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Teach me about CRPGs

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Even the Fighter's Guild wants me to do some Personality based stuff now. I guess I thought I'd be able to get a few levels in combat up so I'm not so fragile/weak, but I need to level my other stats haha. Alternatively, I suppose I can go exploring and dungeon diving, but I'm scared of screwing up future quests by clearing out dungeons early. Though that wasn't really a thing in Skyrim, it could be here, for all I know. I feel like I'm being too cautious for some reason - maybe it's because the first few times I booted up the game I got killed several times lol.
 
I wouldn't worry about screwing up future quests, as long as you're keeping obviously unique items and not killing a bunch of people unprovoked.

One piece of advice I do have though is that, if by Fighters' Guild you mean the Fighters' Guild in Balmora, be aware that there are multiple towns with Fighters' Guilds, and none of them have that many quests. This means that if you've done a couple Balmora Fighters' Guild quests already, you're starting to approach mid-game content. So, again, it's not like Skyrim where there's a single Fighters' Guild base and you can easily do all the quests to complete those with a new character. The Fighters' Guild is an organization that exists in multiple cities, and to really progress you have to explore the world, while also doing other quests from other factions.

If you're looking for more early quests, you might see if the Imperial Legion, the Imperial Cult, House Redoran (this is mutually exclusive with two other Houses, but House Redoran is the one most naturally suited to Fighter-type characters--House Telvanni is serious Wizard business that is extremely Wizards Only, although House Hlauu might be an option), or the Tribunal Temple will let you do their early quests. The Tribunal Temple's first quest in particular is a pilgrimage that's a good way to explore the world and learn a lot of basic information about history and theology that will enrich your understanding of the main story, although depending on your build you may or may not have the stats to start it if your Personality and Intelligence are below 30.

If you haven't heard of some of these organizations, explore the world more and you'll naturally run into other stuff to do in the process!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, I thought it was like Skyrim where there's one hub. Or that you'd start the quests in Balmora, then eventually get sent to another town to get higher level quests. Good to know! See, this is why I post in this thread, I wouldn't have really known to google that (or how to google it lol). Thanks! I guess it is pretty easy to take a silt strider to these other towns, so I'll go check out Vivec (or Vivee, the text is just a tad too small on Steam Deck so I'm not sure which it is lol. It's readable though).
 
Or that you'd start the quests in Balmora, then eventually get sent to another town to get higher level quests.

This also does happen sometimes! It's just that it's not always quite as linear as being sent from the low level hub to the advanced hub, but more that there are complex interconnections (and sometimes conflicts/tensions) between local guilds.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
If you follow the "main" story in Balmora, the guy in that town does send you to some other places for some of his quests.

Also also, there is a point where the Thieves' Guild and the Fighters' Guild quest lines come into conflict. IIRC you can't go all the way in both of those guilds, you end up getting locked out of one or the other? I don't remember the specifics, and I don't think it comes up until you've gone decently far into both?
 
All this talk about how Morrowind's world works really makes me nostalgic for it. I cannot emphasize enough how much more I love almost everything about it than Skyrim or Oblivion.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I know it wouldn't demand much in terms of computer power if I ever get even just a cheapo laptop again...but Morrowind seriously needs a new console remaster already. Technology, resolution (for consoles), and UI design have come a long way since the Xbox No Stupid Confusing Subtitle and the game deserves better than some port from over three generations ago.

No guarantees with MS owning Bethesda now, I know, but Morrowind on Switch would be a pretty big deal.
 
This also does happen sometimes! It's just that it's not always quite as linear as being sent from the low level hub to the advanced hub, but more that there are complex interconnections (and sometimes conflicts/tensions) between local guilds.

Check your PMs, estragon!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'm finding it more and more difficult to want to play Morrowind... I've put a little over 12 hours in, and I've not really found my groove. I haven't found any lore that has interested me at all yet (which I'm not super surprised by - while I enjoyed Skyrim, no story/lore there did much for me, either), and finding my fucking way around Vivec is an absolute chore, on top of not being all that interested in quests, etc. It's certainly not a bad game and I'll likely pick away at it, but it hasn't grabbed me yet. Knowing me, I'll come back to it after not playing for a while and it'll finally click and I'll love it, but right now I'd just rather play other things.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
The thing about Elder Scrolls lore is that, while it's 110% bonkers, it's all in rare books and none of it ever becomes relevant to the games proper.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ah, that's a shame. Nothing wrong with it, it just means I probably won't find future quests all that interesting, either...
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
As much as I can, I think? I've met up with that shirtless dude in Balmora and have done a few quests for him, iirc he sent me to Vivec to do a thing but I haven't found whoever I have to talk to yet to advance the main quest (or what I assume is the main quest, anyway). I'd go check, but the questlog is currently like 35 pages long (god, the menus are quite a thing in Morrowind, wow lol), and even the "active quest" submenu thing is pretty long too.
 

