Multiple paths cause multiple headaches

Role-playing games create anxiety due to leveling up choices.

The role-playing game genre, better known as RPG, is undoubtedly one of the most popular types of games on the market. Games such as “The Legend of Zelda,” “Final Fantasy” and “Fallout” made sure it was popular. Ultimately, the lure of RPG games is in the fact that each player has a different character due to the choices they make in the game, how they look or what weapon they use. If that isn’t enough, there are points to be delegated as each character levels up. These points determine how strong, smart or agile (which is probably one of the most useless elements to level up) the character can be. With all these numerous pathways to choose from for each character, an RPG game can be fun, unless of course you are like me and the idea of multiple paths in a game drives you crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, multiple pathways are great in a game, but my main issue is leveling up a character. I will literally look at the screen for 10 minutes because I can’t decide which attributes to level up. I guess the reason why (and hopefully I am not alone in this) is because I feel as if somewhere down the road after the character has leveled up, I will come across an obstacle which I could have passed easily if I had put more points into a certain attribute, but I chose not to and gave the points to a different one.

A good example would be in “Fallout 3.” Anyone who has ever leveled up in "Fallout 3" knows there are more attributes to choose from in that game than there are good games to buy from the bookstore. It is unbelievable that you have only a small amount of points to delegate from a field of attributes that include medicine, repair, lockpick, science, sneak, melee weapons, barter, speech, etc. A player could put points into medicine to receive slightly lesser damage while in combat and then not have enough points to lock-pick a safe later in the game because they forgot to put points into the lock-pick skill. Choices like that could drive me insane. Considering just how big "Fallout 3" is, there is little chance of running into that safe again.

I don’t know what it is about me, but I am a person who likes balance, especially in video games. My character is better at picking locks and hacking computers than others, but the fact that he receives a lot of damage every time he is attacked is unacceptable. Anyone who saw me play would tell me to focus on my character’s medicine attribute the next time I gain a new level, but then I would ask myself if I need to also focus on other attributes.

I do realize variety is a key ingredient in an RPG, but it is an ingredient that drives me crazy. I feel like my character is missing out on something that makes him great or he missed an area in a previous level that would have yielded an item to give him an edge in future battles. For those RPG fanatics out there, how do you live with you decisions in every game? Is it just me who is feeling this sense that I need to keep all my abilities on an even level and not have a few of them better than other? Whatever the issue is, I do hope to let it go because it is the one thing keeping me from enjoying what is otherwise a very great game.

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