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May 24th, 2007, 15:03
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
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?
Sorry mate, but the argument is flawed. In a flying game they also usually don't simulate when your co-pilot has to go and take a piss. It's external to the act of flying and has nothing to do with it - the same goes for ordering pizza, or one of your friends having to leave. It's external to the act of roleplaying.

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.
One could argue that "your interaction with a story or campaign" is roleplaying - or at least the attempt to simulate it. It all comes down to what you consider to be roleplaying really. Personally I have to partly agree with you, because as I said earlier I very much feel that role-playing means enacting a character. And in my opinion that is fairly impossible in a CRPG. But there are many people who have a different approach. For them role-playing is first and foremost being able to control a characters actions who is independent of themselves. And that IS what you're doing in a CRPG. It all depends on your point of view and what aspect of traditional roleplaying you're emphasizing. Garriott is emphasizing the aspect of fulfilling a role, sticking to a certain role, whereas Roper emphasizes the rule system. Other people might emphasize different aspects like free character creation, etc.

Don't get me wrong - in many points I agree with you (although not in all), but sometimes your conlcusions contradict the way in which you came to them…

You're saying:
CRPGs are called RPGs not because they involve roleplaying, but because they SIMULATE playing pen and paper RPGs;
Then you're saying:
A traditional RPG, and indeed any activity that can be called roleplaying, requires participants or players to play a role. That is the absolute definging characteristic of non-computer roleplaying and RPGs.
And last, but not least:
Your roleplaying ability is just not a part of the equation [meaning of a CRPG].
If you follow this line of argumentation you can only come to one conclusion: A redifinition of the genre is necessary, because CRPGs cannot simulate the absolutely defining aspect of the thing they are trying to simulate. But if a flying game cannot simulate the aspect of flying or a racing game cannot simulate the aspect of driving, then you simply cannot call it a flying or driving simulator. Accordingly the term CRPG would be null and void. You basically couldn't call it a CRPG anymore. In a way this strengthens your point since you're saying roleplaying isn't the defining factor of a CRPG, but it also strengthens the position of those people that claim that what we're calling CRPGs has nothing to do with RPG.

There is a lot that speaks for the assumption that a genre has several defining features. Take your Monkey Island example. You're saying if one had added character development to MI it would have been an RPG. Therefore the conclusion can only be that character development is the one defining feature of CRPGs.
Fact is however that most RTS or TBS titles today include heroes that get experience, level up, and become stronger. But no one would ever say that these are true CRPGs. Which brings us back to your MI example. The example works so well, because adventures have a certain relationsship to RPGs, they share some of their features. It's safe to assume that adventures already possess other features of the RPG genre.
Or look at Diablo. A lot of people who have experience with CRPGs would tell you that Diablo is not a CRPG - and Diablo has basically everything you see as defining for a CRPG. I won't deny that the industry might at some point have decided that they consider Diablo a CRPG, but that doesn't mean that players have to adhere to that view - I certainly don't. Quite the contrary - in my opinion it backs up Garriott's statement that many CRPGs have become "building stats and inventory-based management games."

Yeesh, you're dealing in absolutes - and that's the problem. The fact that you are right from your point of view does not mean that everyone else is wrong.
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