Help, I can't finish RPGs anymore

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Jan 16, 2020
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I related to this article so much. DOS2 is an example of something I was on fire for... and then fatigue set in swiftly. Outer Worlds was also another example, but thankfully I came to it a couple weeks later and now finishing up the final bit... But its strange with RPGs... I begin by diving head first and loving it... then I lose interest instantly. I
 

PCG AndyC

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Dec 9, 2019
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I can, which is a big part of why my backlog is so huge. I play games very slowly, so put me in front of a huge RPG and I'm hosed for weeks, if not months. I've backed away from the genre quite a bit over the past few years, simply because I can't afford to sink that kind of time in them, but once I pop, I can't stop.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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Tom, i think RPGs have the highest requirements to keep a person interested of all the genres. Of course everything here is just opinion, but personally there's so much that i ask of an rpg to keep playing it -- there has to be a character i can resonate with, a world that makes sense, is compelling, and beautifully designed. Characters whom aren't voiced by the D-squad of terrible earthen accents, gear and loot that looks like it came from another world but still makes sense.

I'm saying that for a lot of games, it might not be your fault. It could be the games you're trying to muscle through just don't connect with you. I have a pile of RPGs i'll never finish either, but if i were to catalogue the ones i have finished you're still looking at a pretty long list. The last RPG (ish?) game i finished was the Outer Worlds, and i appreciated how compact the story was and how it was just "different enough" from other ones that i wanted to keep playing. The characters all seemed to have well designed personalities and desires, and i genuinely wanted to know if one popsicle of a human could stick it to the man, when the man was pervasively controlling everything. To me, that's all there had to be to keep me glued to it.

So if you're not feeling the glue to a game, maybe that glue is meant for someone else. Good luck on finding the stickiest RPGs out there for your own taste.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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The technical, medical description for this condition is known as...getting old.
Nooooooooo. The great thing about getting really old is having loads of time to play games as you no longer really have a life. Of course you have to be really old.
There is a downside too, mastering a controller is tricky if you didn't grow up playing games. Most of the discussion around games sounds like a foreign language. You certainly can't discuss games with anyone your own age, and if you sit at the computer too long you may have trouble getting out of the chair. Playing Disco Elysium at the moment and don't want it to ever end.
 
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Jan 13, 2020
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Tom, what you are describing is perfectly normal.

Once upon a time, firing up Fallout and Baldur's Gate, was the equivalent of RDR2 levels of immersion. It was the best and only way to travel to a fantasy realm where your decisions mattered. We were riding the wild waves of cutting edge RPG tech.

The world has moved on since.

We are older now, have suffered more. We know more. What was impressive and amazing at 16, was less so at 25 and can be plain laughable at 36 and 42. It's normal and as it should be. If something does not grab and captivate you, waste no time with it. Life is too short and precious to waste on uninteresting or obsessive compulsive pursuits.

I suffered through Tyranny and PoE II, not even reading 50% of dialogues and still completing all quests exactly to my preference, based on previous Infinity engine game experience alone. I realized that I didn't care one bit about their made-up worlds with their made-up problems and their adolescent conflicts.

Then I fired up Stygian and Disco Elysium and I literally could not stop myself from devouring every last word.

It's about quality. And the logo of a 'glorious developer of our youth' on the box, does not mean **** anymore.

Every game is judged on its own merits in conjunction with who we are today, not who we were twenty years ago.
 
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Colif

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Jan 2, 2020
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I don't finish any games I play, unless they are short. I don't want them to end as then I have to find something else.

MMORPG have no ends so its hard to finish them, if its WOW they just tack on another expansion and grind the players to dust. Most of us who played that game stop before finishing it. Getting everything your want in an mmo only reduces the fun as why play if you have the best already? That happened to me in Age of Conan and I regret it as I liked that game until that point. When all you need is one more item, it becomes a grind. I only stopped that game cause my PC was not good enough to actually display some of the areas in game.

