Dungeon Siege II Winding Down…

Loot Grinding… Why Did It Have to be Loot Grinding… After the Break…

Dungeon Siege II Winding Down…

I’ll admit it – I set myself up to fail. Action-RPGs are not my specialty. I don’t “get” them. They’re not really RPGs in the classic sense of the term; The only “RP” part of the role-playing game in an Action-RPG are statistics which determine how you kill an enemy. There are no statistics to, say, convince non-player characters (NPCs) to do something or to lockpick chests or to do something that doesn’t involve splitting open someone’s skull with a weapon born straight out of a horror movie’s nightmare. Action-RPGs are quite linear and so thre really is no genuine decision making. For instance, in Dungeon Siege II, one of your early objectives is to destroy four towers. There’s no choice about it – You have to destroy the four towers “or else.” In a real RPG, you would have a real choice.

I’m also quite suspicious of the “action” part of “Action-RPGs.” The only action is watching your character slice, dice and make julienne fries out of the hapless opposition. There’s no skill involved; It’s all by the numbers.

In the end, Action-RPGs have to rely upon a player’s obsession with “loot grinding,” the phenomenon where the opposing force (and the surrounding environment) drops an insane amount of loot which, in turn, makes you more and more powerful. Your character goes from possessing an ordinary ax to a two-handed ax to a two-handed battle ax to the Chilling Night Blade +4 Battle Ax of Manly Death Blows. To me, that’s neither “action” nor “RPGing”… It’s just annoying… And time consuming… And restricts the fun to being some glorified, randomized treasure hunt.

Dungeon Siege II is falling into every Action-RPG convention and that’s something that I just don’t enjoy. I don’t like limited storage when everyone and their behaviorally-challenged neighbor drops a stupendous amount of loot whenever you send them on a one-way trip to a less-than-mortal plane of existence. Limited storage + Absurd amounts of loot droppage = Annoying sequences where I have to sell just about everything I can get my hands on. Why not just call the game “Dungeon Merchant II: Barbarian Wholesaler”?

It’s rather unfortunate that Action-RPGs can’t escape these conventions of their genre since, once they become obvious in their games, it completely destroys the enjoyment of the game.

I don’t know how much longer Dungeon Siege II will remain on the hard drive and that, in itself, is rather disappointing. I was hoping that Dungeon Siege II would be a little more then just a conventional Action-RPG.


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