Thursday, 10 December 2015

What a Con: Weapons in Fantasy Role Playing Games

As a fantasy reader I feel a hole in my life when there are no good fantasy books to read and a fantasy RPG game can sometimes fill that void. I have played a few games but wouldn't say I am an avid fan. My favourite RPG is the original Diablo. With all the better graphics, Diablo 3 is a fantastic game on the eye, but has the game itself suffered?

For me, finding the holy-Grail of weapons is a big driver and I love playing an archer. Bows seem really useful at range and I loved some of the flame spells in the original and also in Diablo 2. By Diablo 3 though the weapons seem almost pointless as the characters seem indestructible.

What frustrated me most of all was playing Diablo 2 and at the very end of the game, having killed Baal, I was finally given a bow which was absolutely ideal. It gave +3 to all archer skills and did some hefty damage. But why was this at the end of the game when killing monsters was so difficult throughout? I spent ages on some of the Chiefs, being killed and having to go around the battlefield again and again. What was it though that kept me searching for those elusive weapons? It wasn't the same as a Barbarian or other class. Not for me at least. I would turn over every lose bolder, smash every vase and traipse around every level searching.

So what was it about the original Diablo game that was superior to the other two games? I liked being able to drop weapons in the market and use combinations of weapons to read spells, by increasing my spell casting ability, albeit briefly. The weapons also seemed more important the way they looked and the way they were named. By Diablo 3, weapons were more plentiful but the way they were presented was not the same, as a card of facts. By Diablo 3, money and buying weapons seemed pointless as the weapons in the armoury were always inferior by far and training the Artisan only made the weapons out of reach for my level. I completed an entire game without buying or crafting anything. There just seemed no need. Did I miss something?

Perhaps I will search for the ideal fantasy game in the same way I search for weapons. Any suggestions, let me now. I have tried Guild Wars, Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and many more and that elusive hunt for magical weapons continues.

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