Some of these worlds are so much fun, why do you want it to end?
 
Jan 14, 2020
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This is the reason why I use How Long to Beat to manage by backlog: https://howlongtobeat.com/user?n=Hazz3r&s=games&playing=1

RPGs can cause fatigue so easily. Sometimes, you just need a quick win.

So I go through my backlog or library and look for games that I can possibly finish in 1 sitting. When I finish that, I find myself rejuvenated to get back to my RPG grind.

Very recently I finished off What Remains of Edith Finch as a break from my multitude of RPGs.

Additionally, while not a hard and fast rule. Try not to start multiple games that are going to take over 15 hours or so to beat.
 

Dan

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Jan 15, 2020
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I've honestly had the same issues with Pillars of Eternity, I love the lore and how immersive the world is.

Problem is if I spend more than a week away from it I feel like I need to relearn much of what I've already gone over.
I have completed the first hour to that game 4 times :D
 
Jan 13, 2020
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I have the same problem. Despite knowing it's something I should like I could never get into Divinity Original Sin, and despite hating every minute of it I completed The Outer Worlds.

Maybe the key factor is I just like FPS gameplay more, but I loved Disco Elysium and Shadowrun Dragonfall so who knows.
 
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Mknott

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Nov 25, 2019
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I have the opposite problem, I can't help but finish RPG's even when they're torturing me with insanely long mist labyrinths filled with nigh invincible enemies (cheers for that one, Kingmaker).

Maybe I take the burden of being a hero more seriously than others :p. Then again, I might just have been broken by my failure to complete Baldur's Gate as a teenager and have spent my life compensating.

Don't feel you have to complete every side quest as part of a big play through. Do them when you don't have much time and think of it like an episode of a tv show. Something cool that you just go and achieve for entertainment. That's true in The Witcher 3 more than most because the side quests are so good, but can overwhelm the main experience.

The time barrier is massive for a lot of RPG's, I've always loved the idea of tighter but more immersive experiences, but that massive journey is kind of baked into a lot of the genre. I'm kind of torn on whether that time investment is necessary for immersion though.

Weird question, for those RPG's you haven't completed are there any you think about regularly and actually feel are better left unfinished because they can't live up to the hype in your head?
 
Jan 16, 2020
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Well i just bought Elder Scrolls Online and holy crap it's awesome. I see now why it was voted best MMORPG of the year. I suggest playing MMORPGs instead of isometric RPGs, cause the isometric classic RPGs require so much thought and grind and are really hard to finish. With MMORPGs you can pick up and play whenever you want, since it has quest markers telling you where to go next.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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As much as I'm sad to hear the number of people who can't finish great stories, I'm heartened to learn of the dedicated return of some to the RPG genre. For those of you who claim the genre's death, I'd say, "Check again."

For those of us in love with the genre, yet in the midst of a rough patch(es) for completion, I've got a few suggestions:

  1. Attempt small windows of time, as mentioned by our original poster.
  2. If you need to, start the game over. That can often trigger enough memory to return to another saved game, or simply allow a fresh start.
  3. Watch a synopsis/playthrough video online, esp. if you're uninterested in reading all the logged lore/journal info.
  4. There's no shame in not finishing all at once. In fact, if you feel obligated to finish the game, move on for however long you need to. On a basic level, games are supposed to be fun and at least somewhat of a break from reality.
  5. Play another game, or modify--with actual mods, or with a different style of play--how you approach the game again. If you can, hack and slash, as Larian (DOS2) allows for varied gameplay styles, do it.
  6. Look at game guides for shortcuts/necessary quests if you're only there for the story.
  7. Don't forget to adjust the difficulty, depending on what you're playing for. Story modes are great if you want to avoid constant slogging through battle, or vice versa. Drowning in every other little narrative adjacent to the main plot can be exhausting, so challenge yourself if need be.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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I have the opposite problem, I can't help but finish RPG's even when they're torturing me with insanely long mist labyrinths filled with nigh invincible enemies (cheers for that one, Kingmaker).

