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what are things you hate about current RPGS

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what are some elements of current RPGS that you really dislike? btw: i''m not looking for "lacking storyline and characters", thats an obvious giveaway..

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I hate how most rpg''s are pointless repetitive exercises. For instance, consider the gameplay of your average console rpg. The battles require such a small amount of thought (sometimes all you need to do is press one button repeatedly) and yet they take up a huge portion of the time playing. If the key to the game is its story, then the story should take up a lot more time than the tedious battle sequences. Now a lot of computer rpg''s, such as the Fallout series, do a lot of stuff really well, but some rpg''s really involve little actual skill usage.
Look at Diablo 2, the main skills here are intelligent usage of skill points and character attribute points. Other than this, Diablo 2''s main draw is the continuous and tedious process of going through millions of enemies to find that next piece of armor. Granted, the story holds some interest, but after a short period the story doesn''t even factor in for the average gamer (by the third replay in a different difficulty level, the average player is more concerned with finding a stronger player to take him/her past all of the tedious process to advance).
Overall, I feel like rpg''s can present a story well, but the lack of any type of direct control (selecting actions from a menu does not equal direct control) makes it ultimately lose interest. Games like Half-Life allow a player to directly control a single person and use their own skills to advance the game. Rpg''s are about characters that learn skills and use them, not the gamer.
Certainly, there are lots of rpg gamers, I happen to like rpg''s and I even got hooked on Diablo 2 for a little while (until the process became overpoweringly boring as I realized the enemies increase in skill with me and there will always be better weapons and armor that I don''t have), but still, rpg''s need to do some things better to allow a player to be more involved in the world. I hold fallout as a great example of this. The player is usually not just trying to find the next place to go and the next thing to do in order to advance the story in Fallout. They can specifically control many aspects of their characters development, and the battles end up taking on a strategy aspect (usage of time units, what skills to utilize when, the basic programming of party members).

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One thing I really dislike is in console RPG''s:

The random battles. I realize games need battles, and I realize you can only have so many scripted battles before your save games become humongous, but there are ways of handling enemy encounters that involve a little more stratagy.

Games like Crono Trigger, you can at least see the enemy. Games like The 7''th Saga, you can see if they are close to you and avoid them. PC RPG''s, although earlier than both of them, you can see them and avoid them easily and will only need to attack when ready.

(Most games that boast 100+ hours of gameplay are really 10 hours of game, 90+ hours of battles you can''t avoid.)

Another thing I dislike is the linearity. True, PC RPG''s are linear, but nowhere near that of console RPG''s. PC RPG''s usually let you go anywhere anytime. If you enter a spot you aren''t ready for, you usually will find out with that first fireball aimed at one of your characters heads. Console RPG''s on the other hand usually give a cheap explanation of why you can''t go somewhere (The boat to our neighboring town only comes once a day, and the day only will end once you solve this quest we have given you).

Next, most console games usually lack stratagy. You usually can''t position your characters around a moster to corner it. Console RPG''s usually consist of bashing the attack button. The most stratagy I''ve found is how to cast which spells in the correct order to take down a big boss. PC RPG''s are a little better at stratagy.

Finally for dislikes, and PC RPG''s do this too, the lack of any attempt at reality. Yes, I realize RPG''s are fantasy, but how can 3 6 ft characters kill a whopping 1000 ft giant? The giant should just be able to step on them. Even if you somehow did manage to pluck your sword into his skin, it probably wouldn''t even penetrate deeply enough to even wound him. (Xenogears got this right imho).

As you can probably tell right now, I prefer PC RPG''s over Console RPG''s, but I do find some flaws in PC RPG''s.

One dimensional NPC''s. Play Might and Magic 6-8 sometime, or even worse, Daggerfall, and you will know what I mean.

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1) The vast majority of them take place in a cliched midevil fantasy D&D like setting...why not a wild west RPG?

2) Conflict resolution always seems to revolve around combat...this is sad sense there are so many ways to deal with issues of conflict that have not yet been touched on in games

3) the cliched need to ''level-up'' by gaining experience points...I quit playing some RPGs when this happens

4) I hate RPGs with 100 variations on the same theme (sword+1, sword+2, sword+3, etc.)...game variety should be found in Quality NOT Quantity

5) RPGs designed by committe...or designed by asking people what they like/dislike about RPGs (er...this thread would count...if this info is used to make gameplay design choices)...

