Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Grape_You_In_The_Mouth

What Is the Most Important Factor for Making a Great RPG?

What Is the Most Important Factor That Makes an RPG Great?  

188 members have voted

  1. 1. What Is the Most Important Factor That Makes an RPG Great?

    • Graphics
    • Atmosphere/Immersion Elements/Consistent World (Can include voice acting, music, gameplay-&-story integration)
    • Combat System
    • Character Advancement System (Skills, Level-ups, etc.)
    • Choice and Consequence (For the story/game world)
    • Character Development
    • Plot
    • This is a bad question. There is no one factor, everything is a harmonious mixture that requires attention on all sides to be great---things aren't so black and white and theretofore there can be no black and white, but only 50 shades of gray.


Recommended Posts

I wanted to choose the last option, but then you put 50 shades of gray in the description and I just couldn't do it.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the most important thing for an RPG is different for each player, but for me, if i had to use one word: interactivity

atmosphere and imersion are important and graphics should serve to provide them. a good plot also helps with the atmosphere

a combat system that is chalenging but not unnecessarily complicated, combined with a character advancement system that allows for customization of your character are good to have.

but the most important part for me is that the game world needs to respond in a coherent way to what i do and who i am in the game (stuff like: im a famous hero who gained the status of noble through my service for the king,  and then the random peasant comes to me and says "hey young man, i need someone to kill some rats" is somethng i could never stomach).

  • Like 2

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, I would like to say three of the factors is most important to me: story & world set, character system, combat system.


I have struggle to understand a Universe that allows the destruction of an entire planet. Which will win this endless conflict - destruction or creation? The only thing I know for certain is never to place your faith entirely on one side. Play the middle if you want to survive.

 

Everyone else is a fanatic. I am Gauldoth Half-Dead. Your savior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that a lot of RPGs are good by being good at one (or more) of these aspects. It's hard to truly excel at many of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

content. First and foremost, you must have something to do.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion the most important part of role playing game is role playing.

 

So the most inportant is consistant, addictive and interesting written part of the story. By saying "written" part i mean main story, story world, dialogs, athmosphere, and even some sort of psychical character development.

 

In general i sometimes even thing that hole idea of "level ups, and combat" is not so important. But the less important is gaphics and music (but must be at least on level when you don't get piss of by it).

 

In my opinion if we have a good RPG about gangsters the most important is "addictive and interesting written part of the story", the same about space-opera rpgs (KOTOR, mass effect) the same for fantasy rpgs (Witcher) and the same about any other even jrpg ...

 

If game has good storyline it can be even about alchemist, warrior, detectiv, alien or any other ....

 

and the most commonly mistake about RPGs in my opinion is plot related decisions and milti-endings .... why ?

 

Becouse in my opinion 1 well made enging is better then 14 ****ty ones ....

 

Mass Effect, Dragon age and even Fable series have big problem with that.... many endings, moslty only difrent in this that some not-relevant barceep lives or not ...

 

I personaly love Final Fantasy 7 for that.... for some this has very sad ending, for some hevy good and for most grey ....

 

When i watch movie i want to see good story and athmosphere .... the same for games ...

 

and i simply don't understand somethines when in general for some games main plot is only excuse for multi-fights .... fights shoud be one of most important things .. but personaly ... in i play a goood game when we fight only 1 or 2 times ... but have awsome storyline i whoud not complain ....

 

 

Have anyone of you guys seen Death Note ?

 

God story line (expecionaly L part of the story) and not so many fight ... psychological action ... the same as "Monster" anime ....(but in monster we have more fights) ...

 

Not some naruto or Dragon ball Z bull**** ....

 

Have any one seen Godfather or Heat with pacino ? (more western example)

 

Good story, perfect acting and most important ATHMOSOPHE !

 

Not some Stallone or Shwarzenegger bu**** ...

 

Do you imagine ... a scene in godfather if Stallone played the role of Don Corleone or Shwarzenegger playing as Mikel ?

 

I personaly probably whoud not understand a **** from that movie .. haha

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ability for a player to consistently role-play a PC exactly as they intend to do so is the most important factor in a role-playing game. The player should have control over the PC at all times, and must expressly consent to anything the PC does. This means that any dialogue system where the player does not know with complete certainty what the PC will do should not be used. There should be no cinematics where the player loses control of the PC to witness explosions.

  • Like 1

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say the most important thing for a cRPG is none of the things listed, although choice and consequence and a dedicated character advancement system could both acquit themselves nicely as answers to that question.