ThricebornPhoenix

target for faraway laughter
(he/him)
finding my fucking way around Vivec is an absolute chore, on top of not being all that interested in quests, etc.
Vivec is huge and takes a lot of time to really learn to navigate. Even when you've learned various time-saving travel tricks, it can be a pain sometimes. I played a lot before I finally went and it was still just an overwhelming slog for a while.

Nowadays I don't go to Vivec unless my business there is either plentiful or urgent. It's not so bad when you're working on a quest or two in every canton.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Got back into playing Morrowind myself recently; rolling with a female Argonian nightblade. Ideally I would be playing this on a computer instead of a 360 port of an Xbox OG port, but you work with what you've got.

Main Quest: I just took the free shit from the Blades and went off to do things I want to do. Occasionally I come back to Crassius for some Speechcraft training (LIZARD NEED TALK GOODER) but there's so much other stuff to do.

Thieves Guild: I got Hasabi her diamond from Nalcarya's (Just got to remember to never have diamonds there) but things have stalled out because of complications getting the Nerano manor key. So far trying to steal the key from Mr. Nerano has resulted in either him not having it (RELOAD) or attacking me 'cuz he caught me pickpocketing (ALSO RELOAD). And the other guy is surrounded by people and sucking up to him to get the key would cost more money than I would earn from him, so nope.

Mages Guild: Doing pretty well here! Ajira's stuff was easy enough; could've had the mushrooms and flowers before she asked for 'em if I didn't do an alchemy but I had no problem with going out in the field. And I made sure not to touch the lesser soul gem when snooping through Galbedir's desk.

After helping out enough she directed me to Edwinna and Ranis for further training. She was clear that she did not like Ranis; after talking to Ranis and her telling me to convert or kill a Telvanni and get dues or kill the person who owned them (GODDAMN LADY), I decided to go with Edwinna.

Edwinna has me do Dwemer-related stuff mostly. Stalled out once I had to go to a Dwemer ruin, but made good progress with her for a while.

Then I moved on to Skink-In-Tree's-Shade. So far I just helped a lady safely to the docks for him. Not that I've reported back yet; Wolverine Hall is a horrible maze and I hate it. Not as much as Sadrith Mora, though.

Fighter's Guild: Not even bothering. I know the guild comes in conflict with the Thieves Guild eventually and I'd rather be in good with the place that steals shit than the hit-with-sword one.

Morag Tong: Dudes in Balmora told me I'd have to go to Vivec to join, so while book shopping for Edwinna I took a trip to the Arena and seeked them out. First assassination got reported 'cuz there was no good place to hide, but one writ-showing later I was off the hook from a 1K fine and potential jail time.

Next place I took on was the Saren guy. Shot him dead without getting seen/reported, but the entire manor still aggro'd 'cuz they already knew I was here to kill the guy. So fuck it, I made sure to let these weaponless dummies hit me first then killed 'em all. Their shit is my shit now.

Then I go out to assassinate some guy in a random yurt out in the wild. Took a trip from Sadrith Mora (i.e. The Land of Assholes) to another island to yet another island, then went on an adventure across slaughterfish-infested waters and isles towards a southwestern peninsula on the coast. Met some nice man-hating witches along the way and took their dead man's weapon.

Quickly became apparent that the guy in the hut knew I was there to kill him when he immediately tried to kill me. No witnesses, easy mark.

Other Stuff: I helped some lady in love with a bandit, fought through a couple of caves on the path to Balmora, freed some slaves, helped some guy in debt whose parents had died return stuff he bought after reading a passage from his religious text, that sorta thing.

