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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Did you waste hours rolling ability scores while playing games?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (15347points) March 13th, 2016

When I was younger I was obsessed with rolling ever higher ability scores with Dungeons & Dragons video games. So much that I never got into the game.

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13 Answers

Seek's avatar

Not necessarily higher scores. I do use D&D dice and rules to help me make up characters for non-D&D purposes. I enjoy the challenge of rolling a straight 3d6 seven times and making a person up who fits those stats. High intelligence, low wisdom and Dex scores? Alcoholic wizard! High strength and charisma, low Constitution? Diabetic paladin!

jerv's avatar

I favor point-based systems like GURPS or 4th edition Shadowrun, so no.

Zaku's avatar

Nope. Though Traveller character generation can be fairly interesting, since it involves a career story rather than just rolling numbers. Like Jerv, I’ve almost always used point-based systems (TFT & GURPS), sometimes with an option for people to use dice.

It always seemed slightly silly to be able to re-roll an arbitrary number of times, until you luck out, with no real consequence for re-rolling.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Would you believe that I’ve played one videogame in my entire life? It was Pong, way back during the mid-70s. I thought it was a complete bore, and I’ve never tried anything else.

jerv's avatar

@Zaku I preferred wasting my time simulating die-rolls and making up probability charts; in the pre-internet days, that sort of info was hard to find unless you found it yourself with a calculator and a lot of notepaper. One week I got bored and reverse-engineered the Battle Value point system of BattleTech weapons, which required heavy use of the self-made probability table for rolling a certain number or higher on 2d6 since some weapons had To Hit modifiers that affected their qualitative value in battle as well as their qualitative value for purposes of ‘mech construction.

@Love_my_doggie I actually do have a bit of a hard time believing that you haven’t given how much things have changed since Pong. Fire up something like Deus Ex:Human Revolution or my current time-suck Armored Warfare and you’ll see that nowadays video games are not nearly as boring as twiddling a knob to move a digital slab into the path of a moving blip. A lot has changed in the last few decades, or even the last few years, so I am honestly too shocked to believe it even though I have no reason (other than shock) not to.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@jerv Thank you for the advice. I’m always on the lookout for fun and interesting things. Do I need to buy one of those thingies such as Wii, Xbox, or PlayStation.

Seek's avatar

Why not start with casual PC games? I like hidden object mystery story games, like the ones made by Big Fish. They’re about $3 a piece for a game that takes me about 4 hours of game time to complete.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ So, I can play a videogame on my desktop, rather than on a TV? How does that work without a joystick or whatever those control devices are called?

Seek's avatar

the hidden object games are mouse-click driven.

The point and click classic Myst would be a great first taste, actually.

jerv's avatar

@Love_my_doggie Many games that used a joystick in the arcade can be played on a regular computer keyboard, often with either the arrow keys, the numpad, or four other keys in place of a joystick, though the majority usually WASD. You might be asking,“Why WASD?”, but even if you aren’t, that and “How can you play a computer game without a joystick?” are so closely related questions that I may as well kill two birds with one stone.

First though, put your left pinky on the Shift key and your left thumb on the spacebar. look at where your left hand is on the keyboard. See how the fingers of your left hand are pretty close (in fact, probably on) the W,A,S and D keys? Can you see how those four letters do for the left hand what the arrow keys or IJKL do for the right hand? If so, then so far so good, but there’s more.

Even though most people are right-handed so it would seem IJKL would make more sense than WASD, enough games require both four keys and the mouse to control. The thing is most people use their right hand for mousing, so a lot of games will have you use your left hand for what arcade games would use a joystick for. With the left hand, it’s easier to hit WASD than IJKL or any of the other buttons that are usually on the right side of the keyboard.

Since it’s easier on everyone if most games just use the same buttons for the same function instead of forcing people to remember which games use which buttons for what, games will often use WASD as a pseudo-joystick unless, like Myst, it’s a game that can be played by just pointing and clicking the mouse.

A lot of games are simple enough that they don’t need much (if any) more than that. PC versions of arcade classics that were controlled with just one joystick (like Pacman or Frogger) will use just four keys. Some may use more keys for more things, like using the spacebar for something like jumping. It’s only the seriously heavy games like I gravitate towards that use more than 6 keys, so it’s pretty simple unless you’re like me and want it to be complicated.

And now you know that many games can be played perfectly fine using just the mouse and/or the keys on the keyboard instead of a joystick, with the bonus lesson of why WASD will often be four of keys used no matter what the game is.

Regarding consoles like the PS4 or Xbox, I feel that they are only worthwhile if you love a game that isn’t available on PC enough to spend $300–500 just to play that game. I like Gran Turismo, but not enough to spend hundreds of dollars on a PS4. However, I already have a PC, and I’m assuming you do too. Using what you already have costs a lot less than $300, so PC is the way to be, especially starting out.

Seek's avatar

I prefer WASD to IJKL or arrow keys, myself. That might be a side effect of growing up with console games with a D pad, as opposed to a joystick.

jerv's avatar

@Seek Well, even arcade games that have a joystick and buttons have the joystick on the left and buttons on the right. Likewise, the d-pads on most consoles (pretty much all of them except the Atari 2600,5200 and Jaguar) has been on the left side of the controller. And the only people I’ve ever seen use IJKL are lefties.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@all Thanks

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