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What do we expect of players in an RPG?

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Landfish posed this seemingly innane question in response to my ramblings about his "mental math" posting. It''s a good subject to look at for all. In an RPG, what do we want from the player? What do we expect and what do they expect? How do you feel these questions are answered currently, and are those answers correct? Specifically, talk about the CRPG vs table-top RPG, and MMORPGs. These all have their own methods of including the player. I personally think it''s broken down like this: Tabel-top: The player is the character for all intents and purposes. They add the personality and decide what the character''s actions are. This is considered a more "true" role playing. CRPG: The player takes on more of a strategic outlook in this role playing game. They know about the character, yet they cannot add any personality to them unless the programmer allows multiple "options" to be said in speaking. However, this is merely providing a few very limited options. So perhaps CRPGs are nothing more than done-up strategy and "what would you do?" games, as Landfish put it. MMORPG: Once again, the player is the character. This form moves back to a more traditional table-top viewpoint. Since the game is inhabited by people, you can speak and people will understand you This allows you to once again put a personality to the character. The NPC''s are very limited in dialog.. and thus reflect the computer''s lack of ability to talk to us.. in english So come on, tell your thoughts.. and how you feel about this subject. How could it be improved in the different versions? I look forward to some good responses J

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I can only tell you what I told Landfish too ...

Whenever I hear "RPG", I have my own imagination of that genre...for example, "Diablo" is no RPG to my mind, rather an adventure with the aim to kill as many monsters as possible...is that really the meaning of a RPG?
A real RPG is for me...for example "Ultima VII". You are part of a "real" world, a world in wich you have the impression of being an inhabitant...not just a monster-killing-machine, because you have to talk and solve riddles (so called "Quests" )
At the beginning you can create your character as you like it, and whenever you create a new character, the game won''t be the same as it was before, because the NPCs react differently...

Yours,

Indeterminatus

--consuetudo est quasi altera natura hominum...

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It should be noted that not only can we not effectively let players control character emotion, we shouldn''t. Human beings are hardwired to have certain reactions according to their principles and personality. If we allow the character to blatantly act out of synch with this by setting the dial to a spontaneously "Angry " or "affectionate" reaction, we''ve violated the character. He becomes nothing more than a meat puppet whose sole purpose is to groud our player in that reality.

It would be IMPOSSIBLE to create quality dialog or any kind of characterization to speak of in this system. In tabletop and MMOs, the entire purpose of the player is to characterize the character, so this is not a concern. This kinda goes back to the "Linear Tai Interactive" post.

You all are likely familiar with what *Landfish* is expecting of the new breed. And what questions I ask to figure it out! And you know as well as I that the new breed of player is out there. He doesn''t enjoy leveling or lording his power over others. New breed gamers are in for the "experience", and I don''t mean the kind that can be quantified in points! There may only be a few, but more will come. I promise.

K. I''m done preaching now. It was fun...

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I didn''t intend to say anything meaningfull in my last post, nor did I want to flame or spam. I''m just a bit tired right now, forgive me.

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I speak as a player of RPG''s and tell you what i like and don''t. Firstly, i like options. This is problably the main reason why i play RPG''s is that they allow one to do/interact more with the game environment than do other game genres.

Diablo''s not bad, but it''s extremely linear. What i mean by linear is that all the maps are laid out one after another. I was quite disappointed when i heard D2 would be the same. What good about D1 is that the real-time element of the game is very well done. I don''t think any RPG''s have done as good a job as D1 on the real time element of RPG''s.

But back the the "role" playing side of things. I think hardwired personalities would work in a CRPG. If not to constrict the player into actions then to give the game a little bit of variety. Example would be choosing a Personality for your PC at the Character Creation stage of the game. This may not effect what is available to the player ingame but give some different verbal expressions from the character during the game. This i believe would add greatly to my "Role" playing experience. If this was done the next thing i would want would be a personality construction kit so i could take my new character online, just for fun and see what other people think of the personality that i''ve constructed for my character.

Hassle me please,
Paul C

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On an archetypal level, the character is so deeply ingrained in the story that allowing a ''choice'' of something as crucial as a personality would be jeopordizing the character, and encouraging flat, one dimensional characterization. Don''t we have enough already?

In fact, the character isn''t just part of the story... she IS the story. She must be the person to serve a very specific funtion because of her own flaws and virtues. If this is not the case, then the character doesn''t seem to "fit" with the story, because there is nothing tying them together. This is how it is with most games, no?

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quote:
Original post by Landfish

On an archetypal level, the character is so deeply ingrained in the story that allowing a ''choice'' of something as crucial as a personality would be jeopordizing the character, and encouraging flat, one dimensional characterization. Don''t we have enough already?



Wrong and wrong again. What was the last RPG you played that made the personality of the character essential to the story line development. Fallout1/2 allowed you to basically design your personality whilst employing a fully emersive storyline. BGate you chose your character. Diablo you have no personality (really you don''t). I think the art is in moulding the story to the character otherwise you might as well be reading a book.

quote:


In fact, the character isn''t just part of the story... she IS the story. She must be the person to serve a very specific funtion because of her own flaws and virtues. If this is not the case, then the character doesn''t seem to "fit" with the story, because there is nothing tying them together. This is how it is with most games, no?


The story must flex to the character i believe. Remember, you''re interacting with the story so you want to have an impact, change things, screw things up a little. If you have to do everything the story says you must because you''ve got "this" personality then it isn''t a game.

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Ooh, a post on roleplaying, must take part!

About the "fixed personality" argument. There are three sides to it, and the third has been missed.
Side 1: Fixed personality,l interaction enforced. This is strait-jacket roleplaying, you are almost playing an NPC in a game. Your path has been determined for you ( or by you, at the time of creation of your character ). Changing the path is difficult. The upside is that the story can develop around the personality you are playing, thereby increasing immersiveness in the story.

Side 2: No personality. This is the Diablo style. There is no mention of personality, and no way to enforce any of it. You do what you like, hack what you like. The story NEVER touches on your character''s personality, so you are not encouraged to develop it.

Side 3: Free personality. This is closer to the older Ultima''s. You are free to make any decision you like, but you are confronted with the consequences in the game. Playing a different personality makes the game experience different. NPC''s react differently depending on what YOU do.
This is the most desirable form , and also the hardest to implement in computer games. On tabletop, it''s easy, with a good DM/GM, but how do you let the computer simulate this?



Give me one more medicated peaceful moment..
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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(BTW, you asked for a hard time, where''s my "thank you?")

Note that I said "stories" and not "existing games". Read the Lineas v. Interactive thread if you haven''t already. My case is that there is no way players can interact with a story in any meaningful way, so why fool yourself? Start fooling the player! If they are convinced they are interacting when YOU are actually still in control, you have done your job. Fallout does this.

Ask yourself, was Diablo any less linear than what I''ve described? Nope. But what I''ve described would be a lot less boring to play, I''d bet.

Also, a distinction... I didn''t say "No descision making, no choice path". I said "No emotional control" which is actually pretty trivial when it comes to the choices that govern most diverging paths.

Madkieth, you must also try to discourage the players in some fair way from violating the personality they set up. Otherwise, you have a ridiculous story. If none of this makes sense, I''ll come back and write it later. It''s 4:30 am where I am. I know I forgot something important.

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