Originally Posted by Mr Smiley
I don't agree with this at all. Sure, if a game mechanic is good enough, you don't need "atmosphere" or content. The perfect example is Tetris; it's all about the challenge of play, the "world" consists of falling geometrical shapes, and that's it.
While any game can be more ore less driven by either mechanic or content, and Tetris is one extreme, RPGs are mostly content-driven. They are about the game world, about characters, lore and story. The gameplay mechanic is there to support the content.
So, while I get what you mean, that for you, the world and lore are there to support the game mechanic, for me it's the other way around. The game mechanic is there to support the content. If difficulty gets in the way of exploring the content, that's a problem.