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Poll: Favourite RPG element?

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Favourite RPG element?

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February 21st, 2008, 17:38
I chose character development because that's ultimately what I love doing: choose a character, pick stats, ponder what I want him or her to look like, what to be; I want to impress my own image of a particular archetype on them.

Sometimes, character creation is worth half the game to me.

Of course, meaningful choices is what matters here, character development in this sense depends largely on the differences of various options. All the other mentioned RPG elements serve to give purpose to your character and meaning to the choices you make. If you can be everything, there's no point.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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February 21st, 2008, 17:51
Has to be Exploration for me. It's what I loved most about Oblivion, Gothic 3, Sacred, and most of the big-name MMORPGs. Oblivion, of course, is the master of this with its huge number of "unknown" locations. I've played through it at least 3 times, and explored fairly heavily with each character, and still I'm certain there may be locations I have not yet found.

I absolutely LOVE The Witcher (flaws and all), but the biggest disappointment for me is the feeling that I'm inside a box after every load screen.

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February 21st, 2008, 19:05
I don't know if this would qualify as one of your 'elements', but when it comes to great RPGs for me, 'immersion' is always a key factor for me. If a game manages to pull me in to its world, I can over look a lot of other bad elements.

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February 21st, 2008, 20:40
On a stair NPC Interaction stare at the others on the top.
I like Exploration if it's not like exploring an "empty" TES# world.
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February 21st, 2008, 21:23
I voted questing, i love runnign aroudn doing this, doing that, be the quest must be good, not the kill the rat in the basement kind, or a few of them.
I had a hard struggle with choosing between questing and npc interaction. great npc interaction adds so much more immersion to the game.
I do like puzzles in the game, but they are too few and too easy.
Exploring is fun too, but not that important. because a big world often becomes empty, except for the gothic games.

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February 21st, 2008, 23:29
There's certainly an interrelation between several of the choices. I voted character development (surprise, surprise), but combat and questing are necessary vehicles to accomplish that development. Don't know that I could have asked the question better, though. It's a complicated issue.

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February 22nd, 2008, 03:58
For me, the best element would be everything at once. The perfect RPG would be one that does all of this well.

So, I chose questing. A well done quest would make you interact with interesting NPCs, explore around to find what's needed, challenge you with strong opponents and/or clevers puzzles, and in the end contribute to your character developpement.
Of course, when the quest is something like "Kill the rats in the basement located on this spot on your map for a meager amount of XP", it's not very great.

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February 22nd, 2008, 13:14
Originally Posted by drum View Post
but I hate it when they FORCE me to explore
Who wrote something of forcing ?


I could say, on the other hand, that I hate it when "they" force me to NOT explore an area which I'd like to explore …

Everything can be seen from a totally different side …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 22nd, 2008, 18:08
I chose NPC Interaction. Loved that in PS:T and Fallout. Aswell as MOTB.
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February 22nd, 2008, 18:32
I'm gonna have to vote NPC interaction. Just thinking of games like Torment, Fallout2 and BG2….

Quests.. Story.. Choices and consequences.. they pretty much are NPC interaction to me.

Exploration from games like Morrowind and Two Worlds a close second.

also, I started thinking:
When is combat most fun? In which game has the combat been so much fun that I could play it just for that?

…….

Fallout 2… and.. uh…. no, that's it.
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February 23rd, 2008, 01:34
Without story and immersion as options, I went with a moments inspiration and choose… puzzles!

Too many of them and you will break the flow of the game, having them in the wrong places will make immersion go down the drain, and if they are done badly, they feel pointless and frustrating. Done in the right way, however, they can be fun and, at least for me, one of the most memorable pieces of a game.

For example, it was not required to solve the Moredhel wordlock chests in "Betrayal at Krondor", but they did offer a sense of accomplishment distinct from beating another enemy group or solving a well written quest.

Since a large number of puzzles is unreasonable for most RPG scenarios, can they really be the most important aspect? Probably not, but then all other choices in the poll can be either important or completely negligable depending on the RPG you play and the story it tells.
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February 23rd, 2008, 12:11
well not an rpg but a game with great puzzles: soulreaver series

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February 23rd, 2008, 22:59
I wanted to vote "NPC interaction" but due to the interference of some evil powers I voted "Character development", which is a lie!

NPC interaction for me! I just love party banter. Imagine I even took screenshots of the best conversations in BG2. And while it's my favourite element, I know an RPG can have little or no party banter and still be superb (BG1, hehe).

