Your refutations cite __SOME__ criteria that other games have. I haven''t seen another genre that has all the features I mentioned. (Oh, and I don''t buy the fantasy setting... as for me, that''s NOT a prerequisite!!!)
Really, looking at any game''s main concentration of activity (in Diablo''s case, endless killing) is the best way to define a game, if such a thing is necessary (making Diablo an action game).
So you do go in for hybrid definitions, eh? Action / comedy? (Lethal Weapon) Action / horror? (Aliens) Comedy / horror (Scream).
My main concern, with any game called a roleplaying game, is that that genre is used as a catch-all for anything that looks medieval-based.
For a person who''s looking for more friggin'' non-medieval RPGs, I agree!!!! And yes, too many for my tastes become tactical strategy games.
I still argue that a RPG, in its truest nature, must have character development (preferably active, rather than so many games'' passive) beyond stats and skills (in other words, persona development).
While I don''t agree this is the sole defining point, I do agree this element should be __MAJOR__ to get the RPG seal of approval.
Just waiting for the mothership...