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RPG as game not 'story'

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I reckon it''d be cool to see an (action?) ''RPG'' which didn''t care about making a realistic world, instead making a surreal place like old arcade games such as Tapper, . They wouldn''t be focussed on story, or even character development but on (combat/puzzle) based *gameplay*. It would provide lots of different set pieces to challenge a variety of skills and bring out new tactics. Each challenge would earn you new powers.

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This is not a role playing game; a role playing game is where a player takes on a role within the world created and sets out to accomplish a task. The story is an integral part of the game, as is character development. This is why games such as Diablo are not considered RPGs; there is no character development, even though there is a story and there is level advancement. There is no development of the characters personality or style aside from developing more super-powers.

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Denying Diablo the title "roleplaying game" is bold - after all it is one of the games that is considered to have re-vitalized the genre.

But I agree, the discription sounds like an arcade game. Maybe you can be a little bit clearer wha you mean by "gameplay". A game that focuses on combat alone is either an action or a strategy game, depending on the player's role. Is that what you are suggesting for RPGs?


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[edited by - grbrg on April 16, 2004 10:02:04 AM]

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quote:
Original post by grbrg
A game that focuses on combat alone is either an action or a strategy game,





Sort of I''m thinking of different challenges such as defend the fast-food restaurant from aliens with only 5 potions and a few spells. Or quick-fire timed challenges, such as save the Princess from drowning. Various weird challenges such as pushing boulders onto enemies, or smashing a car up Street Fighter 2-stylee.

Anything to get away from the "you must save the world in a long 40hr plus quest." while picking up lots of weapons that you need to sell to get the money to buy slightly better sword / equipment.

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
Sort of I''m thinking of different challenges such as defend the fast-food restaurant from aliens with only 5 potions and a few spells. Or quick-fire timed challenges, such as save the Princess from drowning. Various weird challenges such as pushing boulders onto enemies, or smashing a car up Street Fighter 2-stylee.

Anything to get away from the "you must save the world in a long 40hr plus quest." while picking up lots of weapons that you need to sell to get the money to buy slightly better sword / equipment.

If I remember correctly Superheroes of Hoboken did something like that. It basically was a roleplaying game with a weird setting. Is that what you have in mind?

I guess fantasy settings are a bit over-used right now. Maybe a fresh setting would benefit the genre and even lure more casual gamers to play an RPG. On the other side, maybe there is a reason why the genre relies on serious fantasy and neglects other settings. I''d love to have a good sci/fi RPG again, though... :D


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Guest Anonymous Poster
How about a super fast RPG, that compresses a whole plot into 5 minutes (like the 5 Minute Shakespeare company).

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quote:
Original post by grbrg
Denying Diablo the title "roleplaying game" is bold - after all it is one of the games that is considered to have re-vitalized the genre.

But I agree, the discription sounds like an arcade game. Maybe you can be a little bit clearer wha you mean by "gameplay". A game that focuses on combat alone is either an action or a strategy game, depending on the player''s role. Is that what you are suggesting for RPGs?


------------------------------
There are only 10 kinds of people: those that understand binary and those that don''t.

Bad Entertainment

[edited by - grbrg on April 16, 2004 10:02:04 AM]



If you want to talk about revitalizing the Genre I think games along the lines of Planescape Torment and Baldurs Gate did far more to bring RPGs back to the PC. Even Nox had more RPG elements than Diablo.. Diablo was pure hack and slash, the classes identified in the game were more of a selection of combat style than selecting an actual role.

The concept of a role playing game is taking on an actor within a story, everything else is just filler. Most adventure style games are RPGs (think police quest or kings quest) but a hack and slash game stuck in a fantastic setting is not an RPG.

Consider the difference between the classic games Eye of The Beholder and Dungeon Hack. I seriously doubt that, when comparing the two, Dungeon Hack could be called an RPG.

In summary, I don''t think it is terribly bold, simply a more accurate distinction.

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
quote:
Original post by grbrg
A game that focuses on combat alone is either an action or a strategy game,





Sort of I''m thinking of different challenges such as defend the fast-food restaurant from aliens with only 5 potions and a few spells. Or quick-fire timed challenges, such as save the Princess from drowning. Various weird challenges such as pushing boulders onto enemies, or smashing a car up Street Fighter 2-stylee.

Anything to get away from the "you must save the world in a long 40hr plus quest." while picking up lots of weapons that you need to sell to get the money to buy slightly better sword / equipment.



The types of puzzle games or problem solving games you are proposing fall into the category of platformers more than anything, although it is possible for a platformer to have RPG elements.

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Most people have no idea what it means to "play a role".

People associate a "role playing game" with leveling up, dungeons, a strong plot, etc.

The truth is, the role playing genre was created by D&D, but the "playing of roles" revolves around characters class (or at the very least a character with unique features and the way that those unique traits affect te gameplay.