I''ll put it this way:
a game designer is like a PnP RPG DM/GM...has athority over the game rules...in a RPG the DM describes a specific situation and the players respond accordingly...a game designer will ask others for input on specific rules and play mechanics("will this gamerule work better then that gamerule?")...typicaly someone in Marketing will ask more ''foggy'' questions in an attemp to assertain what will ''sell''("what do you like about FPS?")...I don''t want to offend you or anyone...I can be an opinionated ass sometimes...I just happen to think the best games (reguardless of how well it sold) are the ones where the developers involved were pationate about the game...not about the money it could make or the popularity it could achieve

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I used to be into RPG''s big time when I was a kid... since then, they haven''t changed much. I love the network play in Diablo II but there is no sense of roleplaying... as a matter of fact, I have a hard time considering any computer game a real role-playing game. Even in multi-player games, there is no role. You gain experience and equipment in which to slaughter other players or monsters that are as flat as month-old pepsi. Not that it isn''t always fun, I just don''t consider it a role.

What would be a RPG? How about a game envronment where the players can build their own property or business. How about causing the game play to be affected by how the player plays... here''s an example:

Back in ''84 there was a game called Elite. In this game you had to travel from planet to planet and earn money to upgrade your ship. The difficulty of the game depended on how you made your money.

-If you mined asteroids (BORING!!!) noone messed with you.
-If you traded goods, you''d get the occasional pirate.
-If you were a bounty hunter, well, that''s just exciting in itself.
-If you were a pirate, you had the bounty hunters after you and the occasional police ship.
-If you traded narcotics or other illegal materials, you had the pirates, the bounty hunters AND the police all lined up to kick your a$$.

And of course there was me, roleplaying one nasty SOB trading narcotics and battling with the cops... but after I destroyed a police ship, I''d capture the escape pod and sell the cop as a slave! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Funny thing was... it wasn''t considered a roleplaying game. Hmmm. I guess you''re not roleplaying if you''re not carrying a sword or casting a spell.

- Jay


Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view

Get Tranced!

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Derivative battle engines. I know naught of PC games, but I''ve yet to play a console RPG with an actually enjoyable battle engine. Final Fantasy Tactics was good since it required some actual strategy, but it was a bit too much. Grandia has a great battle engine, both for fun and also the way you upgraded magic, levels, weapons, etc. You''d level up in something every other fight. But the engine was a bit unbalanced; get overwhelmed early and it''s impossible to recover. You can also do the same to the enemy (last boss is the easiest fight in the game; I kept knocking down his turn. I think his entire offense was a failed Sleep spell). Paper Mario had a wonderful evolution of Super Mario RPG''s Timed Hits, but lacked strategy. Still, PM, G and FFT are probably the best battle engines I''ve seen. Most others put me to sleep. Action RPG''s on the other hand are great. Zelda anyone?

Chris Barry

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Simple, I''ve seen it too many times.
Games like FF are good but I personally don''t like them anymore
,and know a great many people who agree.(FF7''s my fav)
The RPG genre needs a dramatic overhaul in most key elements,
and it needs new ideas and types of worlds.
I mean there''s so much of this stuff,I saw Breath of fire the other day.That is FF ,it''s made by Capcom as well :/.
It''s boring,they''re so good in many ways yet so in need of attention.

"There''s so much too do, and a lot of you are wasting time.
This is ART dagnammit! get creative or get buried."

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Guest Anonymous Poster
My problem with console RPGs these days are the battle elements, and the non-battle elements

The battle is generally easy and pointless. The non-battle is mostly talking to people in towns to make sure you don''t miss stuff. I hate the feeling of dread I get when I walk into a new town and realize I should talk to everyone just because *one* of them *might* have something useful to say.

When you take out those parts there isn''t much game left...

What is missing from single player RPG games, as well as "fantasy" games in general, is ACTUAL FANTASY. *Fanstasy* should be fantastic, not mundane. The old red dragons breathe fire stuff becomes a routine after a while.

