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The story of my life and how Baldur's Gate ruined JRPGs for me.

VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
So once upon a time I loved JRPGs and didn't even know there was a divide between "WRPGs" and "JRPGs".

I played through many a Final Fantasy game, Tales series, Fire Emblem, and other such JRPGs.
I dabbled into Kotor and Dragon age: Origins and enjoyed them but it wasn't until Baldur's Gate when I crossed the point of no return (no backward glances, our games of make believe are at an end!. . .oh wait hehe).

I had played Baldur's Gate as a child when my brother had it but I also couldn't read back then and spent ages just exploring Candlekeep and sometimes I'd stumble into talking to Gorion and watching him get murdered and having no idea what was going on lol.

Years later I see BG:EE I'm like, "Oh! I remember this! Wait, it's a D&D game? Oh crap I love Dungeons and Dragons!"

I had just started playing D&D in 2011 in a 3.5 game. I played 3.5, Pathfinder, and 5e mostly so I had no knowledge of 2e rules.

So I buy BG:EE do some research and install a no class/race restriction mod. I make an Elf Wizard (Necromancer) based on my very first D&D character in 3.5, a Drow Necromancer named Val'myr Zaur.

I mess around for a few days, playing for 30 mins at a time. Then I remember one day just binging on the game and getting sucked into the narrative and characters. I fell in love with the pause system and kept going. I met Alora and absolutely fell in love with her character. I RPed my character and her having a relationship despite no one actually existing lol.

I then finally beat Sarevok. I felt SO HYPE. I HAD to get the second one. . . but BG2:EE wasn't released.

So I went and bought the original BG2. I made a new char, based on the old one. I kept re-rolling until I got the same stats. I didn't even know the stat tomes existed on my first run of BG:EE so it wasn't too hard. I also hard very sub-par stats because I thought they worked like 3rd edition.

I missed Alora but found a new love, Aerie. I also loved Mazzy but unfortunately can't romance her T_T

I ventured through the game, defeating Irenicus and feeling even more hype!

Eventually BG2:EE came out and I instantly picked it up and played the whole thing as a Blackguard from start to the beginning of TOB. I've neve finish TOB :(

Now a delightful game called Bravely Default had come out on the 3ds. It's like the old Final Fantasy games I loved so much! I picked it up and played through 30 hours or so but it just felt so. . .meh. I didn't know what it was for the longest time. Then it struck me. I felt so invested in Baldur's Gate because I was my character. I wasn't playing a character.

The reason I fell in love with D&D was because I was my character.

I can still play things like Fire Emblem: Awakening where you make the protagonist but pre-generated characters in rpgs just don't work for me anymore :(

I feel bad because I try to go back and play things like FF4 and I just can't.

I played Kotor and DA:O again and discovered that beauty of being your character. I played Morrowind for the first time and had the same feeling.

I go and play FF12 (which is my favorite of the numbered series) and I just feel so. . .detached. I feel bad because my best friend is a JRPG fanatic like I used to be. We're now on opposite sides where he hates making characters and I hate playing pre-generated ones.

Oh Baldur's Gate! You might be my most favorite game series of all time but you ruined an entire genre for me XD

I'm wondering, has anyone else had similar feels? I'd also like to say I'm not trying to start a WRPG vs JRPG debate >_> I see the value of both and just now prefer WRPGs in general.

I also posted this in off topic as it's of Baldur's Gate but not directly about it. If I'm posting this in the wrong place then just say :3

TL;DR version.

Baldur's Gate made me realize being myself in a video game is way more fun and emotionally investing for me than playing a pre-generated character like in most JRPGs. Anyone else feel mah feels?

lolienChildofBhaal599PibaroRavenslightFinneousPJjackjackCrevsDaakTeflonkcwiseJuliusBorisovsarevok57MoradinMetallomanShapiroKeatsDarkMageMathsorcererArctodusDJKajuru
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Comments

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Well, I've never really liked JRPGs, to be honest. But I think having a character forced on you, and not being able to create your own, is a big part of it; I don't really like The Witcher either, and I'm not sure I'd call that a JRPG.

    Also, for some reason, I tend to not like the character I'm forced to play. If I don't like the character, I can't become attached to him/her, and find myself not wanting to play the game because I dont' care what happens. The thing about FPS games is that your character often doesn't talk, meaning I can visualise whatever voice/look I want, but when your character does talk and it's in a voice that you hate the sound of, you can't do anything about it.

