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  1. 1. Which aspect of a cRPG is more important to you?

    • Gameplay
      76
    • Story
      149


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I'd say 55% story, 45% gameplay. A game that excels in either one can be fun to play, but a good balance is preferable. I particularly like gameplay that features a lot of variety in tactics.


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Gameplay first for me. Story to me is interchangeable. If you look at BG or even PS:T it's story could have been done in a style of game(FPS, adventure game, bioware RPG style, JRPG, etc..) but then I wouldn't have wanted to play them as much. I like the top down RPG style. That being said it doesn't have to be perfect or even bug free but I want it to be fun.

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At the end of the day, if we're really being honest with ourselves this particular subgenre has it's fair share of problems gameplaywise (IE games specifically and even some of the turn based rpgs we love). RTwP is perhaps my least favorite form of gameplay and it did a bad job of "mimicking" turn based games with it's auto pause feature. I play(ed) them at max difficulty and it was a little more then easy to realize how clunky it played when it's required at such a level to issue new orders after every action which coincidentally come at irregular intervals as well as periods of time they were "out of turn." When the ogre can instantly kill your main tank who's got nearly max level hp this can be problematic.

 

I recently picked up both Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment off GoG. Considering i'm playing both of them at the same time and they are basically polar opposites of each other I find that both struggle to keep my attention in the way that Baldur's Gate I+II could (ah the hours and hours of lost sleep...). Each of them feels like it's missing something and each of them can certainly improved on where they are considered "strong".

 

Personally, I don't think a truly great game will be made unless BOTH story and gameplay get the attention they deserve.

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Both, duh. That's why it's so hard to make a good RPG.

This is true.

 

If I have to choose, however, it's story hands down. If a game has excellent story and mediocre gameplay, I'll still enjoy it immensely. If it's the other way around, I might get bored halfway through.

 

I don't understand people saying "for story I'll read a book". Show me a book which tells the story of The Nameless One and his quest to solve the riddle of life and death. Show me a book about the Courier and her journey across Nevada. Show me a book about the Bhaa... no, wait, there is one and it's so awful I regret every second spent on it.

 

It's not a choice of game versus book. They aren't equivalent.

 

As a rule, games with a great story are far more memorable to me and more likely to make me tell someone: "Yes, it's an amazing game, you should definitely play it." 10 years from now, which game is going to be called the pinnacle of RPGs and still be played by hundreds of people: Planescape: Torment or Kingdoms of Amalur?

 

 

I don't particularly like saying that, but books (or movies) are a better way to tell a story.

Not necessarily. In fact, I'd say that video games are by far a better medium than movies - they can be cinematic when they need to be, at the same time leaving space for other storytelling devices. As proved by Torment and recently by Dear Esther (which is technically an interactive story), games can be as engaging as a well-written book - the problem is that most players and developers still treat them as entertainment only, not as a medium of artistic expression.

Edited by Rosveen

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As a rule, games with a great story are far more memorable to me and more likely to make me tell someone: "Yes, it's an amazing game, you should definitely play it." 10 years from now, which game is going to be called the pinnacle of RPGs and still be played by hundreds of people: Planescape: Torment or Kingdoms of Amalur?

 

That's generally not a good example because Kingdoms of Amalur gameplay is only mediocre. A better example would be something like Planescape: Torment vs. a Tales of game or Chrono Trigger or something and i'll certainly tell you Tales games tend to be engaging as hell with only mediocre story. On the other hand i'm sitting in the Clerk's Ward in Planescape feeling like i've done a crapton of fetch questions and still waiting for the story to grab me (but then again having a "big mystery" be the main driving force is generally a storytelling crutch).

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For me, story is paramount. Story is what gives context to my actions. When I play a game with great gameplay but an uninteresting story, I quickly begin to lose interest, and the feeling that I'm wasting my life comes over me. I begin to feel that I could be using this time to do something productive.

 

When I play a game with an engaging story, however, I don't feel like I'm wasting my time. I feel like my involvement with this great story is a productive act. I am creating my own story (I'm not actually, of course, since it's all predetermined by the writers, but it gives me the illusion that I am). This is why story-based RPGs have become pretty much the only games I still play, even though their gameplay mechanics are usually pretty dull (I find RTwP combat to be very tedious, for example, but I slog through it because the story has given my actions context; the otherwise boring combat sequences become interesting because they have become part of the story).