I don''t think console RPGs or PC RPG''s have gotten worse - fundamentally they have stayed the same but I''ve gotten older and played more. I never played Planescape:Torment but that at least looks like something different. I''m not asking people to re-invent the wheel over and over but I would really like a sense of wonder and immersion in a game, rather than been-there-done-that. Especially for an RPG. In an action game the action and play control and levels might sell you; in an RPG those things are non-existent or pretty basic, so you need something else.

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if any of you have played Anachronox, you probably know it is very much like a console RPG, its for the PC.

You seem to make the assumption that all PC RPGS are like diablo, and all Console RPGS are like final fantasy.

Technically you shouldnt refer to them by the system they use, but their style.

But im rambling.

I hate diablo. It was boring, the plot was contrived, enemy AI was weak, all enemies were rather generic.
ie (skeleton, zombie, diablo)
Gameplay was slow, ending was gay, very predictable, dying people who dont die.

The game just wasnt any fun. If i play a game, i dont add everything up, i decide wether or not i like it depending on wether or not it was FUN! F-U-N!

Diablo Wasnt fun, final fantasy 9 was.
Anachronox was fun, Final Fantasy 8 wasnt.
Get it?

You talk about how the game is put together.
I like fun. When i make a game it should be fun, not technilogically advanced, the next step in evolution of the genre, incredibly graphics, or it has a revolutionary new battle system.

Games are for fun, not showing off grahpics or technology.

I still play Super Mario Bros. It is fun

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Never been into RPG''s...

Searched for Fallout because I''ve seen the name often here at GameDev. Wanted to see what it was...

I looks really cool. Out of stock at Amazon.com....Typical...

(only $10 for Fallout 1+2)

Sorry...This was sort of offtopic !

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My largest objection to current RPGs is the fact that they have a story - linear or otherwise. I *hate* being told what to do. If I want to experience something with a predetermined result, I''ll go watch a good movie - something where someone with some talent wrote the bloody thing.

If they would''ve pulled out the story element of Diablo, it would''ve improved the game 1000%. Having creatures of all levels in all areas and the freedom to choose which to "play" in would''ve brought the game closer to its roots (Rogue/Hack/etc).

And speaking of which, the only two RPGs I play any more are ZAngband (a Roguelike) and Tactics Ogre (which is an order of magnitude better than Final Fantasy Tactics) - and yes, I hate the story part of Tactics Ogre - but, at least it''s a often-branching storyline (which has some *severe* branches).

(and, btw, give me 1000 random battles to 1 predetermined one any day. "Boss" creatures are far more annoying - like a big bad monster is going to wait for you - at least in ZAngband the "quest monsters" are scattered and the Unique monsters could be anywhere at any time (nothing like turning a corner to find a room full of o''s and their captain guy just a face in the crowd.)

-scott

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I think consoles have seen the best rpgs. I didn''t really enjoy fallout. I find that pc rpgs are usually too open. It is hard to find out what you should do even if you talk to everyone. I think that rpgs need to be given direction, otherwise you just end up wandering around hoping that something will happen soon so you can see something new.

I agree, though, that some console rpgs are a bit too linear (someone mentioned that they keep giving you new stories as to why you can''t just go on past to a new town, which is true in a lot of cases). But I think that games like Chrono Trigger and FF6 (3 in us) were the best rpgs ever released (aside from the fact that their graphics are now a bit dated). Chrono Trigger''s story was not linear at all, except for the very first section, which really was only there to get the player into the feel of the game and to establish the base story. FF6/3 was the same way. The game was devided into two sections, the first part was mostly linear, with the exceptions of the divided stories where the player got to pick which team of characters they would take next, but the second part was completely open. The player could do as little or as much as they wanted.

As for random battles, They can slow the game down a bit, but in well designed battle systems, the battles shouldn''t get overly agravating for the player anyway. (Chrono Trigger didn''t have random battles, by the way). But the problem with non-random battles is that if the player opts to sneak away from all the battles, they will not be strong enough to win boss battles. Also, people have been saying that the battles shouldn''t be determined by the character''s experience level, but by the player''s strategic skill. I agree with this to a point, since if the battles did not take into account the characters strength, speed, etc. at all, then you would not be playing an rpg, you would be playing an action game! One thing that I think should be changed with the battles in recent rpgs such as FF8 (which I will agree was not the best of the series by any means), is that magic effects, mainly the "summons" should not take over a minute to play out. It is great to watch the first dozen times or so, but it does get boring.

