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Gameplay or Story in RPGs?

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Which is most improtant in traditional role-playing games, or on a more general note, in all rpgs, i.e. ARPGs, MMORPGs, etc... Just asking for your opinions on each and why you think one is more important than the other... And... One other question... How important are stories in MMORPGs... should they be the focus of the game? Or are they only for short term development of the characters in the game world. And last but not least... which would you play? An MMORPG with awesome gameplay... or a Single Player RPG with a totally immersive story? Thanks, Darkan

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MMORPGs are examples of gameplay without story.
Movies are examples of story without gameplay.

I think gameplay is more important for an interactive video game, but I'd rather play an RPG with a story than without.

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A good story makes the first couple times through an RPG a lot more interesting, but if it doesn't have good gameplay, those couple of times are the only times I will ever play the RPG. Also, if I am playing an RPG and become interested in the story, but do not enjoy the gameplay very much, I tend to find myself irritated by the fact that there is gameplay at all. I like an RPG with a good story, but the gameplay is ultimately more important to me because if the gameplay is difficult but not fun, it won't even be worth the trouble to me to reveal the story, and because RPGs with good gameplay are a much better value, since they are replayable.

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Story is ONE OF MANY ELEMENTS that keep you playing. Locations (as visuals) are the second. Gameplay has all the rest. What is the meaning of listening a story if you DON"T PLAY A ROLE IN IT? To enjoy playing a role then it's the gameplay who offers you entertainment doing so.

World of Warcraft (MMORPG) does have "local stories" through its quests and little talks; they reveal the world where you are role playing. You begin humble and, in time, become one of the true leaders of that world to fulfill the major story - defeat the enemies. Each location, item, monster or everything lives permanently through its own story. Give "pieces" to players and let them imagine the links and build up the puzzle.

A too strongly defined story from the beginning will only give the feeling of "pushed" or forced to play an already known role. This is why stories have turn overs.

Adding all this up I say that story has his role. Don't make it the most important but don't throw it away or you will lose some players. Just make it bold enough.

My 50 cents.
Cod.

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Well, In RPGs Balance between story and gameplay should be equal. But since we're talking explicitly about Role Playing then story seems to be more important.

Action RPGs should be gameplay, though. Same thing with MMORPGs, however if you want to twist the genre a little bit make sure you somehow add a storyline to these genres.

Though, as we talk about MMORPGs it seems that alot of mmorpgs are all about gameplay and almost no role playing or story even. But since alot of us know how repetitive these games can become (Even though addicting), its always good to add some gameplay twist, or just an open storyline (Morrowind? I think morrowind could have been very well done as an online rpg, since it plays like an mmorpg because its world is open and you can go anywhere at any time and do whatever quests you want and join whatever guild you want).

To conclude this, I think RPGs (Real RPGs) should concentrate more on story than gameplay while ARPGs/MMORPGs should concentrate on gameplay and perhaps add some storyline in an open enviorment (So you dont have to follow the storyline linearly).

Just my 2 cents :)

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Well, for RPGs I consider the story to be so vital that it is part of the gameplay!

I'm actually a bit confused by the term "gameplay" anyway; what parts of a game consitute the gameplay, and which parts do not? (This isn't meant to spark an argument, I'm just wanting to know what the general consensus for the meaning of this word so we all don't get confused).

If by gameplay in RPGs you mean the combat mechanics (which is what most of the interactive bits in RPGs boil down to anyway), I think in RPGs story trumps that; however, the combat mustn't be so dull that it drivers the player away (which is a problem I've had with several big name RPGs, most notably Final Fantasy 6).

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I suspect its not so generally answered. It depends on the specific design and play experience that you are creating. There were some very intelligent people from MIT media labs at GDC basically bah-humbugging that games without stories were any more entertaining that those with. In fact, the reasoning was that people (that means players) need stories to be told to them whether interactivity is involved or not.

I am not pro or con, just reporting the suggestion.

Adventuredesign

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Guest Anonymous Poster
What the above poster forgets is that most people playing those two games are 12 years old and have ADHD. Oh, and most show their intelligence once they start speaking. I cannot wait for 10 more years to pass and see the English language completely butchered by these morons. wht up g!

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