In D&D, you have to take into account your race/class and the specific abilities, strengths, and weaknesses that are inherent to those characters. Thus, you play the game (gameplay) with those in mind.

A fighter will not be likely to use a bow and arrow, just as an archer is not likely to use a melee weapon. Part of gameplay is choosing your weapons AND the combat itself, and those elements are both heavily dependent on what your character''s role is in the game - warrior, archer, wizard, etc. as well as orc, human, etc.

It also doesn''t help that many developers have marketing departments who don''t realize that the term RPG means.

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quote:
Original post by dgaf
Most people have no idea what it means to "play a role".

People associate a "role playing game" with leveling up, dungeons, a strong plot, etc.

The truth is, the role playing genre was created by D&D, but the "playing of roles" revolves around characters class (or at the very least a character with unique features and the way that those unique traits affect te gameplay.

In D&D, you have to take into account your race/class and the specific abilities, strengths, and weaknesses that are inherent to those characters. Thus, you play the game (gameplay) with those in mind.

A fighter will not be likely to use a bow and arrow, just as an archer is not likely to use a melee weapon. Part of gameplay is choosing your weapons AND the combat itself, and those elements are both heavily dependent on what your character''s role is in the game - warrior, archer, wizard, etc. as well as orc, human, etc.

It also doesn''t help that many developers have marketing departments who don''t realize that the term RPG means.


Just because a game is billed as an RPG or people consider it an RPG doesn''t make it such. Using the arbitrary distinction of character classes can relate to selecting different types of aircraft in a wargame. Different vehicles = different capabilities, but it is not an RPG.

People who are playing RPGs expect to take on roles within a game; if a story can''t carry an RPG then RPG players won''t stick with it. This is the main flaw in MMORPGs; most of them are action games with thinly veiled story elements. It is getting better, but not quickly enough.

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
I reckon it''d be cool to see an (action?) ''RPG'' which didn''t care about making a realistic world, instead making a surreal place like old arcade games such as Tapper, . They wouldn''t be focussed on story, or even character development but on (combat/puzzle) based *gameplay*. It would provide lots of different set pieces to challenge a variety of skills and bring out new tactics. Each challenge would earn you new powers.


You mean like zelda? or Mario?

An rpg is about character development, and hopeful some story.





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An RPG is about character development with a strict focus on developing specific traits and abilities that reflect the natural abilities of a specific race/class.

It''s not just "got to level 12, pick new skill". It''s about "I''m an archer, I''ll upgrade my range abilities to enhance my ranged combat".

D&D has always been able taking on the role of a character with abilities/strengths/weaknesses, and using those (and improving them) during the gameplay - which is mainly the combat.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hmm it seems most people think an rpg is a game where you are forced to be the main or submain characters.

and it seems they think that it is a must to do these mision and you have to do this or that.

Im sorry friend that is not an rpg that is an adventure game.

or an interactive movie.


An rpg is a game where you are the character you make your judgements and movements acording to your characters stats and thoughts.

RPG''s are for Smart, Mathmatical, people with imaginations.

Diablo Is not an rpg
id even go as far as to say FF is not a true RPG.


people who think Diablo is an rpg are the type who like to play Halflife 500 or Dukenukem 25. They dont have any Idea of what a true RPG is.

Take an mmorpg for example you meet player A
He likes to go kill and thats it he just likes to plain kill and call people Noobs while hes 1337(leet).

Player B: Talks acts and crafts while fighting for exp and converses with people as if he or she is in that time era.

Player B is a RPGer
While Player B is no an RPGer

Now we move into the next one

Player A is playing a so called RPG with many quests and endings.

He says no to the duke and the duke asks the same question again untill he says yes.

Player A enjoys his Linear experience.

Player B Is playing the same so called RPG with many quests and endings.

He says no to the same duke and the duke keeps asking but this player turns the game off.

Player B hates linear Games.

Player A is not an RPGer player a likes adventure games and interactive movies.

Player B is an rpger May enjoy interactive movies but would rather kill the duke and overthrough the kingdome then save them for the thousandth time.




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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Hmm it seems most people think an rpg is a game where you are forced to be the main or submain characters.

and it seems they think that it is a must to do these mision and you have to do this or that.

Im sorry friend that is not an rpg that is an adventure game.

or an interactive movie.


An rpg is a game where you are the character you make your judgements and movements acording to your characters stats and thoughts.

RPG''s are for Smart, Mathmatical, people with imaginations.

Diablo Is not an rpg
id even go as far as to say FF is not a true RPG.



By your own definition of an "RPG" (which I agree with in most part), Diablo is an RPG.

The character''s stats determine your weapons and your (style and effectiveness in) combat.

Although your thoughts do not define your quest, neither do the characters in a D&D game - the dungeon master does. The DM is in fact, the "hand of god" of the developers.

