CRPGs and Solo MMOs

I broke down and bought Divinity: Original Sin, without waiting for a Steam sale (the horror!!) and so far, I’m enjoying it. Computer RPGs and I go way back, starting with Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, on an Apple 2 back in… 1982 I guess.

After playing a bit, I looked over my Steam library of games, to see which RPGs I have. Those were:

  • Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
  • Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition
  • Deus Ex: GOTY
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
  • Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
  • Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  • Fallout 3: GOTY
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Jade Empire
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Titan Quest

I know some of these straddle the line of FPS and RPG, but I’d classify Deus Ex and Mass Effect more on the RPG side, as opposed to Borderlands/Borderlands 2 and the Bioshock series, which are more on the FPS side. Also, I didn’t include Torchlight or Torchlight 2 since they fall more and the action-clicky side for me. I’m arbitrarily deciding that the game needs a certain amount of complexity of char growth (skills, talent trees, whatever) in order to make my already long list, I don’t mean to throw these great games under the bus.

That’s just Steam; GOG purchases I’ve made are:

  • Baldur’s Gate: Complete
  • Baldur’s Gate 2: Complete
  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Icewind Dale: Complete
  • Icewind Dale 2: Complete
  • Neverwinter Nights: Diamond
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Complete
  • Planescape: Torment
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition: Director’s Cut
  • Wizardry 6
  • Wizardry 7
  • Wizardry 8

I’ve purchased Baldur’s Gate/Baldur’s Gate 2 at GOG and Steam. What can I say; the GOG purchase was on some crazy discount, and the Steam purchase was probably through a sale (I can’t remember exactly) and the fact is the Steam purchase is really nice since those versions have modern resolutions.

These lists could grow a bit more depending on whether “stealth action open world” games belong. If so, add in Thief, Thief 2, Thief Gold, System Shock 2, the Assassin’s Creed series… heck perhaps the newest Tomb Raider qualifies (and I have this game as well).

My wishlist on Steam includes Wasteland 2; over on GOG I have Wasteland and Witcher 2. Yeah, the original resolution of Wasteland would make my eyes bleed but if it gets cheap enough, I’d pick it up just to have it. 😉

Basically, I really enjoy RPGs.

Meanwhile, the MMOs I have currently installed are:

  • Age of Conan
  • EVE Online
  • Fallen Earth
  • Guild Wars
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • The Secret World

Age of Wushu and Dungeon & Dragons Online get installed and uninstalled depending, but they are both currently not installed.

The point of all this is that I’ve come to realize that what I like about CRPGs – storyline, character development, self-paced advancement, etc. has bled over into how I play an MMO.

In a single player game, I proceed carefully, build up a certain amount of character/party strength before tackling a tougher challenge. I use quicksaves so that losses/defeats set me back a little but not too much. So when I play an MMO, I also proceed slowly and carefully, minimize risk, avoid PvP, etc. and wind up playing them mostly solo. I group, but I think that wouldn’t amount to more than 20% of time.

In many ways, the original Guild Wars was perfect for me because I could play it like an RPG; it featured henchmen and heroes so I could direct my group just like I would in a single-player game. Yet if I wanted to group I could, or jump into Alliance Battle without loss of items, etc.

One super feature of the CRPG is being able to pause/save and walk away, whereas an MMO is a bit more demanding – ideally I could block a chunk of time off and not get interrupted for that duration, but that is tough for me to arrange.

So, I’m pecking my way through Divinity: Original Sin. The graphics and soundtrack are great so far. I got destroyed in an early fight and decided to restart with a different mix of characters, so I’m working through the first dungeon again:

First Dungeon
First Dungeon

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