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  1. #1
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    Looking for a good cRPG

    So I've sunk around 120+hours into Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines, and while I still have a few more characters I want to play through that game with I'd like to find something new to spend some time on. So, can anyone recommend me a good cRPG that I should check out? I care nothing at all for graphics or datedness, and obviously I'm alright with a game which is a little buggy or which has design flaws in certain areas so long as it brings something really interesting to the table. I'll also specify that what I'm ideally looking for is something which for the most part aligns to the following cRPG definition (stolen shamelessly from Wizardry on an old thread):

    1 - The game has character creation with a variety of significant choices, i.e. it has the capacity for me to create several characters who are very different in important ways (the specific differences obviously depending on the engine and context).
    2 - The game responds to the character I've created in significant ways, i.e. NPCs react differently based on my character sheet (be that a stat difference, race choice, etc.) along with any of a variety of other possible ways for the world to react to my character.
    3 - The game requires me to act at a higher level than my character acts, i.e. character stats, not my own skill, determine success on any low-level action relative to the context of the game. If I want to, say, swing my sword at some enemy, then the only thing that should determine the outcome of that endeavor should be the stats which govern my character's sword-swinging abilities, not my own skill of aiming a cursor or reaction time. Same should go for out of combat actions, i.e. I tell the game I want to pick a lock, but my character's skill determines how well that goes.

    I am not interested in starting a debate over this definition of cRPG - I'm specifying what sort of game I would be interested in playing, not trying to make the case one way or the other about the validity of this definition. Also, I am willing to compromise on the third part of that definition in exchange for the rest of the game being good. I don't care a whole lot about how good the combat is, so long as it doesn't continually bog me down in long and boring fights, though good combat is a plus.

    So, any ideas? I've not played many of the "classics" I keep hearing about, so fire away with anything you can think of from any era.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Played Arcanum? Despite its wonkiness it's very fantastic. The only big downside is that the first time you play through it you had better just put all the points you can into speechcraft and personality or you won't get to see all the cool stuffs or enjoy having lots of NPC companions. =\ But there is lots of room for playing it again later =) and people in the world respond (at least a little bit) differently to you based on things like your race and beauty, in addition to dialog choices.
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  3. #3
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    I'd been looking at Arcanum, since it's another Troika title. I may pick that up, it's about $6 on GOG last I checked.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Well the obvious Baldur's Gate 1 & 2. Dragon Age: Origins was very nice too, also enjoyed the Awakenings expansion.
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  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    dragon age: origins was the last crpg i got sucked into, head over all the heeels.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    I'll go and say Fallout. 2 if you want but try the first one if you want to know the basics of it. The first one is a bit more (depending on your playstyle) directed compared to the second, though you can wander around and do just about anything you like there. Just... be careful with the scorpions if you're alone and still carrying a peashooter.

    Wizardry VI-VIII, if you like things very, very unforgiving.
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I'll add to the voices suggesting Dragon Age: Origins if you haven't tried it. It fits most of your requirements, and while it has all of Bioware's surprisingly traditional flaws it is a wonderfully well polished game and quite a damn good CRPG. The one thing that doesn't fit is that the world doesn't necessarily respond to your stats. How "silver-tongued" you are (an set of linear upgrades that add a persuasion bonus on top of the applicable skill) will change the way people respond to your dialog and some of your options, but beyond that your stats have little effect on world response. Which origin you pick, however, dramatically alters people's reactions to you and the plot of the game. Very similar things happen, but the character motivations (both of you and various NPCs) involved in those events and the interconnectedness of events changes based on your origin story.
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Neverwinter Nights 2 and it's expansions.
    The temple of Elemental Evil boasts that it does exactly what you described, but I have not played it yet.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Temple of Elemental Evil is a lot of fun but very broken. Community patches alleviate some of that, but as you're playing Vampire, you should be familiar with the concept of fan-based patches already.

    The Age of Decadence demo should fit your bill very nicely. There's a billions of replay values for each of the eight classes alone, and each of them gets their own storylines too.
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  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node agentorange's Avatar
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    Darklands
    Realms of Arkania. This one has the most, and most varied skills, and places more importance on them, than any other cRPG I've played.

    And here is a retrospective on Darklands by Josh Sawyer, if you want to know more about it.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node apricotsoup's Avatar
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    I think skyrim fits all those categories if you've not played yet. Though the NPC's acting different may not be more than dialogue as mostly I remember my race coming up in passing comments a lot.

    Probably a good one to mod to your fitting as well.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I tried to get into NWN 2. I haven't tried the expansions yet (I have them, though), but the main campaign just still hadn't gripped me or even really started the plot by way too far into gameplay for me to trust it going forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by apricotsoup View Post
    I think skyrim fits all those categories if you've not played yet. Though the NPC's acting different may not be more than dialogue as mostly I remember my race coming up in passing comments a lot.

