Do you prefer balanced characters or specialists?

In Nightingale, my son went all in on melee, and his weapon does an ungodly 15,000 damage (it's melee, but it can also be thrown maybe 15 meters like a boomerang). Meanwhile his ranged damage is very weak. When we go up against these massive bosses, Guido can be seen chopping furiously at their ankles. Although yesterday the boss had a spell that tossed you into the air, and Guido quickly got out his umbrella and coasted right to the boss's weak spot.

I love melee, but I don't want to be that close to a boss, so my melee weapon does almost exactly half the damage of his, and my rifle does about 10,000, but I feel I need to be able to do both.

Another example is the cleric class in a lot of games. When I play a cleric, I make sure I can do more than just cast spells. I want to be able to swing a weapon, too. Like in Nightingale, this means that neither my healing nor my hand-to-hand are great, but I can do both adequately.

So what is your philosophy?
 
I prefer being able to specialise because it leaves room for replays. It also typically means that the game is set up in a way to support multiple playstyles, which is always nice.

There's also just something very satisfying about stacking every single bonus for one specific specialisation and becoming extremely powerful. Though that tends to work better in shorter games, as it isn't much fun to be overpowered for too long.
 
May 13, 2024
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I generally prefer balanced, but it also definitely depends on the game or if a particular class suits my playstyle more. I think of Diablo III, where I was equally successful with all of the classes, but I loved the Monk class so I specialized my build. On the other hand, I got hung up on the Sorcerer class in Diablo IV as I could tank while stil being dangerous ranged (although I would think that balance could also be achieved with other classes, I just haven't tried them).

And now I'm playing Dragon Age: Origins for the first time. Due to the game leveling progression and structure, I'm defintely specializing my class, but since it's also party-based, I can make up for what I lack with other party members to balance things out.
 
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I prefer balanced, so there are few situations I need to avoid. Eg I see plenty of videos of players maxed out for storming the Bastille, but weak v air or sea or maybe armor. I just prefer being able to engage all enemy types.

In my current Far Cry game, I have 4 gear loadouts in the saved profile slots, which I can switch between on the fly. One is my default all-purpose, 2nd is anti-poison, 3rd is anti-blast and 4th is speed. So eg in a chemical-heavy location I switch to anti-poison, in a melee I switch to anti-blast, etc.

I prefer balanced, because then its easier to specialize later

Welcome to the forum :)

Yes, that's my usual approach too. Start out balanced to see what the game is about, and if it's worth replaying then look at the different avenues.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
If it's a single character, I'll probably specialize - though I might hedge my bets if I don't see that there's a respec option. Jack of all trades is master of none, and in most games I've seen, you've got to master something to deal with the late game challenges.

If the game lets me have multiple characters, then I try to have a collection of specialists that will cover all the needs. If I can find a way to do that without having the classic fighter, thief, mage, cleric party, I'll take it, but the party needs to be able to pick locks, heal, do decent damage (ranged and melee), and have a way to mitigate damage coming in.
 
If it's a single character, I'll probably specialize - though I might hedge my bets if I don't see that there's a respec option. Jack of all trades is master of none, and in most games I've seen, you've got to master something to deal with the late game challenges.
That wasn't necessary back when I played DnD style RPGs. I nearly always multiclassed and never had a problem, but I often still regretted it when I saw the spells I would never get.
 
That wasn't necessary back when I played DnD style RPGs. I nearly always multiclassed and never had a problem, but I often still regretted it when I saw the spells I would never get.
I have to guess that even then you had skills you relied on to kill things quickly. They may not have been maxed but you probably played a particular style.
Grim Dawn mostly forces multi class on you (as if you play 1 class, you get more skill points than skills to allocate them in) and yet you can still specialise in the combinations. Can play same combo and use different skills.
You weren't supposed to only play one class... I did on one character as I wasn't sure which other one I wanted. I eventually deleted it as even respeccing couldn't save it.
 
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In my current Far Cry game, I have 4 gear loadouts in the saved profile slots, which I can switch between on the fly. One is my default all-purpose, 2nd is anti-poison, 3rd is anti-blast and 4th is speed. So eg in a chemical-heavy location I switch to anti-poison, in a melee I switch to anti-blast, etc.

This is the right way to play the game. Unfortunately I'm just stubborn and never gave the special weapons from Cortez enough of a chance and just just stuck with the conventional stuff in my 3 play-throughs. I did use the first Supremo that you get, but that was about it.
 
I'm just stubborn and never gave the special weapons from Cortez enough of a chance and just just stuck with the conventional stuff in my 3 play-throughs. I did use the first Supremo that you get, but that was about it.

Same here. I did check every new weapon, but only one—Rambo's special Vengeance Bow—came close to matching the upgraded standard weapons. I don't know what the design rationale is there—you find a new weapon in one of the impressive croc-topped chests, compare it to what you already have, and it's worse.

The different loadouts I mentioned are defensive gear changes, I don't change my weapons—Desert Eagle with AP ammo, Libertad SPAS, Vengeance bow with explosive arrows and RAT 4. I don't use EMP or poison cos they make it too easy, and I don't like fire weapons.
 
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Same here. I did check every new weapon, but only one—Rambo's special Vengeance Bow—came close to matching the upgraded standard weapons. I don't know what the design rationale is there—you find a new weapon in one of the impressive croc-topped chests, compare it to what you already have, and it's worse.

The different loadouts I mentioned are defensive gear changes, I don't change my weapons—Desert Eagle with AP ammo, Libertad SPAS, Vengeance bow with explosive arrows and RAT 4. I don't use EMP or poison cos they make it too easy, and I don't like fire weapons.

Gotcha. That was exactly how I felt about the special weapons. They didn't offer any kind of advantage and just weren't useful. Cortez is the only one that thinks they're worth anything lol.
 
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It totally depends on the game for me. I just play whatever clicks with me. When I start games, I have a tendency to lean towards ranged classes because they are usually somewhat safer. It's easier to learn the game when I'm not eating dirt all the time because I don't know how to dodge all the crazy melee attacks properly. I also like playing support roles. However, if a melee weapon clicks with me I'll still play that.
 

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