 

As such, story is definitely key for me. A game must give me the feeling that I'm telling my own story--that I am a character in this fantasy world. If I can get engrossed in playing a character, then all the game's bugs and the tedium of its combat become marginal inconveniences. Without that contextualization, however, even the greatest gameplay mechanics quickly devolve into a timesink, and I find little motivation to keep playing.

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Who actually plays through games with bad game play for the story? I think there's only one game I can think of where the game play is incredibly bad, but the story is good enough for me to go, "yeah I'd prefer to suffer through this bad game than watch a animated movie with better voice acting, animation, graphics, and way better pacing", and that's Grim Fandango. I want to know who are these people that don't like games, but think the best stories come from games. Seriously? It's like people who haven't heard about movies, books, TV shows, but have heard about games. Then there's the fact that the majority of games have terrible stories, and even worse voice acting. It's hard to wrap my head around people who think stories are more important than game play in games.

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pong-- no developer story, but it created loads o' gameplay hours. we like story, but smarty developers know that a game with good gameplay can be engaging regardless o' story quality. reverse is not necessarily true. bad gameplay can ruin game. not matter how good writing is if gameplay sux.

 

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A stellar RPG needs to excel on both. But if Obisidian drops the ball on one account, it should be the story.

 

Better not drop it, though:-)

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I like a healthy balance, but that isn't an option.

This!


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Brains and body, both. Fallout, Arcanum, and VtM: Bloodlines, perfect examples of story and game play intertwined. Although it has to be game play led, if you just want a cinematic "game", just watch a movie or read a book, they're going to be significantly better than a game with no game play. Games can be as good a story telling medium as books and movies, through game play. Game play, game play. Sick of some developers making bad games because they can't make movies.

 

Disagreeing there.

 

Firstly, books and movies lack one important thing - interactivity. With a game you can influence the story, which makes game storytelling a lot more engaging. If it has a good story, that is.

Secondly, gameplay cannot make a bleak story suddenly interesting. A good example for that is the already mentioned Kingdoms of Amalur. Good gameplay, but a horrible 08/15 story. If a games story is unimaginative and has tons of logic holes in it no amount of gameplay will make the storytelling of the game good.

 

That being said, I doubt anyone of the "story" faction wants a cinematic "game" without any gameplay (nevermind that a "cinematic" game and a game with a great storytelling is not the same thing), just as I doubt that the "gameplay" faction wants a game with good gameplay, but no real story.

 

Personally I would greatly prefer a great story and average gameplay over an average story and great gameplay.

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Story. It makes the game much more memorable.

 

But that doesn't mean that one has to dumb down the gameplay.

Edited by Zere

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Gameplay all the way. CRPGS is the genre in general that people replay and are time wasters for westerners. Basically they are identical to korean time waster mmorpg games minus the Korean. The story does not make people play them again. It is the replay value gameplay and all the statistics jazz. Planescape torment is the western equivalent of final fantasy 7 reason why a lot of folks replay it. Anyways, gameplay is far more important then story in making a game. As long as the story doesn't get lost in translation like two world video game, is a step above that, then its good. Recently Xcom was released for the PC. The story in the game is the exact same as the original game story. It is basically boring crap and the base building in the game is simple and little soldier customization compared to originals. BUT the gameplay alone is fun enough for the game to be considered great and have the player beat it and replay it.

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story without gameplay is like a visual novel

gameplay without story is just action/adventure game.

it takes both to make rpg game.

 

If i would be to pick - better story or better gameplay ? probably story coz how weak story is in recent games .

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gameplay without story is just action/adventure game.

it takes both to make rpg game.

Wrong. There are plenty of RPGs old and new with very little or no storyline at all.

 

Story is neither an essential or a defining feature of an RPG. It's just something that can enhance the experience greatly, when done well. If anything, I consider interactive storylines and dialogue trees to be more defining features of adventure games than RPGs.

 

The main defining feature of an RPG that separates it from adventure games or action-adventure games is the use of numeric rules / mechanics to allow for character development and progression.

Edited by Piccolo
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