 

But a cRPG is an agglomeration of a bunch of different gameplay styles and systems, some of which any given player must be able to ignore. They are uniquely challenging games to design precisely because the best ones are built around the player not taking advantage of every system available to them, and yet even those systems must be polished to a roughly equal sheen as the ones a player must interact with.

 

Put in more concrete terms, my point is that the success of a cRPG which offers a stealth option and a combat option is necessarily dependent on rewarding players who choose to sneak and players who choose to fight in two separate but roughly equal ways. Each playstyle must also have its own disadvantages, and those disadvantages must be understandable and not so crippling as to be tedious.

 

The most important thing to any cRPG, therefore, is balanced, thoughtful, internally consistent design for multiple types of players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost voted "graphics", but then didn't.

 

I mean, I hear Knights of the Chalice is a great game, but I didn't give it a chance, and wont.

And it's not the only one, there's plenty of games with either retro or otherwise bad enough graphics that I just pass them by.

 

But getting past the first hurdle, keeping my attention for more than a minute (really, there's games I've bought and given up in less than 1 minute)

is not enough to make a game great. Actually the last choice is correct, there's many things that need to click just right.

 

Still voted for immersion anyway. If the game manages that, it manages enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say they are all important. Graphis are important. You want to make the place you are adventuring in look interesting and not dull. Character development I believe what set baldurs gate 2 way ahead of the other infinity engine games. The antagonist Jon irenicus there is character development throughout the entire game about him. It keeps the played hooked to the story in the game. Besides your adorable little half sister. He was also pretty unique for a elf. being stocky and muscular. Having a hellraiser like face. He was like a outsider outsider to the world, so full of himself douchebag personality. That antisocial defiant personality he had was awesome. 

Edited by Failion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gameplay, plot, companions, and replay value top my list of important elements for any cRPG.


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see an option for gameplay or UI, which is paramount. I'd argue that modern, AAA rpgs don't measure up to the Classic IE and FO games because of that perfect marriage of mouse, keyboard, and camera mechanics. Even despite the mouse/keyboard interface, NWN and DA had poor cameras which negatively impacted gameplay. In many cases, e.g. MotB, Alpha Protocol, K2, FONV, the C&C and role playing components have further expanded on the genre, but the "fun" gameplay was missing.

Edited by Leferd

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I think is so interesting is how few people think Choice & Consequence, Character Development, and Plot are the most important factor, while I think those are what make games/movies/books turn into long-lasting classics.  I think people still play Fallout 1 today because it had these elements, whereas Doom 1 can be replaced easily by 100 games with a better graphics, gameplay, and a better complete package in every respect.  Fallout 1's story is only Fallout 1's story--the only way you can enjoy that plot and character development again is if someone remakes the game. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beg to differ. Fallout had tons of C&C but not much in the way of character development, and as a game it wasn't plot-centric.

 

BG had minimal C&C, had minimal character development, but was plot-centric.

 

PST had all three elements but was linear and had minimal character customization as a result.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, yeah, first time posting here. Thought this was too fascinating a conversation to stay out of it forever. Please don't hurt me.

 

Really, there are a lot of things that makes a great RPG. I never really paid much attention to the particulars until I played Dragon Age 2, which really opened my eyes through all the good things it was missing. Here are my thoughts on what makes a good RPG in my sole and very admittedly unimportant opinion.

 

1) I want my character to reflect my choices in who he is and how he develops. I'm not saying that we need to be able to write our own back stories for the characters, but I want to define who and what my character is at the time I'm playing. If I want to play a brutish Elf who brute-forces his way through everything he encounters or an eloquent Dwarf who can talk his way out of an impending conflict, I want to make that choice. I am not saying that story writers can't create a character for us. Predefined characters are fine, so long as you don't continue defining the character for me after I've ostensibly taken control of him/her/it.

1a) And on a side note, I want to be able to make the "wrong" choice sometimes (but not all times). I want to know that if I don't consider my actions, things can be more difficult (though not necessarily impossible) at some given point in the game. Give me some responsibility, here.

2a) Also, yes, I think giving me some flexibility during level-up (be it feats, perks, skills, or whatever else you want to call them) to choose my character's direction is a fantastic "also has", but I can certainly live with their absence.

 

2) Graphics are important in a sense, in that the style has to reflect the tone of the story. If you would indulge me for a moment to venture out of RPGs into adventure games for just a moment, I would point to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker as a game where the graphical style looks silly on the first impression, but truly makes sense when you start feeling the game and get a sense for the scope of the adventure Nintendo was putting forward. It's no different in an RPG; the tone you set in your story can absolutely be accentuated or diminished based on how you choose to present your game visually.