The term RPG comes from D&D, which uses a DM to control the flow and direction of the game. That same DM in terms of video games is the "invisible giver" that shows you your options, creates the rules of the world, and directs your experience throughout them. It is then true, that the developers are the dungeon masters, and the gameplay of the game must then be influenced by your role - and in Diablo, it is.

You choose your weapons and armor based on your class and level. You fight using your characters unique strengths and weaknesses. You play "as you would a D&D game". The only difference is that the dungeon master has pre-defined your direction

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
I reckon it'd be cool to see an (action?) 'RPG' which didn't care about making a realistic world, instead making a surreal place like old arcade games such as Tapper, . They wouldn't be focussed on story, or even character development but on (combat/puzzle) based *gameplay*. It would provide lots of different set pieces to challenge a variety of skills and bring out new tactics. Each challenge would earn you new powers.

For my part, stories are what hooked me to RPGs ever since I played Final Fantasy 4. Of course I understand clearly what you mean; sometime some RPGs are too much fashioned for the storyline and motion videos, and the player doesn’t have time to play.

Anyway, you should try Mario & Luigi Superstar RPG on the Game Boy Advance, pretty special gameplay, you should like it! (although the storyline is babyish )

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[edited by - BlackThirteen on April 18, 2004 4:12:25 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well in all the D&D games the GM or DM did not force me to do anything its the players choice it is not a story yes the DM can force you into something if he wants to but hes really not supposed to he is there to make it a fun experience controlling all the world for you to interact. A good GM DM has many towns and npcs preprared and is ready for anything and off the top of his head reactions.

Now if I was forced to do the same thing everytime as In Diablo then i would quit halfway through because I know whats going to happen.

And also im not sure but Diablo didnt really offer many character choices and customization every BARB Zon, Mage, Sorc, Assassin is the same because you have to make that char that way inorder for it to be good.

A good rpg would not force you to be class you do not want to be.

Also would not make you kill Diablo when all you really wanna do is kill the anoying villagers who tell you the same things over and over and over, and make you pay for things that you will need on your quest to save them.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Well in all the D&D games the GM or DM did not force me to do anything its the players choice it is not a story yes the DM can force you into something if he wants to but hes really not supposed to he is there to make it a fun experience controlling all the world for you to interact. A good GM DM has many towns and npcs preprared and is ready for anything and off the top of his head reactions.

But that is what game/level designers do. They create towns, enemies, determine when and where you will have difficult battles, etc.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Now if I was forced to do the same thing everytime as In Diablo then i would quit halfway through because I know whats going to happen.

The only thing static about Diablo''s experience is that there is an Act system and the boss "nodes" are all in a sequential order. Every time you load the game, the entire level design is changed. It''s like a new dungeons setup every time you play. The more I look at Diablo, the more I see D&D - even though I have never played D&D myself .

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
And also im not sure but Diablo didnt really offer many character choices and customization every BARB Zon, Mage, Sorc, Assassin is the same because you have to make that char that way inorder for it to be good.

I''m mainly talking about Diablo 2, because it''s been so long since I played the first Diablo. I believe the first one had 3 choices - warrior, amazon, mage. Or something to that effect. I believe D2 has 5, or 7 with the expansion.

As far as each one being the same, that''s not true. The skill tree (which is great, btw) makes it so that everyone can be entirely unique. There are some skills that everyone must have (low level), but the higher up you get, the more unique you get.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
A good rpg would not force you to be class you do not want to be.

Doesn''t D&D force you to be a class? In D2, you are a "human", but you are still one of many classes.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Also would not make you kill Diablo when all you really wanna do is kill the anoying villagers who tell you the same things over and over and over, and make you pay for things that you will need on your quest to save them.

That is not the fault of the game, but of the game as a medium. There is no one sitting there to dynamically react to your actions. There has to be a set of rules so that they can make sure that you are able to succeed. I assume that a DM would change the way the game is going if he had a bunch of people who didn''t know what they were doing or they slaughtered every townfolk.

To implement that in D2 would have been a nightmare.

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I think everyone's missing out on what an RPG is.

Role--the role... the character part (ex Cloud in FFVII)

Playing--the act of having thoughts feelings about what is happening to you in the game and performing actions in the game

Game--well, it's a game

The player BECOMES the character he plays. He is meant to feel emotions and have thoughts about the world around him. Story means a lot. If you meet someone and travel with them for a long time in the game and get to know their character and they are killed or ripped away, YOU, the player, are meant to feel very strongly about this.

YOU are the CHARACTER in the game.

Edit:
By this definition, I understand that you may think ANY game you play is an RPG (ie you are Gordon Freeman in HL or you are the character blsting people away in UT2004), but really, by classical definition of an RPG, an RPG is an emotional and interactive epic which you play a role in and develop your character and learn more about other characters and advance along a story line (linear, nonlinear, and anything in between).