About the idea of alternatives to fighting, I think that that could be implemented well into rpgs, but I don''t think it should replace battles, but rather be a sometimes-used-alternative when dealing with human characters because I doubt very much that a wild, hungry creature would listen to a group of wandering adventurers tell him why he should not try to eat them.

One final thing about the "roleplaying" aspect of these games. I don''t understand exactly why people don''t feel like they are "playing a role" when the pick up an rpg like chrono trigger or ff, especially since in chrono trigger you are mainly left with a free decision what you want to do. You are given the chance to play the role of chrono, you decide what you would do if you were put in his fantasy world. Would you save the world right away or better prepare yourself for the final battle first? If you want more conversation or something, then try a game like furcadia.

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A great CRPG was Thief: The Dark Project. I don''t know if any of you played it but it was great. In this game you played the role of a Thief! You had a sword, a small club and a bow armed with various arrows. Broadhead, rope, water, that kind of stuff. There were no stats and no battle screens. Just the player''s skill. That was true role experience. Imagine this: You are lurking in the shadows near a door. Suddenly you hear the footsteps and the whistles of a guard. Waiting, he passes in front of you, unaware of your presence. You take the blackjack into your hands and swing it down his head. Then you proceed to hide his unconcious body into the shadows and proceed to loot the mansion of it''s riches.
That game was almost flawless. Perfect sound(could hear the direction the guards were coming), perfect roleplaying(looting is the best). Perfect graphics. The only thing that made it lose were the places with the zombies. darn things never stood down no matter what.
I believe that this kind of game is the best. But just the zombies were taking away all the realistic look it had up to this point. So, things i hate in CRPG''s? Unreal things. Sure, dragons are great, giants too, but why get them in the wrong place? M&M 7 had dragons right next to thriving towns for god''s sake.
I think i made point.

Kostas "Dreamwalker" Honias
Dreams pure as glass and fragile as such...

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First off, I think a true "Role Playing Game" would have to be something where you are free to express yourself and make more than rudimentary decisions. Therefore, any sort of linear combat game, narrow-channel story-based walk-through game, or chaotic multi-player shooter (i.e. Quake) should not be considered an RPG. You are not "playing" a role, you are doning new clothes/gear and either walking a pre-determined path with little chance for expression or wandering aimlessly killing things with little time for expression.

The only things that should be labeled RPGs are games where personal expression and decision making are used to slowly craft the persona of your character over time. Obvious multi-player examples of such are Ultima Online, Everquest, DAoC, etc. With these, you are given a world in which to immerse and draw from, near infinate decisions about how you want to act/live, the time and resources to express that idea of a character to fellow players, etc. Certainly there are people who "role play" far better than others and some to whom the concept seems entirely foreign (please don''t discuss last night''s NBA game by the blacksmith shop in the center of town). There are also those who are hopelessly lost without a linear storyline that continuously prods them on like sheep to finish this, go here, attempt that, kill him, pick up the treasure... all in the proper order. "What''s the plot?" they whine... Uh... there isn''t one. You have to make your own, Beavis! This, of course, is cause for THEM to gripe about the game in a reciprocal way than I have here.

For a game to claim to be an RPG and yet fail in the aforementioned tasks is very frustrating to me.

Dave Mark
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

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Ok, here''s my rant...

1. There are very few pure role playing games anymore. Most games coming out now, in my opinion, are closer to being graphical adventures or action games. Just because a game is set in a fantasy world and you can pick up items and find new spells doesn''t make it an RPG. And I am sick and tired of every other game claiming to have RPG elements. It''s like they just say that to lure RPG fans into buying their RTS game.

2. CHARACTER CREATION - WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THIS?? Very few RPGs let you create your character(s) anymore. Usually they tell you what your name is, what your past is, etc. They even establish your personality through intro cut scenes. Call me old fashioned but part of the fun for me was figuring out the perfect combination of characters for my party and trying to roll the best characters I could.

