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Does anyone else have anxiety attacks around character creation?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by jdinatale, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. jdinatale Arbiter

    jdinatale
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    I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, OCD, and one thing that triggers me is character creation in RPG's. Full party creation is the absolute worst. I always want a "perfect" or optimal build and will often just try to find a guide for the "best" party build. But then I get stuck at the character creation screen for hours at a time sometimes, agonizing over my build trying to "get it right". I usually have to take some Xanax by this point.

    Then once I start playing, I have to complete the entire game. I want to complete all the quests, get the best equipment, and explore every inch of the fog of war so that the map is perfect. If there is something about the game that would keep me from doing all of this, I just quit playing, rather than finish an imperfect, sub-optimal game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  2. moraes Cipher Patron

    moraes
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I'm the same. Some days I can't even find the motivation to start a game, dreading that moment I'll realize things are not perfect enough. I find that taking stimulants (ritalin, modafinil, selegiline, etc.) help. Of course you should be careful around stimulants with an anxiety disorder. Talk to your doctor.

    Just a heads up: that perfectionism will haunt you not only in gaming, but in life in general. You'll lose a lot of opportunities if it is not moderated, you'll also acquire a high degree of self-loathing. A least you're self-conscious about it and can get help ASAP.
     
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  3. Temenos Literate

    Temenos
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    Eh, maybe during the first go of an RPG when I'm not sure how the gameplay mechanics and systems work yet. The thing is that with most modern RPGs, it's kinda hard to truly fuckup a character build since many of them are designed to be so easy such that you can't fail with any character (because that might upset snowflake players), but others will allow some sort of respec option so you can redistribute points later once you discover what works and what doesn't. Of course, some of the best RPGs I've played (e.g. the classic Fallouts) are such that even if you screw up your character, you'll have an interesting and fun experience regardless because the game is designed with so many edge cases in mind.

    I dunno. I find that if a game is good, it's worth replaying at some point, and THIS is when you can being to optimize a character if you really want. But there's no value in obsessing over optimization of a character during the very first go. Take the hits, learn fro your mistakes. That's where the most fun happens, when you have to think of ways around your character's flaws.
     
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  4. Barbalos Learned

    Barbalos
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    I have similar 'perfectionism' related mental health problems, so I can relate that way. I'll spend hours agonizing over it in a similar fashion. But over time I've learned to care a little less, since most of the really fun game runs I've had were with sub-optimal to extremely sub-optimal characters/parties.
     
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  5. Fluent Arcane Possibly Retarded The Real Fanboy

    Fluent
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    I know it sounds easy to say, but try not to worry so much about perfection and just do what you find fun. Be creative. Creativity destroys the perfectionism in my experience, as that takes priority over trying to get a "perfect" build or some idea of a perfect game. Even if your build isn't optimal, make sure you made it fun and used creativity, then roll with the punches. It works well for me, so maybe it can help you guys, too. :)
     
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  6. ESh Arcane

    ESh
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    That's sad to hear, jdinatale. You have my sympathies and best wishes.

    How do you fare with RPGs with "obvious" optimal builds?
    For example classic Fallout, there are distinct dump stats and no-brainer stats, and there's little build variety once you've decided on a character archetype. Is it easier to break away from character creation in such games?
    Also, how do you feel about genres outside of RPGs? Linear games, with minimal grind/extra content might be more enjoyable? There are sadly few CRPGs like that.
     
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  7. Combination of OCD and general chargen 'tism tends to cause me to spend more time in chargen than in the actual game. Can sympathize somewhat.
     
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  8. Zarniwoop Destiny Cleanser Patron

    Zarniwoop
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    JEEEEEEEZUS

    Millennial/10

    Did I stumble into the Watch by mistake?
     
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  9. Teut Busnet Savant

    Teut Busnet
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    I was the same when I was younger. Always wanted to have perfect builds, savescummed before every decision to make sure I got the best gear and even cancelled playthroughs when I realized I spent a skillpoint 'wrong' some levels ago.

    But I learned to embrace roleplaying and living with my decisions, wich felt much more ...rewarding(?) and certainly more stress-free than min-maxing.
     
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  10. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    jdinatale You would make the perfect game reviewer though!
     
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  11. what am i doing Learned

    what am i doing
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    I wouldn't say anxiety but I certainly waste massive amounts of time optimizing characters for little benefit and often to the detriment of my own enjoyment. So I do tend to prefer when an RPG has dynamic respecialization (e.g. Guild Wars where the only thing that's set in stone is your primary profession) or doesn't have trick or missable character development options.
     
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  12. Beastro Arcane

    Beastro
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    People should be using their opportunities playing games to help break down that compulsion in themselves to do this shit.

    I have my own history of Perfectionism and have taken the opportunity that has come with my TMD problems to stop being dominated by that kinda crap and allow things to be less than 100% all the time.