Maybe I take the burden of being a hero more seriously than others :p. Then again, I might just have been broken by my failure to complete Baldur's Gate as a teenager and have spent my life compensating.

Don't feel you have to complete every side quest as part of a big play through. Do them when you don't have much time and think of it like an episode of a tv show. Something cool that you just go and achieve for entertainment. That's true in The Witcher 3 more than most because the side quests are so good, but can overwhelm the main experience.

The time barrier is massive for a lot of RPG's, I've always loved the idea of tighter but more immersive experiences, but that massive journey is kind of baked into a lot of the genre. I'm kind of torn on whether that time investment is necessary for immersion though.

Weird question, for those RPG's you haven't completed are there any you think about regularly and actually feel are better left unfinished because they can't live up to the hype in your head?

Yes, and no. I'm usually that way with games that leave me feeling unresolved. For example, after finishing DA: I, I had to wait for the Trespasser epilogue, which I then waited months to play, even knowing it would answer so many questions.
 

PCG James

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Dec 9, 2019
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MMORPGs are what you're looking for. They require no thought and you can play at your own pace. Final Fantasy 14 is the best, and also Elder Scrolls Online and SWTOR
It's funny you mention FF14, because I have the same can't-finish-RPGs affliction. And yet—no idea what I was thinking—I played through FF14: A Realm Reborn through the end of Shadowbringers in two months. Highly recommended and, yep, you can play at you're own pace. Just don't play at my dumb pace!
 
Jan 13, 2020
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For some reason I found Outer Worlds to be (relatively) light on the sidequest front. Or at the very least, most of the side quests felt relevant to the main story to me. I'm trying to think of one with fewer side quests, and the only thing I can come up with is the Mass Effect series, which... I would say veered away from its RPG underpinnings after the first installment.
I felt that way too, when I reached Tartarus I wished very much that I hadn't taken flaws so I started the game over. I replayed with the intention of doing every side quest I could find. I excitedly reached Tartarus the second time only to find out it was the final stage of the game. I really enjoyed Outer Worlds but found out I'd essentially finished it twice and and have no desire to play again because there weren't any quests I'd missed.
 
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Jan 16, 2020
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there is only one thing i can do to solve this. don't play any other game. i play one or 2 pc games and i finish them first before i move on to anything. Sometimes its not easy if i'm playing something i don't like playing, but i try to finish it so that i never have to play it ever again. I do falter where i just quit because i'm sick of it, but its very rare especially when it comes to RPGS. RTS games is usually where i falter. i'm generally not good at them and it becomes a real chore to play.

the same story can't be said for my handheld game collection. i'm sort of sick and tired of Valkyria chronicles 2 despite all the charm. The repeititive nature of the maps, the grinding for awards (HINT: who gets the best rewards in a mission? doesn't matter its random. Someone may come top but not get any certifications and sometimes someones that does nothing gets some random award) its not helped when i switch means i have to spend the awards to switch between them.
 
Jan 17, 2020
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there is only one thing i can do to solve this. don't play any other game. i play one or 2 pc games and i finish them first before i move on to anything. Sometimes its not easy if i'm playing something i don't like playing, but i try to finish it so that i never have to play it ever again. I do falter where i just quit because i'm sick of it, but its very rare especially when it comes to RPGS. RTS games is usually where i falter. i'm generally not good at them and it becomes a real chore to play.
That seems like punishing yourself for making bad purchases to me... or maybe in another light, like you are trying to be as budget conscious as possible. I could never force myself to play something i'm not actually enjoying to completion.

If somehow i miss the refund window on a terrible game that i bought full price (for me that's crazy rare, my games budget is $30 per week) it goes into the backlog never to be played ever again lol... it feels bad to think about actually, but there's probably over 50 bad decisions in my backlog, but they were all purchased at 50% or more discount.
 
