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What do you want to see in an RPG?

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I am curious as to what people would like to see most in an RPG? I am considering starting one up for the next few years and I'm curious what I should focus on polishing?

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if the game is going to be 95% random battles than make them interesting
types
FF/DW style
the most simplistic, not many options but non-significant battles can be resolved fairly quickly, if you use this try to give the player something else to do sometimes

Tactics
if the battles take forever to complete try not to have too many random/pointless encounters

Real time
try to have more strategic depth than just running up to the enemy and beating each other over the head with swords for five minutes

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You bring up a good point. I was thinking of having real-time fighting but in a way so that you need to use your abilities like spells, etc to win a battle with most of your health. Sort of a mix between World of Warcraft and Oblivion.

Thoughts on that? More suggestions for what you want to see?

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What I'd like to see most in an RPG? Absolutely anything that isn't another Final Fantasy clone or a computerised Dungeons and Dragons variant.

Admittedly those types of games are what people think of when they think "RPG", but there have been lots of games with RPG flavour: Quest for Glory, Harvest Moon, Deus Ex, System Shock, Princess Maker, Cute Knight etc. While I still enjoy the more bog standard RPGs, there's only so many times you can play "spiky haired hero and band of misfits saves the world from long haired maniac out to destroy everything" and "elves, dwarves and hobbits hit things with a +2 Mace of Strange Blue Glowing".

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Sex, drug and metal music.

No it's not a joke, look at gothic2, i'm sure lot of people played the game for that (except metal) ;)

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To Trapper Zoid's post,

I agree. I was thinking to have the +2 Mace of Blue Glowing and all that crap but instead of being a hero, you had the choice to betray people. Just like in real war. Alliances don't last forever. Some of the decisions the character makes might trigger events that cause alliances to wage war on eachother. Not saying you'll have this super power, but rather some decisions may have side-effects like that. Take WW1 for example. Some guy assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and like 6 countries went to war.

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I know this is out the scope of what you are asking, I think, but my dream RPG would have realtime combat much like See No Evil style fighting, arcade style. A freestyle physics based enviroment where enviroment could be used to aid in a fight. You trap a guy wielding a pike into an alley in the city and the pikeman will only be able to thrust and such, or an archer can't shoot through a thousand guys and magically hit his target (unless it was a magic arrow I suppose). Where if you get hit with a gigantic fireball from a spellcaster and your going to be toasted and probably knocked on your butt. Also you walk up to a guy not wearing any armor and swing a 15 lbs sword into the middle of his bad, well guess what he dies. Of course I'm an idealist and I would like to see all this implemented using the Wii controllers and the only super uber knucklehead that owns everyone is someone that knows how to actually sword fight and has the stamina in real life to swing his arms for five minutes dodging and parrying while being attacked by multiple enemies, granted a Wii controller is a bit lighter than a broadsword but your swing speeds could be limited to character strengths and weapon types. But like I said I'm an idealist :)

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Here's a list of some things I don't care for in today's RPGs:

- the FPS/RPG hybrid and Action RPGs, which is basically what all RPGs have become today. I prefer more strategy in my RPGs, and most RPGs have more or less completely removed this aspect.

- the continuous dumbing down of RPGs (actually, this seems to apply to all game types)

- the ridiculous abuse of the word 'quest'. Cleaning the rats out of someone's basement, or delivering a package from one person to another is not a quest. Personally, I prefer situations. Put the player in situations without a clear right or wrong answer.

- making decisions that end up not having any impact on the game world, a static world.

Here are some things I like to see in RPGs:

- complex character system
- tactical combat
- solutions to problems that aren't always resolved with combat
- a world that reacts to what you do, the decisions you make, and the alliances you form
- well-balanced
- narrow power curve; in most RPGs you start off as a farm boy, but by the end of the week, you're leveling cities
- alternate settings

While I don't necessarily hate fantasy RPGs, I would definitely like to see some in different settings. Western, modern, sci-fi, cyberpunk, political, super hero, or stone age settings are all relatively untapped. And there are definitely many more available.