    Of course, the disadvantage with being able to create your own character is that the story has to accomodate a wider variety of backgrounds/play styles (hence why you almost never have living parents but must be the foster child of somebody).

    There are other reasons, though, why I don't play JRPGs; I don't generally like the graphics, as I'm much more of a fan of realistic looking pseudo-medieval style art, and have never, ever, been into anime/manga (nothing wrong with those who do like it, it's just not my cup of tea). I also tend to not like the combat systems, and prefer it when your improved prowess is reflected in higher to-hit chances or more attacks.

    lolienRavenslightTeflonkcwise
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    Vallmyr said:

    I had played Baldur's Gate as a child when my brother had it but I also couldn't read back then and spent ages just exploring Candlekeep and sometimes I'd stumble into talking to Gorion and watching him get murdered and having no idea what was going on lol.

    Aaaah that's so cute! :blush:

    On topic: I also love creating and roleplaying my own characters.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovlolienRavenslight
  • OurQuestIsVainOurQuestIsVain Member Posts: 201
    What is the mod that you were using to remove class/race restrictions? Was it just EEKeeper?

    kcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383

    image

    /thread.

    Okay, okay, I'll evaluate a little more than that, I guess... *eyeroll*

    See, I've always loved JRPGs for the same reasons I love reading books.

    Because that's what a JRPG is: it's a living book.

    Think about it. When you first open up those pages, you step into another person's shoes and follow their story from start to finish. The story is scripted and pre-determined, and there is nothing that you, the reader, can do to change it (unless you're reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book).

    It's the same idea when you press Start on a JRPG loading screen. You step into the shoes of another character and follow his or her story. Except there's fighting and gorgeous music and lovely voice-acting and pretty cut-scenes and crafting systems and a bajillion other things.

    When I pick up a JRPG, I don't want to play as myself. I want step into another person's shoes and see their world through their eyes. I want to watch the story unfold just like I would watch a movie or a play or a book or a comic. And so I don't see any reason why JRPGs in particular get so much flack for doing this thing that countless other forms of media do on a regular basis.

    All that being said, I love WRPGs like Baldur's Gate too. Because there is something so satisfying about being able to make your own character (not always a mirror of yourself, but a person who came from your own heart!) go through the story and carve your own path.

    But do I think WRPGs are naturally better in this regard? No. Not always. Skyrim's a big example of how being able to make your own character doesn't always mean a rewarding narrative experience. The plot's as generic and plain as chicken noodle soup, and it has to be that way because who knows what kind of crazy characters all these wild players will concoct in character creation? It needs a universal plot that can encompass a lot of characters, but as consequence, its story won't be as tightly-knit or woven in the game as a JRPG's, which already has an established protagonist with thoughts and feelings of his or her own that the writers can develop throughout the narrative.

    In the end, they're just different story-telling styles, and both of them come with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. So I like both. :)

    I definitely agree with you on this.
    I see the value in the concept of such things. I mean I definitely enjoyed the stories of FF4 and FF12 way more than the actual game itself and that probably contributes why I have difficulties playing them now. I already know the story; therefore the main aspect of why I play those types of games is lessened.


    Also the mod is indeed BG2 Tweaks :D
    CrevsDaak said:


    What is the mod that you were using to remove class/race restrictions? Was it just EEKeeper?

    Probably BG2 Tweaks from G3.

    NonnahswriterlolienRavenslightCrevsDaak
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    bengoshi said:

    Everytime I read that something as big as someone's life has been changed by BG, I smile. I agree with it wholeheartedly.

    Me too, actually!! It was through playing Baldur's Gate that I discovered D&D in the first place, which opened up a side to me that I never knew existed. Until then, I thought I was just an average guy who liked playing computer games...in fact, I need to do this properly. Time for the emotional story... (cue the Coldplay music...)

    I used to try to be "one of the lads", and it didn't work, and I would often get miserable and depressed because I was trying to be something I wasn't. So my Dad once bought Baldur's Gate, and I wasn't particularly interested at first, but then I decided to try it out just for fun, and I thought "wow, this is actually quite good! I'm engaged in this new world that has been created for me to experience, and all of these characters whom I can interact with!" (except I was 18 at the time, raised in Birmingham, and therefore not quite as eloquent as that!).