    Especially with hat map exploration stuff. Scheisse, that sounds awful and must completely drag your games down trying to do that.
     
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  13. Monkeyfinger Augur

    Monkeyfinger
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    Only on 2nd/3rd playthru. First time I just make whatever and if it's subpar, I always make it work anyhow.
     
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  14. Fluent Arcane Possibly Retarded The Real Fanboy

    Fluent
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    I also make it a priority to not obsess over small details, like not using potions or scrolls, I use them. And also living with decisions and not obsessing over that, always making sure to make whatever character I made work in the long run, sometimes requiring some ingenuity or creativity, but I've never found an RPG where you can't just "make it work".
     
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  15. OneCityGal Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    There is something AFTER! chargen!!?
     
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  16. Sigourn Arcane

    Sigourn
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    The only thing that should keep a person for far too long at character building is questioning what kind of character he would like to play as. Shit like "I need to min-max my character, I'm going to pick these stats BUT NOT THAT TRAIT because later in the game I can get an item that makes it pointless" or "fuck I need to be careful not to gimp my character". If I was a developer I would eliminate that crap from a game. Both cases. And certainly any of those "this item/perk negates this weakness", because players will inevitably metagame with it in mind.

    In Fallout I just rolled with my character and in Baldur's Gate / Icewind Dale I only bothered to roll high stats, nothing else. I was not about to get into that munchkin nonsense. Shoutout to games that let you pick a predetermined party and let us skip character creation for those of us who aren't interested in making a party from scratch.
     
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  17. Machocruz Arcane

    Machocruz
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    From the thread title, I was ready to come in here talking shit, but TC has an actual anxiety disorder and that's nothing to laugh at.

    I'm pretty sure what kind of character(s) I want to craft before I launch the game. I have no practical advice to give. Sidequests are a distraction for me though, when I just want to finish the damn game and not take 100 hours to do it. I mostly loathe them, but feel compelled to clean them up.
     
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  18. sorinmask Just like Yves, I chase tales. Patron

    sorinmask
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    Try to think of this as a challenge rather than a problem.

    If the game is good, it won't matter how "optimal" your build is, and the ingeniosity of the creator will shine through, even if you, yourself, "slip" in certain aspects at character creation.
    That way you transfer your... anxiety... and add it as a challenge towards the games' creator.

    If the game "does" require perfection in builds, and optimally choosing stats, then - again - look at this as a challenge and a learning curve. Even if this playthrough is suboptimal, your next one will surely be!
    You have something to look forward to!



    And as far as exploring and itemization... it's the curse of being a perfectionist. Keep doing what you're doing. Endure. In enduring, grow strong. :)



    I also have the same challenge ahead of me each time. ;)
     
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  19. Incendax Augur

    Incendax
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    Anxiety? No.

    But I can easily burn 10+ hours on character creation.
     
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  20. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I don't understand all the complexity. I just roll a barbarian.
     
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  21. Saduj Arcane

    Saduj
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    Very few games are difficult enough for it to matter that much. But if I know a game is hard enough or detailed enough that it is possible to build a character that will have a very hard time finishing the game or will be locked out of significant content, I agonize a bit over character creation. I'm not much of a min-maxer so usually I end up with a quickly created, good enough but not optimal character and even after I realize my mistakes I am fine with it. Last two games where I actually felt the need to start a character over were Underrail (couldn't get past junkyard with 1st character) and Age of Decadence (my first thief was having a hard time getting through all the thief quests). I did some research before starting my Arcanum character too because the character system just wasn't very intuitive to me and I wanted to make a competent technologist. Still didn't take all the "optimal" advice on that one.

    Not to minimize anyone's disorder, but its really not something to stress over. If you're having a hard time, you can start over. Games are supposed to be fun.

    Edit: Oh and Dungeon Rats. Rage quit that one for a while. Then swallowed my pride and lowered the difficulty to get the hang of things. But once I got the hang of it, I didn't feel the need to build optimal characters on the hardest difficulty.
     
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  22. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    This is repairable

    Play other genres a bit

    Then when you go back, there are some RPGs that cure OCD
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    Not even kidding
     
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  23. Zerth Learned

    Zerth
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    How do you handle it when those so called perfect builds require meta game knowledge that you don't have for a new game given you haven't touched any guide?.
     
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  24. Incendax Augur

    Incendax
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    Noooo. That game is a bucket of OCD. Gotta plot out your multiclass path, roll eighty characters, and then hope you don’t get shafted on level ups. God forbid more than one character level up simultaneously. No cure here, sir.
     
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  25. jungl Learned

    jungl
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    xanax there is your problem. Don't take pharmaceuticals they condition you to panic over having to use your brain a little to solve simple tasks.
     
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