There's certainly some rough edges in this game (attacks connecting being a roll of the dice, difficulties of being stealthy/leveling Sneak, Mercantile/Speechcraft stuff in general), but I love Morrowind's bizarre alien world far more than the more generic-feeling fantasy stuff of Oblivion and Skyrim and if the MMORPG had an offline mode or I had PS+ time I would be playing Elder Scrolls Online right now just to mess around in its HD-ier Morrowind and Vvardenfell.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I may be getting too good at murdering folks in Morrowind. I'm already up to White Thrall and I haven't had a crime reported since the starter mission.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I have now put loads of hours in to Morrowind. Things significantly improve once you can (mostly) reliably hit things and learn some of the ways to break the game (i.e. Spellcrafting); provoking people with dirt-cheap ludicrous tier Frenzy spells is a great way to kill anyone you don't like without getting a bounty and I also made a cost-efficient levitation spell of 1pt magnitude (with a couple Fortify Speed points to make movement possible) that costs like 7 MP instead of 45.

Finally finished that Thieves Guild quest by just killing the guy who works for Mr. Nerano 'cuz another quest giver wanted me to kill him and all his friends anyway. Thankfully Sugar-Lips Hasabi does not give a fuck about whether or not Savor Trandel dies.

Anyway I've been doing quests for the Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, and Morag Tong and then trying to do a few things in the area as needed. I even did a couple of Blades quests for Caius Cosades, which eventually led to me getting an invitation to a Dwemer ruins expedition...and from there I took a long walk to a tribe I had to meet with to arrange a meeting for one of the Mages Guild leaders, which led to other quests where I tracked a white guar and helped a guy get his hides back from bandits...and that led to me visiting Tel Mora and putting down a corpus stalker in the attic for that lady the guy told me to see for my reward...and then I came back and stole her grandmaster's retort with telekinesis when I started doing the Sadrith Mora thievery quests 'cuz what the hey, I'm in the area.

Morrowind is a really good game.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I found them.
yDwYtRU.jpeg
 
I found them.

I played pretty thoroughly and somehow never ran into the famous Mudcrab merchant! Or maybe I did but accidentally killed them? How visually distinguished are they from a normal Mudcrab?

which I'm not super surprised by - I enjoyed Skyrim, no story/lore there did much for me, either

It's fine not to like either, but the approach to narrative in Morrowind and Skyrim really couldn't be more different. I think that really being into the Skyrim narrative would be a good predictor of disliking Morrowind, if anything!

The thing about Elder Scrolls lore is that, while it's 110% bonkers, it's all in rare books and none of it ever becomes relevant to the games proper.

I think this is extremely not true in the case of Morrowind. The central plot of the game is all about unravelling the secrets of the world through a series of unreliable narratives, gradually moving from the periphery to the center of a divine mystery but never finding a stable and certain truth. It foregrounds all the most interesting aspects of the world that Oblivion and Skyrim push to the background.
 
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Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I thought the most interesting story stuff in Skyrim was all the changes in the state of the world since Oblivion, which are featured in both books and in-game dialogue, but not really the focus of the actual main plot of the game.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I played pretty thoroughly and somehow never ran into the famous Mudcrab merchant! Or maybe I did but accidentally killed them? How visually distinguished are they from a normal Mudcrab?
There's absolutely no difference visually or name-wise. It's just a matter of knowing where to look (one of the islands southeast of Mzahnch) and trying to talk to mudcrabs until you find the one.

Now I have a Mark set up there so I can Recall when I want to unload some expensive heavy shit like a 60lb. sword
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Started playing Pillars of Eternity, and the story/writing/scenario immediately grabbed me. I'm not far in - only explored a few areas, and done what quests I can - but I think I like the battle system, even if encounters go in directions I don't quite understand, yet. I'm playing on the suggested difficulty, which iirc was Easy, but it's not the lowest setting where it's basically story only.

I'm sure there are YT videos about them, but it's kind of wild there's not a lot of FAQs for these types of games (newer ones, anyway). Sign of the times, I suppose.
 
I'm sure there are YT videos about them, but it's kind of wild there's not a lot of FAQs for these types of games (newer ones, anyway). Sign of the times, I suppose.

I also started playing this the day I said that this thread was making me want to start it up again, and I finished this weekend. It was great! Will maybe write more reflections later.

On this specific point: The fandom wiki is pretty thorough for Pillars, but for advice about skills/builds the best way to just a google search and see previous discussions on the subreddit or the official forum. However, you have to be careful about dates! The game changed a lot over patches, so a lot of the most popular youtube videos and the oldest discussion threads are offering advice about a game that doesn't exist anymore. Also, I found a number of undocumented quest resolutions, so even that wiki is not totally comprehensive, but it lists a number of solutions, even if not all of them. It's just a really big game with a lot of options that seems like it never developed a dedicated and large enough fanbase to document everything.

