Originally Posted by Yeesh
Oh I totally disagree, because what they're simulating from the PnP games is not the roleplaying experience at all. It's the combat system, and the character advancement system. And they do a great job of that.
Consider: a flying game, they simulate the cockpit. They try to give you the same experience a pilot would have. But a CRPG, do they EVER simulate the dining room table, the ordering pizza, the arguments about which rules to apply, or the fact that you have to stop playing after a certain number of hours because someone goes home? Or less silly, does a CRPG ever penalize you for stepping out of character? Of course not. Your roleplaying ability is just not a part of the equation. What's simulated is the mechanics of the combat and advancement system and, to a varying extent depending on the game, your interaction with a story or campaign; the choices you make and what-not. BUT this latter facet is not the defining one.
Non-linearity, living world, large world, morality system, consequences for your actions, immersion, etc; these are all characteristics that we can appreciate to a greater or lesser extent depending on what we value in our gameplay experience. But there are just too many variations, and the factors too difficult to quantify, to possibly come up with a workable formula that can sort games into CRPG versus not CRPG. Absent actual "roleplaying", which I can't emphasize enough is COMPLETELY and INHERENTLY absent from any single player game, the only brightline feature capable of separating CRPG from other genres is character advancement.