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Quote:
Original post by KevinM
You bring up a good point. I was thinking of having real-time fighting but in a way so that you need to use your abilities like spells, etc to win a battle with most of your health. Sort of a mix between World of Warcraft and Oblivion.

In real-time system the biggest thing i don't like is lack of player interaction or skill, try to have the players strategy or reflexes or anything other than hot key memorizing ability play a part in the outcome of battles.

EDIT:
What i don't like are 0 player games
a example of this would be neverwinter nights,
a macro to use a heal potion as every 4r'th action and there's really no point in me doing anything

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Just one thing I must stress...
Originality!!!!
As Trapper Zoid was getting at playing a D&D based game isn't bad but when thats all there is out there it just kinda drives you insane.

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Viable alternative to Save and Reload on Death....

Playing thru unfortunate outcomes should be made interesting enuf to be better than chronic reloading.

Special Items that only last a short or unknown time so the player will 'use em or lose em' and will force the player to use different skills/strategies when they are gone (instead of the usual rut of 'the perfect combination').

More versatile use of props (a rock you pick up off the ground is a fine weapon when you have nothing else....) and realistic scenery (no nore fake doors), dynamic terrain, world made up of real objects that interact.

[Edited by - wodinoneeye on March 23, 2007 12:47:53 AM]

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Choice of male or female playable character, dating-sim-style interaction with NPCs, more realtime/arcade-style combat, no stupid pseudoscience, no cliche races, original worldbuilding and well developed characters, pretty graphics, happy ending. [smile]

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What JBourrie and sunandshadow said.

Although... I'm not particularly opinionated one way or the other about the combat system, and to be honest RPGs are in my view one of the game types most elegible for a moving and memorable ending which isnt necessarily a "happy ending".

What I look for in an RPG is... well... the RP part. A strong story, with a good system to deal with, and respond believably to, a wide variety of player character actions and situations.

Without that I find it hard to classify something as an RPG. Without the RP, it would simply be a... "G"
:P

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Some nice things i would like to see:

Singleplayer (or a Multiplayer that is something different then Hack'n'Slash; maybe a good Coop-Story-Mode)

Something different then Orc/Dwarves/Elves

A nice Story (does not mean that i want to read thousands of pages, some RPG-Games tend to be an interactive book. Usually I play a game, because I currently dont want to read a book).

Unique Characters: Characters with a real personality. Not just shiny heroes. People do not have just good character aspects, are always friendly, rescue the princess and life happy till they die.

Real Quests: I want to see why I have to kill the Dragon up the hill. And I want to see some results. (No need to say that it should take more then 3 minutes to complete a Quest.)

An open, living World: A world that does not need me as a hero, and I may do whatever I want. Rescue a princess / kitnap the princess or do nothing.

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Wow, thanks for all the replies! I've noted everything. I'll try to meet everybody's needs.

We will do our best with the graphics, there will be several ways to enter combat, so if you suck at strategy, hack and slash is always an option but maybe not a safe one. Decisions will have side-effects, some large, some not, but the large ones will be perfectly justified. I'm not sure what physics we are using yet, but I will make sure that most things in the environment can be destroyed.

If there are any more suggestions I'll note them too. Thanks again :)

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Things I would like to see...

Stories/plots that aren't save the world from total destruction.

Think Seinfeld or Pulp Fiction let one or two interesting things happen per campaign.

Unique Character play or at least visually unique
A sword guy should play different from magic guy or gun guy etc..
I've seen to many wizards whacking away with a magic staffs,
give a mana mini game or something to cast with that makes playing him different.

A Return to the pen and paper style system.

You don't have to rip DnD, but come on!
Original dice type systems aren't that hard.
Hmm...Well for me that is.

(Stat whatever) and (die roll using die 4,6,8,10,12,20..Misc.)if = greater than whatever you have to beat, you won the roll and hit/dodged/kissed/unlocked the thing.

