RPG's: Groups or Single?

I personally prefer RPG’s where you manage a group. There’s just so much more to do. There’s also more strategy involved when determining what to do with each character and how they will complement one another.

i like being IN a group, MMO style.

it would be interesting if you could combine that style with BG-style party management… i guess that’s what RTS teams work out to be?

I concur! I really enjpyed the Baldur’s Gate approach, where you control the central character’s personality, and the group’s combat actions.

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I agree. BG 1 & 2 were also great because you got to control a group, but the various members of your group all had different personalities created by Bioware. It made the game much more “alive” than the IWDs.

I definitely prefer controlling a group as far as combat goes. One player one character is just too Diablo-esque for a true RPG. As you say, it just seems like there is a lot more to do with a group than if you only control one character. More combat options, more leveling up, more interesting uses for goodies you pickup along the way, generally more of the fun stuff I like doing in RPGs. Plus one player/one character causes problems in DnD-based games since there are skills you definitely need – can’t play most DnD without having some kind of rogue along.

(Of course if we’re talking multiplayer, than things are different).

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I like groups too. Fallout was great but man did having to deal with your idiot AI sidekicks get old fast.

I much prefer controlling only one character directly. Allows me to “be” that character easier. Diablo, NWN, Deus Ex, Gothic. Stuff like that. I want my buttons to move my character. Any other characters should be mostly autonomous, or not be there at all.

My favorite’s are the Fallout style group’s, where you don’t have direct control over your NPC’s. But I can also get into a single-player game. I’m not a big fan of game’s where you directly control all the member’s of your party.

Of course, the best thing of all is to have a group with other people controlling the other character’s, a-la NWN.

I prefer groups because the combat is much more interesting. However, the appeal of Diablo is not to be denied.

It’s been a long time since I last played Fallout, but I seem to recall I got shot in the back by my sidekicks on a number of occasions. I also remember getting stuck on a narrow bridge once and not being able to move forward or backward because of my sidekicks. I finally ended up having to reload.

Ultimately combined arms games offer more depth than the “me against the world” type of games. But the learning curve can be brutal, both in control (which can be communicated through a tutorial) and tactics (which can’t).

Diablo II isn’t a “single player RPG”. Most of the classes let you pull in one or more partnering classes, and sidekicks are available in every town. At the end of the day neither is NWN, for pretty much the same reason.

The main difference is are you using using you’re multi-party characters strategically, or are you simply playing wet nurse?

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Yeah I like the party style ones too. For two reasons 1) more characters to tweak out and 2) more tactical options in a fight.

I do love it when games give your party members personalities and backgrounds though. But, being able to control them in combat is a must. Goddamn Fallout was annoying like that. BG2, JA2 and KOTOR did a great job in this area.


I like co-op group over inet (each player controls one character), otherwise single. I never understood the fetish with micro-managing a party of characters. More tedium, less fun IMO.

As alluded to earlier, parties are fine as long as you aren’t babysitting too much.

Fallout was manageable, as long as you remembered that NPCs + burst weapons = shot in the back

  • Alan

I personally enjoy both, depending on the game. I really enjoyed being the “lone hero” in Daggerfall and Morrowind, but also enjoyed the group dynamics in the BG and Wizardry games.

Parties for the more traditional rpgs. I don’t mind a single character in something like Diablo or Dungeon Siege, but for the Planscape’s and BG’s out there I prefer parties! It just feels like there is more strategy involved with a party.

Diablo has the advantage of being a realtime system from the ground up. You swung as fast as you could click. I think the fundemental problem with NWN’s combat was that when you adapt a turn based system and try to make the turns and rounds ellapse in the time they are meant to represent means there’s going to be a lot of boring stuff where you just dance around your opponent waiting for the next round which will give you more attacks. This is exaserbated by how much you miss in the system. It’s not very much fun to wait around for 30 for you to connect enough times to kill one enemy. BG/IWD gets around that issue by giving you direct control of 6 times as many characters to manage. 6 times as many attackers means an individual enemy will go down that much faster. And while fighter classes are pretty much fire and forget, there’s lots of busy work with mages and clerics, repositioning them so a spell won’t hit friendlies, buffing, healing, running from attackers, etc. Never a boring moment, as opposed to NWN which was so terribly uninteresting, even when you do have a party, they’re on autopilot!