 

3) Mechanics should make logical sense according to the world, not that the world has to adjust to match your defined mechanics. If you want me to take 15 seconds in an encounter at level 1 to defeat three on-level opponents but want me to take 3 minutes to defeat three on-level opponents at level 20 (or whatever the cap may be), give me a reason within your world to believe why that should be the case. If you want dragons or liches to be terrible foes, then give me a world-existing mechanic so I'm not suspending disbelief when I'm trying to immerse myself.

 

4) Okay, I'll be honest, "actiony", "twitchy", and "push-a-button-and-something-awesome-happens" combat systems do absolutely nothing for me. You can make awesome characters who fight impressively without turning them into Yoda, Starkiller, or *cough*Hawke*cough*. If I can look at the screen and think the characters on it are cool without having to suspend disbelief (within reason of course; this is fiction), I call the system a success.

 

5) Most important of all, I want my character to matter to the world. If someone gives a quest line that implies that your actions can effect a significant outcome for your character, then follow through on that (looking at you, DA2 and Lady Hawke's fate or picking a side in the final showdown, among others). At the end of the story, I want everything I've done to have a meaningful impact on what I'm doing and how others are responding to me. If I do one play through and then do another with the complete opposite style, I want that to be reflected in how people react to me, what bosses I face, and who will still be standing (friend and foe) when it's all over.

 

Of course, this is all very heavily based in my (again, unimportant) opinion. You very likely will disagree wholeheartedly with me but I'm okay with that.

 

*clink, clink*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Grape_You_In_The_Mouth:

 

I dunno if you've played Doom lately, but it is still pretty f***ing great. I dunno if I'd say it's the best shooter ever, but it's still a damn fine game that beats many shooters of more recent vintage quite handily. The same is true of the Quake games.

 

If you like shooters. Based on your comments, my guess is that you don't. Which is fine, but it's not a great idea to tell those of us who do like shooters what we should consider memorable.

 

I don't know what you're talking about with regard to character development or plot in Fallout 1, either. The game's plot is skeletal at best, and its companions are little more than meat shields with a couple of lines of mediocre dialogue. Those aren't criticisms, either; what Fallout focused on was its atmosphere, its setting, its themes, and - most of all - choice and consequence. In those respects, it was an extraordinary success. There were memorable NPCs, obviously, but it's not like you heard about Killian Darkwater's awkward teenage years, or whatever. Quest-givers with a bit of personality are still quest-givers.

 

As an amateur writer myself, I would also disagree that plot is vital to every story, let alone every cRPG. In fact, I'd say a great plot is just about the least[/ i] important important attribute (not a typo) for a cRPG (in the Western tradition, at least) to possess, actually, because the more plot you have, the more fixed the narrative has to be as a result. The best cRPGs almost all start with an intensely dramatic situation that confers upon the player a fixed goal. Doesn't necessarily have to be the final goal, but it's a goal. The player is then given free reign to approach that goal however they wish - which includes deliberately ignoring the goal until they've seen all they can see elsewhere.

 

For best results, the goal should be something clear, but not so immediately pressing that it doesn't make sense for the player to wander. The best starting goals usually have the verb "find" attached to them - find Pharod, find the water chip, find the Amulet of Yendor... You get the picture.

 

Character development is much more important, and it's vital to narrative-focused cRPGs, but it can actually detract from some cRPGs. There is a reason roguelikes and dungeon crawlers don't usually give you lovable companions with detailed backstories.

 

Choice and consequence is the most important to a great cRPG of the three you listed, but there are plenty of cRPGs with solid plots and oodles of character development that possess comparatively little C&C of any real meaning. Certainly, most JRPGs have little in the way of C&C, and even if you exclude those from the discussion, you can't exclude the first ten or so years of Western cRPG development.

 

Wizardry started out as a pure dungeon crawler without so much as a town. Ultima 1 had an overworld, but there weren't many choices that had a demonstrable effect on that overworld, and when you got into a dungeon, it was virtually identical to Wizardry. A lot of early cRPGs didn't have much of a story, nor did they have many characters that didn't serve a distinct gameplay function (innkeeper, merchant, guard, etc.), but they are still fondly remembered and (mostly) eminently playable.

 

Even today, there are plenty of cRPGs that don't have much in the way of plot, character development, or choice and consequence. For example, Legend Of Grimrock's plot is virtually nonexistent. Character development? Pssh, that would require (non- player) characters! And the only "consequences" of any of the "choices" you can make in Grimrock are dying and not dying. But it's a damn fine game that the people who like that sort of game won't forget anytime soon.

