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I have role-playing games on my mind. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. In my 10-plus years covering videos games, I’ve been a champion of RPGs, regardless of their origins: Dungeons & Dragons, the story-heavy games from Japan, the systems-based games of North America and Europe, and the throwbacks and classics.
Seems like a lot of you have had RPGs on the brain in 2017, too. The NPD market research firm said last week that sales for games like Nier: Automatica, Pyre, and Torment: Tides of Numenera are up 50 percent year-over-year. This is happening despite the disappointment of Mass Effect: Andromeda, which EA said this week will no longer receive support for its single-player story. Of course, let’s be fair and note that NPD is also including Horizon: Zero Dawn as an RPG, a definition some on Reddit disagree with.
Even so, it’s still good news for my favorite video games. Earlier this summer, I checked out Divinity: Original Sin 2’s game master tools. The designers adapted the D&D starter set adventure, Lost Mines of Phandelver, and the capability of this mode impressed me. I’ve been drafting out how I’m going to turn my favorite old-school D&D module, The Keep on the Borderlands, into a user-created module for Original Sin 2. I’ve tried — with poor results — to do this in Neverwinter Nights 2 and Sword Coast Legends, two D&D-based video games with design tools that are either too hard to use … or aren’t varied enough to properly reproduce this classic dungeon-crawl.
I’ll get started when Divinity: Original Sin 2 debuts September 14, further pushing these surging RPG sales numbers.
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