3. Japanimation. Very few RPG''s released that don''t have Anime style graphics. Not that I have anything against them, but they are all starting to look the same. It''s like they use a formula. Childish face + crazy hair-do = our hero.

4. I agree there aren''t enough RPG''s set in other times/worlds. I would love to play a good sci-fi RPG. One with robots, laser guns, rocket ships, etc. One with skills like Computer Operations, Robotics, Pilot, etc. You get the idea.


Anyway, just a few of my opinions

Marcus

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I''m not going to try to define RPG like most people here are Different people believe that different things are RPGs... I personally don''t feel that Diablo and Zelda are RPGs. I prefer the openness of PC RPGs to Console RPGs, but have had fun playing both. I don''t feel that it needs to have a fantasy theme to be an RPG (and likewise don''t think that all that have fantasy themes ARE RPGs, hence my Diablo and Zelda comments).
As for MMORPGs, I haven''t found one that I enjoy yet (I consider them chat rooms with skill progression. I didn''t like the fact that beating up enemies and reaching the next level is more important than being in the world itself).

Frankly, one of the best-handled RPGs to date (and one that the people who feel player skill should take a part) is Deus Ex.

Anyway, onto the original point of the original poster... things I hate in a genre I like:

- Random combat: I like the ability to dodge enemies -- I don''t like fighting the same battles 1000 times when I try to walk from point A to point B.

- Levelling: Though I think fun should win whenever there''s a conflict with reality, I''ve always had a problem with the levelling concept. I don''t think that out of the blue, your character would suddenly get better after fighting 50 enemies. I think skills should progress... as they''re used, they get better. I also think that skills levelling will detach the character from worrying about when their character will "level", and be more concerned about playing the game and advancing the story. Completing quests can be used to gain wealth, items, and knowledge (helping a wizard on a quest would have him teach you new spells, or increase your knowledge in a specific spell school -- helping a fighter would help you train in certain fighting skills, etc).

- Character Classes. I''m probably a small minority here, but I like the concept of being able to create your character any way you want to (a la GURPS), and not be limited to artificial rules (so, WHAT is the logic behind fighters not being able to learn magic, anyway, or mages not being able to fight?). There could be certain "disadvantages" to create these things such as "CAN''T LEARN MAGIC", which would give the character these same (self-imposed) limits, but their should be no hard limit on these things. Arcanum did a great job here, letting the character define their role, NOT the artificiality of character classes.

- The weapons of doom theory. Though I like the concept of magically-imbued weapons, there should be a limit. Heck, instead of doing a quest to gain the Sword of Wizbangery, why not do a quest for a Mage to imbue one of your weapons with the Wizbangery trait. Getting a better weapon doesn''t make a character a better fighter, they just have a better weapon.

- Tolkein. I like the D&D concepts (though not the system). I like fighting dragons and skeletons. However, they need to break from these things on occasion (and no, renaming a beast a Lizzaroo and making it effectively a dragon is not making a new character).

- A spell that loses its effectiveness for no reason. Why is it that when your enemy is at level 4, suddenly the sleep spell doesn''t work any more? You would think that these wizards in their infinite wizdom would simply develop a better sleep spell (or the ability to put more into the sleep spell to make it stronger). Wizardry 8 did a great job handling this.

- Spawning enemies. I know that there''s the possibility that some enemies may eventually come back (or out of hiding), but there can only be so many goblins in a cave.

- The charisma stat. I think a player''s actions should determine the reaction they receive, NOT some stat.

Games have done some stuff right, but there is stuff they can do so much better. Deus Ex did a great job with the role playing -- especially in the sense that you became the main character... if you want to see multiple ways to improve your character, this is the game (I personally loved the sniper skill in that game -- as your skill improved, the aiming retical wavered less and less). I love the Wizardry 8 spell system... though the game itself is pretty old-school, the spell system is great (a simple fireball spell can be cast more powerfully). Also, Wiz 8 allows your skills to improve through use (though they still do levelling). I love the Arcanum and Fallout character creation systems. Though I don''t consider the Baldur''s Gates as earth-shattering as everyone else, I do like their use of story.

-Chris

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Guest Anonymous Poster
To sum up what I have read so far, the place where crpgs need to improve are:

1) The ability to impose one''s own personality or style into the game.

