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June 29th, 2012, 08:45
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
But your absolutely correct that you still play a character, even in a pure combat game with nothing but random encounters. And that completely supports my entire point. You could decide that your scared of rats and run away from every rat you encounter. You could decide that your a fearless barbarian who never runs away even in certain death. You could also just decide that your a regular guy who kills things for loot, and who does intelligent and logical things to stay alive and become more powerful, and that's a perfectly valid (and probably more realistic) roleplaying choice too. This is something that you can decide to do in any game in which you play a character, whether that game is D&D, Diablo, or even Grand Theft Auto.
All that matters is, do you have at least some basic concept of your character (not just "someone who bashes monsters"), and are you considering that character's perspective, doing what you think your character would want to do? If so, then you are certainly role playing.

It was my understanding that you had no opportunity to make roleplaying choices when playing Diablo, just move forward and attack or be killed by monsters. Perhaps I was mistaken, if you really can choose to do things you think the character would choose.

Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Now if your claiming that Diablo can't be a roleplaying game because you don't have unlimited options….because you can't choose to put on a mask and pretend to a monster, or build a canoe to sail down the river, or side with the dark lord and become a lord of hell, then that's a more reasonable distinction. Computer games are by their very nature much more limited in what you can do, and you will never have the options that you would have in a P&P game. If that was argument though, then you'd have to conclude that no computer game is a RPG, because every game severely limits your options. But that does seem to be what your leaning towards, certainly the reasons you've given for excluding Diablo would exclude every CRPG in existance.
Of course, video game technology will never approach the infinite sandbox of pen and paper games, where you are only limited by your imagination.

Being able to choose what you think your character would want to do is all that matters. Some games provide a much broader canvas, with hundreds of NPCs, factions, branching path quests, etc., and others might have more limited opportunities for role playing, but either you are playing a role or you're not. Either you can take that concept of your character and choose what you think he would do in a situation, or you can't.

Those very first computer games influenced by D&D in the 70s and 80s were not role playing games, because there was no role playing. It was more like, "Hey we have this machine that can calculate stuff, let's program in some THAC0 mechanics and attributes and you can fight some goblins in a dungeon and pretend you're playing an RPG."
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