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December 8th, 2012, 19:26
Originally Posted by MigRib View Post
By the way, it's good that you are not a rabid old school fan. But when you say that you like "some game in your game", and "worlds that had some thought behind them" and "consequences" you are comparing Morrowind and Baldur's Gate to what? Because, no matter what the label tells us, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Fallout 1 & 2 and most so called "old school RPGs" have little with common with RPGs. They are, in fact, more closely related to strategy games. Not so? Well, they have isometric view, for a better strategic approach to combat and better view of the battlefield/ dungeon. Check. They are mostly turn based, an archaic method of time control, still used by some strategy games. Check. They usually have parties of characters, and not just one character, or one character plus one or two followers - never send a man to do a squads job, like in any strategy game. Check. The are third person… Hmmm, well, OK, that's not a strategy-only thing, but that kind of isometric third person perspective looks a lot like Stracraft and X-Com which are… Strategy games. Check.
This whole paragraph is so wrong, I don't quite know where to start. I have the feeling you read too many of these brain-dead editorials, where some guy with questionable background in gaming tries to redefine the definition of games. Your definition of RPG is called action adventure. Wrong genre.

An RPG is a game where you replace your own capabilities by those of one or several characters, the role(s) of which you take over. To make this possible, your own capabilities are replaced by sets of numbers that play out in conflict resolutions of any kind. This is a problem with many modern RPGs that implemented shooter mechanics, as they suddenly fall back on player skill for fighting, which is a loss of an RPG element (you use your own "stats", not those of the role you play). Story is secondary, though nice to have to keep you interested in playing. Actually, a good story is very difficult to reconcile with the idea of an RPG, as a good story tends to set you on rails, or it's not a good story. That becomes clear if you think of Planescape:Torment, which has an excellent story, but with very mediocre gameplay elements. The old Fallouts are the opposite case.

It's actually the same with PnP games. The good games are the ones where the DM recognizes when to abolish the story he had in mind and just let the players do their thing. A good DM accepts the deeds of the players as story and doesn't force the grand story he had in mind on them. All in all, story is a completely unimportant aspect of RPGs and often enough gets in the way. Of course, a computer can never replace a human being in this regard, so some railroading becomes necessary.

Really, the closest you get to real RPGs (like D&D) are all these old games that you try to redefine as strategy games, because it fits your agenda. A game like Baldur's Gate manages to capture the mood of a real life RPG session quite well. You don't even have to rely on me: Bioware made it very clear that the Mass Effect series isn't really pure RPG anymore, but an RPG/shooter hybrid.
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