This shows up in creating one''s characters, providing a variety of combat tactics to learn/specialize in, and player choice about what to do next.

2) Meaningful character development no matter which direction the player chooses.

If 90% of the mundane activities aren''t fun, provide direction towards the fun activities. Better, improve the game so that all of the available choices provide fulfillment.


Heck this is nothing new. Chris Crawford was writing about this in 1982.

JSwing

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I think games are over-simplified these days. In Diablo II, there is an exclamation point over who you have to talk to? I love the game, but it''s not for it''s "rich plot" Hell, I actually have NO IDEA what the plot of D2 is, and i''m level 25 or so.

When I was a kid, my life was ULTIMA. You had to really learn what was going on. You couldn''t just play in a line and eventually end the game. You had to remember all the facts, or take good notes, etc.

Anyone play Wasteland? That was a great game NOT set in medieval times,

I too loved GURPS when I was a kid. That was a great system.

The R and G of RPG is Role-Playing. If you''re playing a role, you''re being something you are not.

My ex and I used to role-play... umm.. but that was something different

-Gelf

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quote:

The R and G of RPG is Role-Playing...



[[insert witty remark here]]

The only RPGs I''ve played were PlanetScape: Torment, Baldur''s Gate 2, and Diablo II (which is supposedly an RPG). They were all good, but the thing I didn''t like about the D&D games was that it took too long to level, though when you did, you usually got great new abilities (especially Sorcerers). In Diablo II, you leveled very quickly but only marginally improved with each level (woohoo, my level 8 Static Field is now level 9, etc.).

An idea I had is to use a point system for each specific skill in lieu of level-ups. If you start with 8 Str, it will cost you maybe 500 exp to bring it to 9. Or you can save up and then spend 850 exp to bring your level 1 Fireball up to level 2. You spend experience points, you see, and this way, as you gain more experience, new opportunities are constantly opening themselves up. 1050 more exp and you can get that new spell, 1200 more and you can increase your Vitality more, etc. As opposed to doing nothing until that one level up.

~CGameProgrammer( );

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I agree with the guy who said Thief: The Dark Project was a great game. I mean, just TRY playing that game with a hack-n-slash mentality. You''d get killed, and fast. The whole idea of the game was to AVOID battles.

Thank you for using Slambot.

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A lot of what I hate about console RPGs can be summed up in this thread from a few months back. Basically I don''t like the "lead the player by the nose through a linear story while throwing a trillion random encounters at them" style of RPG. (And even when Final Fantasy 6 does start to get non-linear, it annoys the hell out of me my ''locking me in'' to certain quest areas that I can''t leave where I inevitably end up slaughtered, when I''d just wanted to see what the area was. Anyway, I digress...) But I don''t really play many ''current'' RPGs, so I couldn''t give any more advice than that... except that to say I don''t believe originality is as important as quality.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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Kylotan: That has to be the most useful sig I''ve seen here!

As for what I hate about rpg''s it has to be random encounters with primitive combat systems. In Star Ocean 2 I''ve had many encounters with about 2 sec inbetween. I''d like to see Final Fantasy Tactics type battles. One for a typical battle area. Maybe 2-3 or one really big one for a tough area.


Jack

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InocuousFox (I don''t know gender so I''ll use neuter references. No offense.) said that they wanted story elements removed from their games so they could enjoy them more. Well, my friend, you aren''t looking for an RPG, you want an action game. Without a story, how do you know what your role is? If you don''t know your role, how can you play it? I''m not saying that you should have to play the role the designer meant, I''m saying that if you don''t know what''s going on around you, how can you pick something appropriate?

The problem I have with many current RPG''s is actually in line with what you had to say, though not to the extreme you took it. An RPG should be ''built'' in a world, not the world built to hold the RPG. The world should be self-consistent.

The story should be well-written, cohesive, and relevent to the players, but it shouldn''t be the only thing going on. I''m not going to save the kingdom if the king is just sitting on his duff. I will undertake a specific task that eventually leads to bigger doings, but it should be my choice. If I decide not to do what he wants, there should be other quests and riddles to solve. A specific example would be the way "Darklands" by Microprose implemented its world. There was a really good story to it, but you didn''t have to follow it.



ShadeStorm, the Day_Glo Fish

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