Try a Simple plus based system.

I've read a lot posts filled with 50% and 25% plus this and that, which in
game act weird with other pluses.

If I got 100% to hit with this Weapon/Skill why did I just miss four times in a row.
And is level 12 100% the same as level 20 100% WTF!

Gimme a good die roll simulator(Heck add some dice physics with it)
Random CG damage of 1-20 isn't the same as a 2d 10 roll or 5 D4.

Hmm...Would you want to play Craps with random computer number or a die roll simulator number.

Stop the ridiculus damage!
I think FF started that.
I go from doing say 30damage to 100 then wow 400. Big deal everyone does it.
High damage just looks nice nowadays, makes you feel strong.

Critical hits are a joke cuz monster hit point are to high anyway...wow killed him with three Critical hits...it took two and lived!?
Where's the Critical death blow??

More PNP things here...

A HIT CHART and ARMOR PARTS!!

Give me some places to hit someone plz, some can be strong some weak.

Armor is like an ever growing force field in most games.

Got a new helmet 30def + to total defenses why, it should be 30 protect your head.

Another thought on hit charts...I don't care how many levels or gear you have, if you are unlucky and get stabbed in the neck you should die from it.
Well...at least make a check against a Critical Death Blow.

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Humans.

An artificial intelligence can only get you so far. A dedicated and competent GM in an IRC canal can get a better mileage out of the medium than a signle-player game. Why not make an RPG game which is an extension of said IRC canal, where things are shown instead of described ?

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The one thing I want to see in an rpg these days is focus on non-combat elements.

In every RPG I play these days, all stats and all skills are just for surviving in combat. The only thing you get better at is slaying people or monsters.

Also, I'm not sure the questlog is a positive thing in most games. I believe it takes away more than it adds.

About story and choices. Alot of people like final fantasy, and that is not because you are free to do whatever you want. I just love Suikoden and Shadows Over Riva, and guess what? Not a single choice in any of them.
Then I played BG2, and while it was indeed a great game, all choices and different paths put me off alot.

I like to have different ways to solve things, but I truly dislike when exactly every decision I make can affect something later on, and I dislike games with too many meaningless and short sidequests even more.

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You should seriously rethink your RPG game design if it has even a vague resemblance to anything contained within Lord of the Rings.

For using something invented specifically by J.R.R Tolkien(Orcs, Elves), you should punch yourself in the face.

Different genres need to be used more for RPG's(read some good Sci-Fi books), and someone needs to come up with something that can substitute for the 'magic' that is used in most games.

Also: Guns. No swords. No Sword-guns. Guns.

I don't play RPG's, but if I did, these things are what I would look for(if you find any, let me know[yes, I need to get Deus Ex])

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I'd say "tactical combat" is complete crap for small encounters. What is this, Rainbow Six? Tactics should be involved in large scale battles, and wars. But a fight between 10 people should not involve tactics, it should be so fast and visceral that you fight it the way you would if you were really in it - by the seat of your pants. My ideal RPG would have both versions of combat, for the people that love tactics, let them engage in battles and lead wars. For the people that love up close combat, let them get down on the battle field and really fight. For the people that love both, let them do both.

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Um...JRR Tolkien didn't invent orcs and elves. They're both mythical creatures. I'm pretty sure Zeus ain't gonna sue me....

Anywho, plans still aren't solid. May even be possible that the game may be an RTS instead. We're still sorting everything out.

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actually tolkien _did_ invent orcs... though i don't think he invented elves.

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it needs to start you in the action. Most RPG games start you in some town and you have to wander around for a bit. If you leave the town too early you lose the opportunity to enjoy it, but on the other hand we've all seen a million starting towns. A snes game called "Lufia" started you out as the heroes of a generation past. You did the final dungeon and then after that you do the town thing with the present day hero. Eventually you build up to a party in the final dungeon and you fight essentially the same foes. It worked out well in the game, much better than I am explaining it here.

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