 

TL;DR: The reasons you remember your favorite cRPGs fondly are not the reasons everyone remembers their favorite cRPGs fondly, and that's been reflected accurately in the responses to this thread. Games can use literary or filmic techniques, and if that's what you respond to in them, that's fine. But the presumption that those are what other people respond to is merely that - a presumption, and not one the facts support.

 

Now, if you'd asked what makes a story-driven cRPG great, you might have gotten some answers closer to your own. I would agree with you that those are good things for a story-driven cRPG to have, and they can enhance a sandbox cRPG, too. But they are not vital to all cRPGs.

 

Sorry for the long post, but it took me several days to write, so I'll be damned if I'm throwing out any of this stuff! :p

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good or even great RPG requires multiple of the elements.

Mostly I'd put it down to a combination of character development, choices/consequences and immersion.


Good immersion becomes useless when the game lacks character development or Choices/consequences.
Character progression is great but without immersion the game quickly becomes tedious and mediocre.

Combat and Character advancement help make the game fun, but are not *required* for a great RPG.
Graphics are also bonus, plenty of great RPG's do not have top of the line graphics.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The holy trinity for greatness is plot/atmosphere/consequences, imho. The rest are just "covering the basics" for me, it's stuff I expect any decent game to provide and if I remember it for those it's usually not fondly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Story, characters, and gameplay good enough not to be a nuisance. I'd like to say just the story and characters, but there have been times where bad gameplay can bring an otherwise good story experience down greatly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FFordesoon, I would disagree with you for a few reasons, but I'm honored to receive a reply that took days to complete.  Doom 1 may be playable now to people who grew up with it, but there are so many games that have everything I liked about Doom and more, so there is absolutely no reason for me to go back to it.  If you play RPGs for their gameplay then you could say the same about almost all the old RPG games. However, while playing an RPG the elements of character development and plot can have a surprising and life-long effect on the player even if the player doesn't play games for plot and character development.  What I am constantly surprised by is how often this makes an RPG a classic, but when people actually describe why the RPG is great, they mention almost everything but the plot and characters.  For instance, many people say things like "atmosphere."  Would there be any doubt a great atmosphere will replace that game within the next 5 years?  Would you ever buy a game purely because your friend told you it had the best atmosphere?  Would you ever say a game had a lasting impression on the way you think about life because of its atmosphere? Atmosphere is a great package to wrap around gameplay and plot, but is quickly outdone compared to certain other aspects, and it is essentially a dependent sub-characteristic.  Games have the same potential as books, movies, and songs to become an eternal part of someone's life, even outside of just enjoying games, and that is what makes an RPG made 15 years ago better than the latest RPG graphics fighting orgy that will be made 15 years from now.  I would argue that games have an even better potential for this as they are interactive.  Soon in our future there will be a Final Fantasy 20: Hair vs. Swords and a Call of Warfare: Gears of Black Ops XXIV where you can make epic headshots while double backflipping off an exploding building.  And that will feel cool, but it will be replaced, and that's partly why it will not have a lasting effect on your life.  Some games open your eyes and move your emotions and they do it in a way that can't be easily reproduced, and the combination of those two components is what makes a game a classic.  Even Baldur's Gate 2 was just a great system.  If someone said "we need to make another game that has a really great combat system" they could end up with another game like Baldur's Gate 2.  No matter how much you pay 100 writers, a great story is a function of inspiration.

 

TL;DR - The reason a new gamer could enjoy Fallout 1 today is because of its plot, and the effect a plot (or character development) has on a person outlasts and outweighs all the other aspects of a game.  I agree the Fallout 1 plot is not lengthy, but it's still amazing, and that's literally the only reason a new gamer should play it, and it's the reason the game will affect people for the rest of their life.  It also had C&C, but C&C without a good plot can be easily replaced (add a faction, allow you to help or hurt it), so a deep C&C is completely dependent on a good plot.  If it had great character development, that would make it a classic for the same reasons.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most important factor in RPGs is how control of things is given to player, more player can roleplay better roleplaying game it is.

 

With roleplaying I mean how much player can control what character does in the game, how character reacts happenings in world, how character solves problems and puzzles, what character does in fight, where character goes and why and etc.

 

So great rpgs are always compination of things in questionary, but any of this things don't make game as RPG, which is why focusing one of these things or multiple these things don't make rpg, as RPG is game where these things make it possbile for player to roleplay his/her character and mechanics are there only to give player tools to do so. And when those mechanics give player ability to play such character they want then game is great rpg at least for that character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...