My second choice, very close to the first, would be questing I guess. I think it's the most important element, although not my favourite. I'll do every little quest there is in a game, no matter how absurd, including "Could you bring me my pants which I lost in a forest on the other side of the world and which happens to be the lair of a demon?" It's so frustrating when I have an unfinished or *gasp* failed quest in my journal/log. And the horror of choosing between two quests! *shudders*

Exploration is very close to questing. Actually, all these three elements are important for a good story, as bkrueger already stated here.
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February 25th, 2008, 15:32
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Who wrote something of forcing ?
Alas, they often do. Usually its like "you can skip this, but you'll be too weak if you do and enemies in the next area will be impossible to kill". Morrowind and Oblivion were even more blunt about this saying "Go do some quests for the guilds and come back when you're level XX" at some point of the plot.

The game where exploration part is done good to my mind is not an RPG. It's X3 - theres vast world to explore, trade, build factories, and so on. And there is a solid storyline that leads you through interesting mission of all types without just telling you to fly around and earn money.
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February 26th, 2008, 03:19
I voted for questing, but I also enjoy character development, exploration, AND combat. Actually I'd rate them all at about the same level as they are truly ALL needed to make a good CRPG, although many games have been done that were fun w/o much in the way of quests there is just no excuse today to NOT include a LARGE variety of at least optional quests. (In the old days, most RPGs were severely restricted by resource limitations of the machines on which they ran, both in term of hardware resources and storage space…)
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February 26th, 2008, 09:14
Interesting that so few posters mention puzzles. I feel that the puzzle element is disappearing from the genre, and given the frustration I've felt over silly "find the lever or button" puzzles I must admit that I dont miss explicit puzzles much. I do like general problem solving (as trying to figure out a way to sneak past the guards and steal something from a room or figuring out a tactic to deal with a particular enemy) but that's not what one traditionally means by puzzles in RPGs.

I voted questing since it ties the other elements together by giving a context to the combat and exploration. I've enjoyed RPGs with crappy NPC interaction (Morrowind), horrid combat (Arcanum), so even if those elements are important they can be compensated for if the rest of the game is very good.

Exploration can also be fun but should be optional and meaningful (so no Oblivion/Daggerfall with endless random caves).
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February 26th, 2008, 10:02
It has got to be character development for me.
I play various different games at diffferent times, from story driven to hack'n'slash to exploration, but a deciding factor in my enjoyment always seem to be the ability to shape my avatar to my liking. This includes both in appearance and when it comes to stats and skills.
I've sat hours pouring over a notepad distributing skillpoints and stats for NWN, and I love the TES series where I can build my class just the way I like it. (So, she's a paladin who uses a bow… can't see why it's a problem )
I've recreated characters because I didn't like their looks (mainly in MMORPGs) and a big turnoff for me about the Witcher and Gothic is having to play a male. (I was delighed to find a mod for Two Worlds that let me play a female in the SP campaign)

The other components are important as well (except puzzles which are a turn off) but the one thing all my favorite games have in common is the ability to craft my character as I see fit.
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February 26th, 2008, 15:44
I voted exploration although character development is an extremely close second. It's why games like Gothic don't work for me and the TES games do. In gothic you can be just one guy. In Oblivion I can play male, female, human, elf, etc. Games that don't have character creation AND exploration always rate much lower than real crpgs that do Story is of the least importance to me. That's why Oblivion's lame storyline and Morrowind's extremely obscure storyline didn't bother me. I'm not in it for the story, I'm in it for the exploration and character building. Loot acquisition is also huge for me as is buying/selling. A game that has a good economy can be quite entertaining.

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March 8th, 2008, 16:30
I voted questing. I haven't read everyone's comments, but I agree with a previous statement that without questing you really don't have much of a game.

I can play a game with a defined character (un-customizable) if the story and quests are good. That sort of makes voting for character development moot as well.

Exploration is nice, but with my limited gaming time and attention span, totally sandbox games are un-completable for me.

NPC interaction is very important, and in my mind is virtually the same thing as questing, other than the ambient atmospere (people talking/working in the background - e.g. Gothic), but again, without questing, those interactions become rather meaningless imho.

Puzzles are cool, but true puzzles are implemented so infrequently that they really don't rate a whole lot in my book. A nice bonus, yes, but not crucial to the rpg experience.

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March 9th, 2008, 02:15
Combat voter here - As much as I enjoy a good yarn, I *really* enjoy putting my combat skills to use. By the same token, games like Diablo(x) just don't do *it* for me since they are completely combat based, IMHO. Notable exceptions are "Drakan, Order of the Flame" and "Severance, Blade of Darkness" which were both combat centric with minimal interaction.

Good examples of my favorites are Gothic II, Arx Fatalis, Ultima IX (even though I hate it at the same time), Septerra Core and The Witcher.

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