Video Games

Impromptu RPG Rants and Raves: The Woes of the Completionist

Hello there, lovelies.

So, you may have noticed that I sorta…started an impromptu new blog series? I have no idea how long it will continue or if it’ll be a short series (as I have only a few posts lined up in my head,all of which will prolly go live this week because I have no patience) or if anyone will even want to read it, honestly. But, it’s been fun to work on, so I’m rolling with it!

I started out with talking about what I love about RPGs. It only makes sense to discuss what I don’t like next, eh? Except it’s not just straight dislikes. Instead, I’m coming at it from a different angle, talking about how, if you’re a completionist like me, you might run into some frustrating aspects game after game, and I just want to rant about it, honestly.

The Woes of The Completionist

By completionist, I mean that I love to check off all the boxes, cross everything off the To-Do List. I get immense joy out of getting things accomplished. In gaming terms, it means that every challenge that is listed, every trophy that’s available, every side quest, every mission, every journal entry: I want to find it, explore it, complete it. It’s an admirable goal.

It’s also very, very rarely ever happens.

Does that bother me?

*laughs until she cries*

fallout 4 GIF

Here’s the thing. I totally understand I’m not going to get everything possible. Take Elder Scrolls Online, for example.** There is a lore book section and I believe, last time I look, there was roughly over 4,000 texts you could find, traveling across all of these worlds. I think I’ve found roughly…1,400 of them? Yet the completionist in me wants to find ALL OF THEM. And without having to look up guides online and cheat my way there, because that’s just annoying.

Have I use online walkthroughs when I get close to completing an aspect of the game, so I can get that trophy or the gold star or the Golden Mickey head?

*hangs head in shame*

It’s a pretty lofty goal, I admit. Trophy wise, I’ve only ever got platinum on one game: Horizon: Zero Dawn. I’m close on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, too, but haven’t earned it yet. But I’m not going to go into those nuances, because I realize that compulsion and sometimes borderline obsession is just me personally and I learn to live with it and deal with it.

No, what I REALLY want to rant about (the rant to inspired this whole series, honestly) is the capping of the leveling up system.

Fallout 4 GIFHere’s how it works. You have a character you can personalize, right? They have attributes, skills, magic, whathaveyou, that they can use to help them on their adventuring quests. These are usually depicted in a skill tree of some kind and you access new tiers or more advanced versions once you level up, which you do by getting experience from playing the game. But most of the time, this leveling up has a cap, so you can only level up so many times before you stop getting points to spend in your skill tree.

But does the skill tree usually go beyond what the level cap is, giving you more options that you will never, mathematically, be able to unlock all of?

*glares at camera*

You can see where I’m coming from here, I can imagine. If I’m a completionist who wants to find all the journal entries of Random Adventurer No. 127, you can better believe that I want to unlock ALL THE POSSIBLE COOL SKILLS for my main girl who I’m traveling through this world as. Yes, I realize that your choices affect which skills you unlock and which you don’t, so in theory, every skill in the tree is unlockable, just not all at once; through multiple playthroughs, instead.

But I don’t want to play through multiple characters (usually). I want to be able to unlock them all with my main character. WHY give us all those options if you’re going to cap what we are able to do? ESPECIALLY when it’s not like I haven’t put in the time to earn it, because I’m 100+ levels on this character and have put in hundreds of hours into this game. So any argument about being too overpowered if you have access to every single point on the skill tree for a single character is mute, because she’s already overpowered.

I just don’t get it. Maybe developers are aware of something I’m not. Or maybe gamers know of this trade secret that this “latecomer” (I only say that because I haven’t been gaming since I left the womb, but only about half my life, a quarter of that seriously/regularly) and I’m just being ignorant. But I’ve been enjoying Fallout 76 recently (despite…a lot, but that’s a whole ‘nother post), yet the fact that they’ve capped how many points I can have with my card deck is INFURIATING.

Anyway, that is all for this round of Impromptu RPG Rants and Raves. I’d love to see what you think!


**I realize this is more MMO than RPG, cut me some slack, it was a great example.

7 thoughts on “Impromptu RPG Rants and Raves: The Woes of the Completionist”

  1. I used to be a completionist and a total achievement whore, until work, kids, and life in general happened. That was when I realized that if I still want to play all the games I want, something was gonna have to give. These days, once I’ve reached the end of the main story, I’m done – give me the next one! And I used to juggle 3-4 MMOs at a time. Now I can’t even keep up with one.

    1. That’s pretty much where I am. If I get to play for an hour a day…it’s a pretty good day. It takes me *forever* to get through a main story line. I’m playing Witcher III and I want to do ALL OF THE QUESTS and so I am likely to still be playing it in a decade.

      1. I’m really lucky that I get to play it quite a lot, thanks to my weird work schedule (and skipping the gym a little too often). I definitely put in SO MUCH TIME into Witcher III, but I also thought it was worth it? I hope you’re enjoying it!

    2. That’s the other thing I think I forgot to mention, but yeah, once I beat the game, I have a *real* hard time going back through to do anything else I’ve missed, because I just want to start the next game. But it does result in a lot of time spent making sure everything is complete before I beat it. 😛 I don’t blame you at all for changing up your play style (I feel like I’ll have to do the same, at some point).

  2. I feel you. Though I’m usually able to ignore the collect 100 feathers or shards, but anything with story elements, I’m chasing after it. Even the most simplest of fetch quest must be completed. I’ve tried to be more mindful about it, time is valuable, but I often find myself lapsing back to it. I have no idea why I do it either. It’s not fun, it’s feels more like a chore sometimes…

    I get your point about the skill caps. I used to like them, playing with different characters and different play styles, each distinct from one another, but I’m glad games are starting to move away from them. I don’t have time to play through games multiple times anymore.

    1. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Sometimes, it feels so grindy and not fun, so I’m like, “You know you don’t *have* to do this, right?” Especially when I think about how I don’t normally think about this accomplishment or anything after I move on from the game, so why do I spend so much time trying to get all of these completions? Yet, I can’t move away from it. It’s just how I play.

      Right? It’s hard enough to keep up on new games, playing older games I’ve never tried yet and replaying old favorites! I can’t commit to being expected to do multiple playthroughs of a single game.

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