this arbitrary stats rolling. It could have greatly gained, if for every usefull exp on level up - your character would have to take on some psychological malus. +1 on Dexterity? Congratulations, you are now a cleptomanic. +2 on Intelligence? Obsessive compulsive mage. +1 Strength. Great Scotts, youre an alcoholic. +2 Wisdom? Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom. It would have got the game so much more interesting. People who would have to play actual characters, instead of walking, golden statues. You might find upcoming RPG No Truce With The Furies interesting. From a developer post[2. For the real lowdown — instead of telling you how the Attributes help — let me tell you how they make things worse. INTELLECT A high Intellect makes you overly confident – a cocksure intellectual. Youre vulnerable to flattery, and easily lose yourself in details. (The game becomes longer. While having a low Intellect makes you dim and superficial, prone to superstition and being plain wrong. PSYCHE A high Psyche comes with emotional turmoil – an unstable psychophant. Great willpower clashing with wild imagination. You may even lose your mind. While a low Psyche makes you uninspiring, inept at influencing people. Unsavoury things come out of your mouth. PHYSIQUE Okay, youre strong but so is your death drive – a mad man and a psycho killer. A high Physique needs to be tested, needs addiction, sex and physical confrontation. You lose your shit over small things. While being un-physical means vulnerable, un-streetwise. Lacking in animal cool. MOTORICS A Motoric character is too high strung – a bit of a cokehead. A quicksilver superdetective focusing fast and then reacting (too) sharply. While being low on Motoric means youre locked into yourself. The world has trouble finding you. Youre clumsy and slow. 1] 2. Something like that is used in The Dark Eye and also in Ars Magica. For every virtue or advantage your character has, you should also select a flaw. This makes for some interesting and quirky characters. Some flaws are "easier" to manage than others (having large debts is a good story hook and not that problematic for adventurers, I think. A character having memory issues however is not easily compensated, but may make for interesting role playing. That works better in real life, doesn't it? It's harder to have a computer game enforce obsessive compulsion, or alcoholism, or kleptomania. Titan Quest - Best Abilities and Stats System. Should have taken over the whole genre system wise. You all start vanilla and when you use an ability it ads xp to that ability. Melee then attack as a melee, or ranged pick up the bow and shoot. If its magic learn to pull off the right skills. It was easiest to go melee at first and magic was more difficult but then it switched mid game. I always thought this would have been a cool feature for MMO's. As you reach end game you start to have more interest in trying different archetypes without having to start new characters. If warriors started using healing spells they could slowly morph into paladins. Or use daggers and turn into rogues, etc... That's how Tales games work too (at least Tales of Berseria, I'm guessing the others follow. IIRC Tales of Symphonia stats (mostly) acted like an old school FF game of just fixed stat increase per level. The article briefly mentioned that different stats are useful for different character classes but didn't really take that into account in the model. For example if a barbarian get really high rolls for all stats except strength is it actually a really a good roll for that character or should you consider re-rolling? Edit: Oops, I completely forgot about the ability to reassign points between stats. Thanks to batiudrami & beloch for pointing that out. As an interesting side note: An older (A)D&D game series, Eye of the Beholder, allowed you to modify the stats any way you wanted after rolling, which meant you could just set all stats to max if you wished. I've read from somewhere that this was done so players could "import" their pen & paper RPG characters with the correct stats points into the game. Dunno if that's true though. It has a "point buy" system where you can add and subtract points, so only the total is really useful. Different classes also have different minimum stats - so the calculation is actually rolling 4d6, excluding the lowest, and then rounding up to the minimum if necessary. This means multi-class characters (who might have minimum of 13 in two stats instead of the usual 9) or odd classes such as Paladin who have a minimum 17 charisma end up with much higher average totals than other classes. It's an entirely broken system, designed for pen and paper D&D where you roll your stats and then choose your class based on what you get, adjusted for video game players who prefer to choose their class first. I think it was possible to assign the points in a roll to whatever stats you wanted, so a high total was basically all that mattered. If memory serves 18 str did have a random modifier (e. g. 18/50) so that 18 wasn't equal for all rolls. However it probably didn't take long to find a strength boosting item, and 19 str was the same regardless of the modifier you had at 18. There arbitrary decision that 1 reroll is worth 1 score, is not even explored. That is a big decision, as it places a cap on rerolls at around 35. It's not obvious at all. >Let's turn this system into a game. You are allowed to reroll, but everytime you do the score you get will get subtracted by one. What would be the optimal stopping strategy? If it wasn't just a thought-exercise, the answer would be: Quit the game and start over until you get a perfect roll the first time. Seriously. Games are supposed to be fun, not painful. While it might be a fun thought exercise, it's incredibly bad game design. If you're trying to exploit the game, you should be having less fun. I played Baldur's Gate, and there were all sorts of things you could do to be stronger than you ought to be. Even without the rolling, you could level up a character several times and then restart the game with that character. I didn't do that specifically because I wanted to enjoy the game.