Hello fellow forumers!
I have been playing a new CRPG called Pathfinder: Kingmaker extensively recently, and I am really liking it, I spent a lot of time making builds and testing characters and roleplaying them on top of it. It's definitely a game that needs lots of work but I think it's really enjoyable and does things right.
The game get's lots of criticism and people are asking for features in it. This is where the topic comes in. One of the features people are asking for is : Respecialization - at any point in the game, that can change even your class.
Topic: Respec in CRPGs - Am I alone?
(Clarification: The topic is about FULL respecialization that allows you to change your characters Attributes and even Class later on in the game, any time.)
I've been discussing this request for respecialization with many people, and I quickly recieved lots of feedback that I am a minority in not wanting somthing like that in the game, especially if it's optional.
As you probably have guessed I am against any feature like this in heavy RPGs - I'll get to my own reasons below - but what surprised me more is that most of my reasons were recieved as "unreasonable" and silly to most of the people I've discussed it with.
So here I am, as a last effort, I'd like to share my thoughts and listen to what you all have to say about it aswell, so that I can change my view perhaps on the matter.
So as I have mentioned I am greatly against anything like that, as I think it overall just degrades the game in different aspects and encourages people to play in a way that these games were probably not designed for. ( I understand this is thin-ice I am walking here, everyone should play how they enjoy games most importantly, but I think there is a point where some changes greatly affect an experience for a game. )
Game Design: From development point of view first of all I think, allowing the player to respecialize at any point puts a great focus on the fact that not every part of the game has to be properly balanced and designed as the game allows players to change their build at any point. This specifically comes to my mind in situations like, not every class or character being able to survive the lower levels of the game or specific difficulty even. With respec this is easily bypassed by just starting as a EASIERCLASSNAME and surviving the early sequence to later respecialize into HARDERCLASSNAME that is significantly stronger when it reaches higher level, such as Wizards. This brings me immediately to the next point that is :
The Journey: I think it is very important in RPGs, just like in real life, the journey to an achievement is just as important if not more important than the achievement itself. If you can just avoid the hard part of a path, to just walk back onto it when it fruits - removes the importance of the journey that is fighting for becoming strong. I personally think it also degrades the accomplishment itself, as it becomes significantly easier to reach that point after that. While you can still say that you have reached that feat fair and square, it still leaves a sour taste behind that, it's way easier now to achieve that.
Builds/Guides: This is a short and not so important part - it's more so for forums and communities. By adding a feature such as respecialization into the game, it also makes it "mainstream" in a way and more builds/guides will include respecialization in it, this way removing lots of theorycrafting and the joy of actually making builds that bypass the difficulty of not being able to respecialize. Less and less builds will bother focusing on not using respec, since the game allows you to do it way easier now. Bringing up issues with your builds will just prompt answers as "Well just play as EASIERCLASSNAME and respec into HARDERCLASSNAME later!". My personal opinion for this in CRPGs: If it can't level from 1-X level without respec, I just feel it's not as enjoyable.
Roleplaying: This is an important part I think. I like to roleplay and min-max all the time, moreso I usually combine the two. Make a good story, follow really cool restrictions to my characters lore and min-max and powergame that. But somehow respecialization is just a complete immersion break, you can just delete everything your character has been and make up a completely new identity, it's just everything that is against roleplaying I think. If I want a new class, I multi-class into it and accept the consiquences and penalties that come with it. If I have a new idea, I make a new identity and a new character for it. Each character is a unique journey. These are RPGs afterall.
Mentality: I think from all my points this is probably the most subjective part. For me respecialization in games is killing the "effort" part of games, where if you come up with a good idea you have to still work for it to reach it. Your mistakes matter and thus future attempts will make you more cautious and research more each part of your builds and playthrough. Having to fully consider your whole playthroughs for each character makes you respect the whole content in the game aswell instead of just focusing on later parts where the builds matter more. I consider full respecialization as a cheat really that is completely accepted now by the gaming community, but I understand that's just how it all evolved, so I am trying to train myself to accept it more aswell.
Why does this all matter to me? I just feel more and more features are added into games that are making them less complex and less enjoyable to achieve goals and enjoy hard content. Maybe I am just having a bad day, who knows?!
Final Thoughts: Well here we are. If you have read my thoughts I thank you for it, I appreciate it, I really do! Please do not think of anything I said as arrogant, that is the last thing I wanted to sound like. I just wanted to share how I feel, and I am interested what others think about this so I can learn to cope more with my feelings about it. Now I ask you to share your thoughts with me, as I am really interested to hear what others have to say about this!
PS.: It's quite a massive post so excuse me if I have made errors! I hope I gathered my thoughts well structured.
Edited by Hazmy, 20 October 2018 - 11:47 PM.