    So for the next few years, I was all "hmm, yeah...roleplaying games. They're fine and all that, but it's a bit geeky, so better not let anybody know that I play them." This was back in 1998-9, when the internet was in its infancy (we're talking AOL, dial-up modems, and connection charges!), about a year or two before Baldur's Gate 2 came out, and I asked for it for my birthday. That's when I discovered the Planetbaldursgate Forum, and realised that there was a whole community out there that I previously didn't know existed! I also realised that, far from being just a silly childhood fad that I'd simply missed out on, multi-user dungeons were very much alive and...well, alive. In the corner of some dingy out-of-the-way street somewhere in town (surely that stuff can't be sharing a high street with Gap, River Island, and JD Sports!!! :O ).

    Now I'm all "Screw you! I'm a geek, and proud of it! You normals go watch Eastenders and Match of the Day, and listen to your RnB or whatever it is you pollute your minds with. None of that rubbish for me, thanks!" XD Okay I don't quite say that, but I do no longer feel the need to hide the fact that I'm a geek. ;)

    Okay, that's it. Enough of the Coldplay already!!!

    Oh, and for the record, I hate Coldplay!!! I'm just parodying the whole "emotional story" thing with that keyboard intro...you know, the one that goes "dadadada dun, dadadada dun, dadadada dun!". :P

    RavenslightlolienJuliusBorisov
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Vallmyr said:


    Warrior battles are positioning and keeping your backline safe with archers just raining hell from on high!

    Finally, somebody else who gets that tactics is about positioning and preparing the battlefield, not just about resource management of your special attacks! :D This is the biggest complaint I hear from the "fighters are boring to play!" crowd, who seem to believe that 'tactics' is mainly about how and when you deploy your once-per-battle and one-per-day attacks.

    "Stamina reserves" - seriously, that's a load of rubbish. Either you have stamina or you don't. What swordsman does a really amazing attack, then goes "oh, that tired me out too much! I must now use an inferior attack for the rest of the battle!". Real fighting does not work that way; the reason people don't always attempt really good attacks is because they tend to be really risky and leave you open, or because you know that when you pull it off once, you won't be able to trick your opponent with it again. If you have a really good attack that works every time, you can do it every time, and if an attack tires you out so much that you can't do it more than once in a 5 minute bout, you're doing it wrong.

    Honestly, if fighters are too boring for you (not you personally...the people who make these complaints) and you need a resource management mechanic to make them interesting, don't play a fighter! I don't play a mage and then complain that they're boring because I have to keep using spells and can't just hit things.

    Sorry for the (slightly OT) rant but this is a pet hate of mine, so it's good to see somebody else recognise that tactics != resource management. Back to the topic! :)

    RavenslightVallmyrCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • elementelement Member Posts: 833
    edited February 2015
    I dunno, I like both but ive never thought of jrpgs as rpgs in the same way, but as a totally seprate genre.
    SionIV said:

    I enjoy both JRPG and WRPG. I even have two JRPG in my top 10 best games, Final Fantasy 9 .

    awesome I love ff9 though I rarely come across others that hold it in similar regard

    SionIVArctodus
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    element said:

    I dunno, I like both but ive never thought of jrpgs as rpgs in the same way, but as a totally seprate genre.

    SionIV said:

    I enjoy both JRPG and WRPG. I even have two JRPG in my top 10 best games, Final Fantasy 9 .

    awesome I love ff9 though I rarely come across others that hold it in similar regard

    It's by far my favorite Final Fantasy game, on second place I'll put Final Fantasy X because of the gameplay. There is something about the old school touch to Final Fantasy 9, all the unique characters, different races, lovely colorful backgrounds and you really travel across the whole world going from the highest icy tops of a mountain, down to the deepest caves, and even other worlds.

    I would give Final Fantasy 9 a 10/10 score without a doubt.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    bengoshi said:

    Everytime I read that something as big as someone's life has been changed by BG, I smile. I agree with it wholeheartedly.

    BG:ToSC wolf island gave me nightmares for a while. Is that life changing? *-) n.n'

    VallmyrCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
    edited February 2015
    OH!

    You just reminded me.

    @typo_tilly your thread of Tilly Wigglebottom was one of the first threads I read through on the site and actually was part of the inspiration for one of my favorite character's I've played. It was an adorable gnome Illusionist/Thief girl, Piro Faeren.

    I always meant to thank you for indirectly helping me come up with the character n_n

    Edit: Also, you're one of my favorite people on the forums along with @bengoshi and @Aquadrizzt.

    I'm sure if I knew you IRL I'd totally have a crush on you if your absolute adorableness here on the forums is an indication of your IRL personality :3

    In hindsight that sounds weird. >_> <_<

    ANYWAY BACK TO THE DISCUSSION AT HAND!