An RPG is not a mindless hack-n-slash or shoot em' up. You must play a role in the game world and attatch yourself to that character and act out the story.


[edited by - valkyr on April 18, 2004 8:55:45 PM]

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How can Final Fantasy 7 be an RPG if it plays in the same capacity as does Diablo 2?

You are a character (in Diablo, you actually choose your character''s likeness).

You play a role - both of which are pre-defined.

You are the character.

Tell me. Would a D&D action-RPG that just happens to play exactly like Diablo 2 not be as much (or as little) of an RPG as Diablo itself?

Baldur''s Gate is an "action RPG" set in the universe of D&D. D&D Heroes is an "action RPG" that plays exactly like the previous examples - and it is a role-playing game.

Why is Diablo 2 not a role-playing game?

an RPG is an emotional and interactive epic which you play a role in and develop your character and learn more about other characters and advance along a story line (linear, nonlinear, and anything in between).

"An emotional or interactive epic" - implying that you are part of something larger. Perhaps, "saving the world"? Final Fantasy, Diablo, and countless gaming cliche-plotlines.

"you play a role in and develop your character" - such as leveling up, gaining skills that you choose, and using weapons that you choose based on your character''s abilities.

"learn more about other characters and advance along a story line" - All stories have characters in which you learn more about them as the storyline advances. Stories involve the idea that a protagonist goes through a change (or changes) from beginning to end.

I believe an "RPG" in terms of computers (meaning that there is a slight difference in definitions when translating them from a different medium: paper and pencil) is simply that:

  • The gameplay is directed by your character''s role in the game/story
  • The player uses the game''s mechanics (such as combat) to the advantage of the character''s abilities rather than the skills of a player (ie: a player does not play a certain way because of their own talents, but of their players'' talents)
    ex:
  • The GM/DM in a single-player game is in fact an in-game manifestation of a set of rules laid forth by a designer or team of designers to guide the player along a pre-determined path. This may be randomized or pre-determined.

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Good discussion so far

From what I’ve seen, there are at least 2 distinct "types" of games that are considered RPG''s

Type 1:
Player assumes role of the "hero"
Game usually proceeds linearly to conclusion
Player may make minor choices about how character develops
Examples: (most Final Fantasies, dragon warrior)

Type2:
Usually involves character creation/selection
Nonlinear world, and player has freedom to do whatever
Examples: (most MMORPG''s, Diablo, Morrowwind, D&D)


There is dependently some cross linking between the 2 types in many games. Also, either type may or may not involve a heavy story line.

Which type is a true RPG? Who cares. Personally I usually enjoy type 2 better, but I definitely like the Super Nintendo final fantasies (which are Type 1 for sure)

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cbass2, I would kick the Diablo out of there (couse its not an rpg! And if it would be it would go in to type1) and put Fallout1/2 in its place.

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On-topic:

What about a game where the objectives are to "develop" the character to a certain personality/ability? Missions like "turn Elric the Peasant into Elric the Fierce Fighter", or "Redeem Elvis the Evil Enchanter"?

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Diablo is not an RPG because it is a mindless hack-n-slash. Do you develop relationships in Diablo? Do you speak with people unless you''re buying something or trying to get information? Do you ever have to dress like a woman enough too impress that guy in FFVII?

Plenty more exmaples but I''m in a rush. Later!

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There seem to be basically two types of definitions for an RPG. The first one focuses on playing a role, like you do in paper and pen. It''s maybe the classical definition, derived from the early PnP days. People who define the genre like that will not like the idea of bringing new, arcade-type gameplay int their genre and dissolving the illusion of a real world.

The other definition is based on the mechanical part of the game, namely leveling up and developing a character. People who define RPG like that may very well enjoy a more abstract gameplay.

It''s not easy to separate the two (or more) groups of people, who define a genre differently. Many games satisfy more than one of the definitions, but others, like the ones the OP suggested, might not...

quote:
What about a game where the objectives are to "develop" the character to a certain personality/ability? Missions like "turn Elric the Peasant into Elric the Fierce Fighter", or "Redeem Elvis the Evil Enchanter"?
This does have a touch of "The Sims" in it, but I somehow like it. There could be a world filled with people, and each mission focuses on a differnet one (since the number of possible missions for one character are limited). For such a game I''d like missions like your seconds suggestion much better, since the first (peasant -> fighter) could be any action RPG...

Sorry MadKeithV, but a final note: If a roleplaying game is defined as having total freedom of action, then Diablo is not an RPG. But there is also no other game that does fulfill this restriction, and I even doubt there are many "real" DMs than can create such an open world...


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There are only 10 kinds of people: those that understand binary and those that don''t.

Bad Entertainment

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