Basically though I think that as far as characters are concerned unless you're playing on the hardest difficulty (Path of the Damned), then basically any build should be viable. I played on Veteran going for whatever seems fun/characterful builds (with definitely a bunch of wasted Talents I never bothered to pay to respec) and especially by the end you start to steamroll everything with basically any party makeup, except for optional challenge bosses where definitely you want to take advantage of how Vancian Casters (Wizard/Cleric/Druid) have a ton of extremely powerful per rest abilities.
 
I think that Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire is the most fun and legible Real Team With Pause has ever been, and it's probably my favorite game in the Infinity Engine style of all time unless the back half really disappoints. It's a bummer that it underperformed in sales and will likely never see a sequel.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
A modded version of Dagger fall running in Unity is free on GOG right now. Might be the best way to play this game now.
 
A modded version of Dagger fall running in Unity is free on GOG right now. Might be the best way to play this game now.

I could be mistaken about what this is, but isn't Daggerfall Unity always free? It's an enthusiast project, and Daggerfall itself is free on Steam.

I think the advantage of this is that it skips the installation steps for you and comes with GOG's selection of pre-installed mods. But if you're comfortable installing it and picking your own mods, you can just do that for free anytime, right?
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
It is. And I think this will remain free on GOG as well. And as you say, its pre-modded and does all the heavy lifting for you, which can be an obstacle for many people. Oh and here is the link.

Edit: And here's a video from a Ytuber who helped make this cut and walks people through the mods in the cut and how to play Daggerfall

 
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FelixSH

(He/Him)
Hey, I feel a craving for Baldurs Gate II. Am I right in assuming, that the Paladin is a good beginner class? That can just hack enemies to pieces, if magic gets too annoying, and who can tank decently, with just a bit of magic to play around?

I mean, it's probably moot, because I can always turn the difficulty down, but I'd just like to at least try everything the game has to offer, in terms of abilities, magic, whatever.

Anything else super essential, that I should know before I start? I mean, not basic stuff like exploring everywhere, just a character who is super awesome and useful or a quest that I REALLY should do immediately, stuff like that. Mostly, I'll just take what I find, and roll with that. I also did play through BG I a few years ago, so I know the basics of the system. Just not in depth, I probably played on very easy, or something.

Maybe use the spoiler tag, so that Kazin doesn't stumble over information they don't want to find for now.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I haven't finished it, but I used a Paladin for the eight-ish hours I played, and they seem quite good. Specifically, an Inquisitor, who can cast Dispel at twice their level, making them incredibly effective mage killers. Apparently all the special kits are better than a standard pally, so you probably can't go wrong no matter what you do, and even the standard is good.
 
A Paladin is great. The biggest argument against it would probably be either that there are (in the Enhanced Edition) two excellent Paladin companions (one Blackguard who you probably remember from the first game and one Inquisitor who is new). So, if you want to use one or both or those, you might want something else for your main character. On the other hand, arguably the most positive resolution for the Inquisitor's companion's personal quest involves them leaving your party.

I agree that Inquisitor is great. In BG2, another option for a Paladin speciality might be Undead Hunter, which grants immunity to one of the most annoying status effects that you'll start to see pretty frequently. Cavalier Paladin is also a great choice. You just lose access to most ranged weapons, and in exchange get a lot of passive bonuses. A Paladin was probably not going to use ranged weapons anyway, so Cavalier is an easy option with no real downside if you don't want the Inquisitor or Undead Hunter's more specialized abilities to deal with mages and the undead, respectively. Basically just don't go vanilla Paladin, because the specialities are so good, and Cavalier barely has any disadvantages for the bonuses it gets.

BG2 is very open, and the first quest after the introductory sequence is basically, "Do side quests to raise money." In general, I think the way to have the most fun is probably to take advantage of that openness. But no matter what you do, you'll almost definitely will need a thief early on to deal with traps and locks. Nalia in the Copper Coronet of Athkatla sums or Jan Jansen in the Government District can do your thief utility stuff for you. Nalia is Thief-->Wizard dual-class so she'll never get any better at thieving, but she'll be good enough for early quests. Jan is an Illusionist/Thief, so he could potentially do this for your whole game. (There's also a Thief companion who is specialized as Bounty Hunter, but they're trap specialists get fewer thief skill points per level. Eventually, you'll want someone else to keep up better with the increasing difficulty of finding traps/locks. If you use the Bounty Hunter, go all in on traps with their thief skill points and have someone else handle basic thief duties.)
 
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