    <blockquote class="UserQuote">
    SionIV said:

    element said:

    I dunno, I like both but ive never thought of jrpgs as rpgs in the same way, but as a totally seprate genre.

    SionIV said:

    I enjoy both JRPG and WRPG. I even have two JRPG in my top 10 best games, Final Fantasy 9 .

    awesome I love ff9 though I rarely come across others that hold it in similar regard

    It's by far my favorite Final Fantasy game, on second place I'll put Final Fantasy X because of the gameplay. There is something about the old school touch to Final Fantasy 9, all the unique characters, different races, lovely colorful backgrounds and you really travel across the whole world going from the highest icy tops of a mountain, down to the deepest caves, and even other worlds.

    I would give Final Fantasy 9 a 10/10 score without a doubt.


    My best friend also recommends FF9 hardcore. It's his favorite game in all of ever.

    I've played the opening bit until you escape with Dagger and crash in the forest-place-thing but not much past that.

    I really liked Final Fantasy Tactics as my favorite JRPG and is one of the few I could play for infinity and never get tired of it.

    Despite my dislike of traditional turn based combat; is FF9 good enough beyond that to be worth playing for me?

    Also, some spoilers for bravely default below about why I stopped playing it.

    Note, I played 40+ hours of the recent Bravely Default game before I gave up from the actual gameplay being super dull and the repeating of that boss rush OVER AND OVER AGAIN really just smote out any interest I had in the game >_>



    Also, I've edited this thing like 20 times now to fix quotes, spoilers, and add stuff. /blech.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
    Squire said:

    Vallmyr said:


    Warrior battles are positioning and keeping your backline safe with archers just raining hell from on high!

    Finally, somebody else who gets that tactics is about positioning and preparing the battlefield, not just about resource management of your special attacks! :D This is the biggest complaint I hear from the "fighters are boring to play!" crowd, who seem to believe that 'tactics' is mainly about how and when you deploy your once-per-battle and one-per-day attacks.

    "Stamina reserves" - seriously, that's a load of rubbish. Either you have stamina or you don't. What swordsman does a really amazing attack, then goes "oh, that tired me out too much! I must now use an inferior attack for the rest of the battle!". Real fighting does not work that way; the reason people don't always attempt really good attacks is because they tend to be really risky and leave you open, or because you know that when you pull it off once, you won't be able to trick your opponent with it again. If you have a really good attack that works every time, you can do it every time, and if an attack tires you out so much that you can't do it more than once in a 5 minute bout, you're doing it wrong.

    Honestly, if fighters are too boring for you (not you personally...the people who make these complaints) and you need a resource management mechanic to make them interesting, don't play a fighter! I don't play a mage and then complain that they're boring because I have to keep using spells and can't just hit things.

    Sorry for the (slightly OT) rant but this is a pet hate of mine, so it's good to see somebody else recognise that tactics != resource management. Back to the topic! :)
    I love resource management but that doesn't mean EVERY CLASS needs it >_>

    I have a heavy love/hate relationship with Dragon Age: Inquisition because I want to play it like an SRPG but it wants me to play it as an ARPG with crappy resource mechanics.

    >_>

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Vallmyr said:

    OH!

    You just reminded me.

    @typo_tilly your thread of Tilly Wigglebottom was one of the first threads I read through on the site and actually was part of the inspiration for one of my favorite character's I've played. It was an adorable gnome Illusionist/Thief girl, Piro Faeren.

    I always meant to thank you for indirectly helping me come up with the character n_n

    Edit: Also, you're one of my favorite people on the forums along with @bengoshi and @Aquadrizzt.

    I'm sure if I knew you IRL I'd totally have a crush on you if your absolute adorableness here on the forums is an indication of your IRL personality :3

    In hindsight that sounds weird. >_>

    Aww I'm glad. :3 And nice to meet you! X3

    Tilly Wigglebottom petered out (although I will return to the underpowered mage/cleric). I hope Piro Faeren got a bit further. :D

    Being quirky online is nice. ^w^ To be quirky in person would be brave. c: I'm not quite there yet. n_n'

    CrevsDaakVallmyrjackjackJuliusBorisov
  • hisplshispls Member Posts: 166
    I found KoToR 1 and 2 about as close to BG style role play as ever came on a console system. They were both excellent. I'm also a sucker for FF games for some reason even though they hold almost zero replay value (apart from 7)

    CrevsDaak
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383

    Vallmyr said:

    OH!

