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February 7th, 2013, 21:18
In the oldest CRPGs (Wizardry 1-5, Bard's Tale games and Might&Magic 1-2) too much was left to chance and luck. No matter how good a player you were, in the early stages of the game you risked encountering something you just couldn't beat. For the Bard's Tale games this was not the end of the game, though, since you could recruit new characters from the Adventurer's Guild to resurrect your old party. I belive the early Wizardries had a similar system.
Bard's Tale became rather easy after you had cleared the first dungeon, but then it was back to the same problem with too much left to chance and luck on the last few levels. If you faced a large enough number of certain enemies you were toast before you could do anything, so grinding (hi, 4x99 Berserkers!) was useful.

But even this kind of design had its charm, since when you did survive the early levels and proceeded to win the game, victory felt that much sweeter.
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