Nov 24, 2019
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I could never force myself to play something i'm not actually enjoying to completion.
Guilty of this with TV shows. Games, fortunately not so much. Though if it's a series I've got some loyalty to (I'm looking at you, Anno), I'll play to the bitter end. And more than a few RPGs I've soldiered on through because I know if I don't, then the ending is most absolutely going to be spoiled to bits. Fallout 4 was one of those for me.

I'd say perhaps the biggest thing that keeps me from completion of RPGs is opportunity paralysis. Usually comes on after a stretch of ho-hum quests, or angling to some form of completionist in an area before moving on, only to get to a new area, and then realize there's 5,389 new quests and dialogue chains with step-and-fetches peppered in at random and no foreseeable outcome or impact to the characters or story. That mix of panic and ennui precipitates a Save, Quit to Desktop, and opening up Steam to look for "the next big thing".
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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In the olden days I finished every RPG I played, starting with Wizardry and Ultima 2, and Bard's Tale. In college I prided my self on completing BG 1 and 2, the first two FOs, P:T, and more despite having a busy schedule. Only now will I play half a game and get distracted. Most recently, I was loving Tyranny then got distracted by Kenshi. But its happened a few times with good games. I thought it an early sign of my inevitable decline into senility but its good to know I'm not the only one.
 
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Jan 16, 2020
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That seems like punishing yourself for making bad purchases to me... or maybe in another light, like you are trying to be as budget conscious as possible. I could never force myself to play something i'm not actually enjoying to completion.

If somehow i miss the refund window on a terrible game that i bought full price (for me that's crazy rare, my games budget is $30 per week) it goes into the backlog never to be played ever again lol... it feels bad to think about actually, but there's probably over 50 bad decisions in my backlog, but they were all purchased at 50% or more discount.

Yep, spot on. i'm very careful with my money and rarely go with impulse buying of games unless the deal looks like a decent price cut outside the usual seasonal price cut . I'm not always right, i bought the division 2 in the summer thinking i was getting a good offer after all the hoops i jumped through to get it at that price (i think it was 17-22 range). Felt pretty humiliated when during christmas it dropped to 12.99 and if i waited i could have got the game complete with season pass. i could have waited and should have waited.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Like mentioned in this thread over several comments, I think I've found a formula that works for me. First I need to get over the initial hump of choosing a game to play, and usually when I have a feeling that I want to play RPG's I also get a feeling of dread. This is partially because I start considering if I'll even like it, if it's a waste of time, if there's other releases that'll take my interest away in the upcoming future, etc. So, what to do? Well, I rely on Ol' Faithful, a quarter on my desk that chooses the game for me. I'll sift through and make a shortlist of potential games I want to play and break them down to tiers and the coin entirely decides which I go into. To gain a better perspective of how much time I'm about to invest, I also use How Long to Beat to get a better idea of how long the game is. Then, if the game sucks, I stop playing and move on.

I find it also helps to play an intermediate game between large RPG's to change the flavour a little. Maybe a short RTS or FPS game, or just a bit of multiplayer gaming. But generally whenever I play an RPG with a massive time investment I do my best to strictly stick to that game until the end so I don't lose a sense of where I am or have to restart.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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For some reason I found Outer Worlds to be (relatively) light on the sidequest front. Or at the very least, most of the side quests felt relevant to the main story to me. I'm trying to think of one with fewer side quests, and the only thing I can come up with is the Mass Effect series, which... I would say veered away from its RPG underpinnings after the first installment.
Krud, did you ever finish Dragon Age: Inquisition? I remember you were struggling greatly with the tedium of the Hinterlands.
 
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MindlessMe

Registered Developer
Jan 8, 2020
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As an adult I find myself with very little time to play a good RPG from start to finish. It's not that the game is bad, i just find myself with a hour here or an hour there and don't want to start something I can't finish. I recently played Outer Worlds and really enjoyed it. I recently found myself going back to Divinity: Original Sin 2 because it's been in my shame pile for some time now.
 
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