    You just reminded me.

    @typo_tilly your thread of Tilly Wigglebottom was one of the first threads I read through on the site and actually was part of the inspiration for one of my favorite character's I've played. It was an adorable gnome Illusionist/Thief girl, Piro Faeren.

    I always meant to thank you for indirectly helping me come up with the character n_n

    Edit: Also, you're one of my favorite people on the forums along with @bengoshi and @Aquadrizzt.

    I'm sure if I knew you IRL I'd totally have a crush on you if your absolute adorableness here on the forums is an indication of your IRL personality :3

    In hindsight that sounds weird. >_>

    Aww I'm glad. :3 And nice to meet you! X3

    Tilly Wigglebottom petered out (although I will return to the underpowered mage/cleric). I hope Piro Faeren got a bit further. :D

    Being quirky online is nice. ^w^ To be quirky in person would be brave. c: I'm not quite there yet. n_n'
    Funny thing about Piro is her stats were crazy high.

    I was just derping and when I hit stats the very first roll was a 96. I'd never naturally rolled a 96, let alone my very first roll!

    She's about midway through BG1, I like BG1 more than BG2 so I'm taking my time and just enjoying things n_n.

    I love super cutesy characters/people. Alora, as I've stated in other threads, is my fav npc and one of the reasons why I love my current significant other IRL is she's like a slightly taller Alora but with a pink strip in her hair rather than full pink hair.
    hispls said:

    I found KoToR 1 and 2 about as close to BG style role play as ever came on a console system. They were both excellent. I'm also a sucker for FF games for some reason even though they hold almost zero replay value (apart from 7)


    Also, I never finished Kotor 2 >_>

    I loved Kotor 1 and I've owned Kotor 2 but never got around to playing it.

    Maybe I should put Inquisition on hold and go back and play it.

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,783
    Vallmyr said:



    Edit: Also, you're one of my favorite people on the forums along with @bengoshi and @Aquadrizzt.

    Look, Boo - everyone knows now! See how his fame spreads like a scented cloud from your furry back-side when you have had one too many crackers!

    lolienCrevsDaak
  • ShapiroKeatsDarkMageShapiroKeatsDarkMage Member Posts: 2,425
    edited January 2016
    The only JRPGs i really enjoyed were FF 4, 6, the Mother trilogy and Chrono Trigger. I find the characters and tropes in most JRPGs to be quite obnoxious(doesn't help that i watched Spoony's review of FF 8, 10 and 13). Plus the lack of role-playing.

  • EinhardtEinhardt Member Posts: 53
    Baldur's Gate also ruined JRPGs for me but not because of the premade characters. It's because you have zero choice in JRPGs. Most JRPGs also don't have the element of exploration except when you're dungeon-crawling. Quests can't be done in multiple ways, etc. There are some JRPGs I still enjoy like Dragon's Dogma but this is very rare.

    Vallmyr
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    edited January 2017
    I would say I like both, but I gotta add mods for JRPGs now to enjoy them, because they're generally way, way, way too easy. Even more so than WRPGs. FFs in particular are guilty of that. Even though I now only play BG with SCS, vanilla BG is nowhere near as easy as vanilla FFs, where they're more like "press A, heal once in a while with one of your 99 Full Heal potions and you'll win".

    I might be a little biased here, because I only played JRPGs during the golden era of the SNES and PS1. I have very fond memories of this era : for a young teenage boy, the grandeur of FF4 was simply mind-blowing. It was trully epic and "opera-like". However, I'm not blinded by the nostalgia : games were too easy then and must be jacked-up a little to be really enjoyable now.

    Post edited by Arctodus on
    FinneousPJ
  • EinhardtEinhardt Member Posts: 53
    edited January 2017
    Arctodus said:

    I would say I like both, but I gotta add mods for JRPGs now to enjoy them, because they're generally way, way, way too easy.

    I think some (many) JRPGs aren't very easy. For example Dragon Quest, or Shin Megami Tensei. Have you tried them yet?
    Arctodus said:

    FFs in particular are guilty of that. Even though I now only play BG with SCS, vanilla BG is nowhere near as easy as vanilla FFs, where they're more like "press A, heal once in a while with one of your 99 Full Heal potions and you'll win".

    FFs are always too easy. Looks like they don't even really try to kill the PCs. It's more like a cinematic experience than a videogaming experience. You're basically scripted to win.

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