    Probably a good one to mod to your fitting as well.
    Not so much the removing player skill one, though.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I tried to get into NWN 2. I haven't tried the expansions yet (I have them, though), but the main campaign just still hadn't gripped me or even really started the plot by way too far into gameplay for me to trust it going forward.
    NWN2 gets interesting quite late into the game. Very slow start on that one. It does get significantly better though if you just manage to grind through the first third of it.
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  14. #14
    Network Hub roryok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricotsoup View Post
    I think skyrim fits all those categories if you've not played yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    ... Not so much the removing player skill one, though.
    I'd say go back to morrowind if you don't care about graphics. It's often considered better than the follow ups. The combat is based on chance and skill numbers, although I find it quite frustrating compared to later games where player skill actually comes into it more.

    Another choice would be to go yet further back and try your hand at Daggerfall, which I have very fond memories of.

  15. #15
    Activated Node Themadcow's Avatar
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    Probably Temple of Elemental Evil (patched) I guess. Wizardry 6 or 7 are great but of the two I prefer 6 - it's less 'mental' hard from the start and I actually prefer the more dungeon-like environments to the pseudo outdoors stuff in 7. For modern stuff then I'd echo the recommendations of Dragon Age: Origins while steering massively clear of DA2.

    You might want to browse rpgcodex.net forums as, well, it's the most hardcore crpg community you'll find and (generally) they love Bloodlines over there.

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    Mask of the Betrayer (NWN2 expansion) is far superior to the original campaign. Planescape: Torment, obviously. Baldur's Gate is great, but not a huge variation between play-throughs/character choice. BG2 is better in that respect with different 'stronghold' quests for different classes, as well as greater variation in classes/companions. TES2: Daggerfall is the best of the elderscrolls in terms of character creation - there's not any world reaction as such, but the scope for customisation is huge and it affects how you fight the game at least. It's also free from Bethsoft.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    I second the notion for Arcanum, it fits your criteria perfectly. I can't think of any other RPG with so many possibilities to customize your character. You can play a half-orc gunslinger thief with an affinity for technology or a dwarven diplomatic mage or a halfling inventor with an army of robot minions or a crazy elf who solves all his problems with liberal use of grenades. It's one of those games where you can spend hours just figuring out what you actually want to build. Best of all, those choices matter in the long run. Your gender/race/stats have a significant effect people's reaction towards you and affect quite a few quests. Plus, as expected from a Troika title, the writing is fantastic.

    However, also as expected from a Troika title, it's notoriously buggy. If you're planning on buying it, definitely download the recommended mods and patches, as they lead to a much smoother experience and save you a lot of potential headaches.

    The other suggestions in this thread are worth a look as well. Fallout 1 and 2 are worthy candidates. NwN 2: Mask of the Betrayer is perhaps the best story ever told in a game, but the original campaign can be a bit of a drag sometimes. Then again, if you enjoy Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, you're probably accustomed to occasional annoyances.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritashi View Post
    1 - The game has character creation with a variety of significant choices, i.e. it has the capacity for me to create several characters who are very different in important ways (the specific differences obviously depending on the engine and context).
    2 - The game responds to the character I've created in significant ways, i.e. NPCs react differently based on my character sheet (be that a stat difference, race choice, etc.) along with any of a variety of other possible ways for the world to react to my character.
    3 - The game requires me to act at a higher level than my character acts, i.e. character stats, not my own skill, determine success on any low-level action relative to the context of the game. If I want to, say, swing my sword at some enemy, then the only thing that should determine the outcome of that endeavor should be the stats which govern my character's sword-swinging abilities, not my own skill of aiming a cursor or reaction time. Same should go for out of combat actions, i.e. I tell the game I want to pick a lock, but my character's skill determines how well that goes.
    Well that's easy. There are only four games that fulfill these criteria: Fallout, Fallout 2, Torment and Arcanum.
    Last edited by Mohorovicic; 21-06-2012 at 04:25 PM.

  19. #19
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    I've actually played and enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, and played but not really enjoyed Skyrim. I may check out some of the older Elder Scrolls games, since I've heard those were a bit better in certain regards. I'll definitely be checking out Arcanum, since it's another Troika game, as well as a few other recommendations people have made (Darklands seems really interesting as well). Thanks to everyone! I'd been looking over a huge list of classic RPGs, along with a couple of more modern ones, and you guys have helped me narrow that list down a bit. Cheers!

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    By the way... Avernum looks like it's going to be in the next Be Mine bundle, which will be releasing within the next few weeks... in case you don't have it already. ;P Just a thought.

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