Originally Posted by Nerevarine
Action-RPGs can definitely be "hardcore" RPGs in my opinion. The whole turn-based vs. real-time thing is just silly; it's not the combat system (at least by itself) that determines if a game is "hardcore" or not. Divinity 2, despite its shallow combat, is still a hardcore RPG because of the stellar implementation of real role-playing elements, such as multiple quest outcomes, intelligent level design, tons of intricate detail in every dungeon in terms of secrets, etc.
A really good comparison would be Divine Divinity vs. Diablo. Both of these games have shallow, tedious combat. However, which one is "hardcore" and which one isn't? I think that - because of the features I listed for Div2 that were also present in Divine Divinity (and not in Diablo) - the answer is pretty obvious.