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Default General News - Early Game in RPGs @ C4G

July 23rd, 2020, 16:51
C4G explains why the early game is important for RPGs:

Why is The Early Game in RPGs so IMPORTANT!

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July 23rd, 2020, 17:45
Call me masochistic, but I love the early game struggle most. Using every advantage you can get, utilizing what you have. Risk vs Reward. And then the sense of accomplishment when you make it against the odds!
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July 23rd, 2020, 18:29
I always like to say that I enjoy RPGs in this order: Endgame > Earlygame > Midgame.

I like having to make the most with limited resources, abilities, etc inherent to early game. Also because it's the point at which you're learning the game mechanics and exploring each ability and how to get the most out of it. However, that interest and spark often dies once you go through it once, and in consecutive playthroughs it feels more like a chore.

The midgame tends to be a tedium of repetition of the tricks you learned to work best, usually you'll resort to broken mechanics or abilities that hand you free wins with barely a challenge, and harm your own ability to enjoy the game. If you find a hard encounter, you'll go elsewhere until you outgear or outlevel it, and in general the game needs to have a strong story at this point, or it won't stick.

Finally, endgame, which in a lot of RPGs is just an extension of the midgame. However, when well done, this can be used to offer players another way to stretch the limits of how far they can get with a predefined set of rules (ie, endgame can assume that the character is max level, well geared, and has reasonably easy access to most upgrades/potions/etc), and when a game does this in the form of optional boss encounters, areas, dungeons, when you can't outgear, outlevel or cheese those challenges, and it's down to playing cleverly with what you have and it's not a trivial walk in the park, that's when a RPG's combat is at its peak in my opinion.
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July 23rd, 2020, 19:03
I do agree that the early game is key to my enjoyment. I quite like starting armed with a can opener in a basement full of rats. I do like the first hour or so to be very immersive, and give me feeling of the world that tantalises me. I always thought the original Baldur's Gate did that very well, and was part of the key to its success.
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July 23rd, 2020, 19:24
Yup, for me that early game experience is usually the hook. In those first two hours or so, you get an idea of how the combat will function, some story backround/portent, and the overall style. All it usually takes is at least one of those to compel me to the finish, I've only quit two or three games once I've gotten past the first hour point.
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July 23rd, 2020, 19:39
Yeah, if the first couple of hours win me over, that earns a lot of leeway, even if it then bogs down a bit.

That's one of the criticisms I had for the first D:OS. I was struck by the promising engine, but the opening content felt generic as heck.
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July 23rd, 2020, 21:06
Count me as another watcher who agrees that the early game experience is usually the hook for me also. If its lackluster or boring I start to not enjoy playing the game.

So for me : Earlygame> Endgame > Midgame.
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July 24th, 2020, 02:45
Early game is important, but a good early game should not be confused with the character creation (and underlying game systems). Icewind Dale II, while having a decent early game that thrust you into the story headlong, was really unforgiving in terms of character creation. Asking a player to create six D&D 3.5e character was a monumental challenge for most players, especially those unfamiliar with the [then new] ruleset.
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July 24th, 2020, 12:39
I love to find out the mechanics of a new game (thats the reason i cannot play DnD based games anymore, because "everything is the same"), but i would say that what comes after that (midgame?) is more important, because i loose interest in games very fast when i got accustomed. So a big question would be how to keep the interest factor high in midgame, without only relying on the story. Maybe there could be new mechanics coming at you during the midgame too (open up of skilltrees, magic schools or alchemism?).
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July 24th, 2020, 13:50
Some games I love right away like Wasteland 2 and Kingmaker. Other games it takes me a few hours to get into and I'm glad I didn't give up on. Battle Brothers and Temple of Elemental Evil.

Then there are games that I want and pray to be good and fool myself to play for longer than I should. Hello Pillars of Eternity, I gave you $500 for your Kickstarter but I'm not bitter.
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