Kotaku - You Donít Need Combat to Have a Good RPG
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April 19th, 2013, 14:43
I agree that combat is unnecessary in theory - and there are RPGs where you don't actually have to kill anyone to succeed, though they're very rare.
But if you don't have combat - you're going to need another kind of gameplay to replace it - because doing nothing at all is very, very boring.
Arguably, games like Thief and Deus Ex are examples of RPGs (close enough, anyway) where combat doesn't have to take place. They use "stealth" gameplay as a viable alternative.
The thing about combat is that once a system is in place, it's relatively easy to develop content in the form of fights or encounters.
That's why so many games have so much combat - because it's entertaining and because it's easier to fill the game with combat than with other kinds of content.
So, I'd like to know what kind of gameplay carrier that can match combat in terms of entertainment AND be feasible to create in games centered around character progression that last for 30+ hours.
Stealth is great, definitely, but a lot of gamers don't like stealth. Almost everyone likes combat.
What kind of gameplay will be universally appealing like that?