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View Poll Results - What is the Main factor to Buy an RPG?

Setting 4 7.55%
Mechanics 24 45.28%
Play-Time 2 3.77%
Replayability 0 0%
Story 14 26.42%
Price 0 0%
Studio 4 7.55%
You heard it is a must buy 1 1.89%
Something else 4 7.55%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

Default What Makes You Buy an RPG

February 16th, 2021, 01:02
A combination of Story, Mechanics and Price for me but most important would be Story. I probably wouldn't buy a game just because it has good mechanics or is cheap, but I would for a great story.
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February 16th, 2021, 02:15
I selected 'heard it is a must buy,' as I use word of mouth to help me filter through the glut of content out there. I especially lean on places like RPGWatch as you guys get the appeal of certain things in an rpg that other gamers wouldn't. Most places won't discuss the differences between Queen's Wish versus Geneforge, much less even know what a Spiderweb game is.

For marketing purposes if you want me to check out your game, use isometric art. Doesn't mean the game is good but I'll take the time to find out more.

It's hard to sell a game on mechanics alone, unless you're offering a demo or its something with a built in following already (like Pathfinder.)

The setting CAN sell me a game but it has to be stand-out cool. ATOMIC HEART is an example of a game that could suck but I'm interested cause the setting is selling it.
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February 16th, 2021, 02:49
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I picked story.

In terms of preference I think it will look something like this:

Story > setting > mechanics > replayability, playtime > studio > price
That looks about right for me so I'll just copy it. Setting and story are pretty close to a tie for me, though (and writing quality figures into both)
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February 16th, 2021, 02:54
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
But studio implies all the rest. Maybe put it in the third spot, and switch out setting for strong characters. I don't care whether it is fantasy or sci-fi.
I don't understand what you mean by studio implies all the rest?

I don't consider studio being so important in the list. Sure, I enjoyed Kingmaker from Owlcats because currently they are producing type of game I enjoy but who knows what kind of game they will produce in future? My favourite games were produced by good mix of different studios (with the execption of old Bioware with 3 games in my top 10 fav RPG list).

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February 16th, 2021, 03:22
In my experience when mechanics are shitty story is shitty too. It's all about realisation of the vision and a satisfying playtime makes all other elements feel more favourable. If the mechanics are bad and the story good I would likely never discover this as I am fighting the game. Making the gameplay easier is no solution either as mechanics goes hand-in-hand with story, as for me they are linked together.
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February 16th, 2021, 03:36
This really would be better as a question with two options. Gameplay or narrative.

Story and setting play into eachother and could be considered narrative elements. I'd probably even include "good graphics", which help realise the setting, in this category over gameplay, as the question of "graphics over gameplay" is an old classic.

Gameplay would include mechanics and controls and even other technical aspects like smooth framerate through good optimisation.

Replayability and playtime really depends how much you enjoy the game which is a reflection of how well it does in the first question.

If you heard it was a "must buy" from a friend it would be because they know your preference in the first question.

Again, with studio, it's only that you have expectations from past experiences relating to the first question.

Price sort of has nothing to do with how much you'd like the game; only the time you buy it. No ones going to buy a game they won't like just because its cheap. Or expensive!

I'm just going to say mechanics. Good gameplay is the most important thing. If I wanted all story and no gameplay I'd watch a movie.
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February 16th, 2021, 04:09
I voted play-time. I like long RPGs.

I also look for interesting mechanics. But I enjoy all types.
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February 16th, 2021, 04:30
I chose mechanics. I like turn based RPGs. I do not like real-time strategy games. So for me the mechanic will come first.

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February 16th, 2021, 16:55
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Sure, I enjoyed Kingmaker from Owlcats because currently they are producing type of game I enjoy but who knows what kind of game they will produce in future?
Still not entirely thrilled at the idea of a possible Starfinder?

Yes, studios change, it's really like product brands we used to trust. They want to try something new, and it's not always what fans used to like. Actually, perhaps they must change, otherwise they become obsolete.

Maybe it's not bad to go out of our comfort zone now and then. But no matter what, I wouldn't put Studio high on my priority list either, it's too fickle.

Originally Posted by Silver View Post
In my experience when mechanics are shitty story is shitty too. It's all about realisation of the vision and a satisfying playtime makes all other elements feel more favourable. If the mechanics are bad and the story good I would likely never discover this as I am fighting the game. Making the gameplay easier is no solution either as mechanics goes hand-in-hand with story, as for me they are linked together.
Sure, I think we have to pick our choice assuming that all other ones are reasonably fine.
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February 16th, 2021, 17:04
Well back to my previous comment I'd say these three make or break a game for me.
  1. Setting
  2. Mechanics
  3. Story
If a game lacks in either one I usually just stop playing and lose interest.
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Still not entirely thrilled at the idea of a possible Starfinder?
Heh yep we all know shes not thrilled about the unannounced TB sci-fi RPG.
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February 16th, 2021, 22:14
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Still not entirely thrilled at the idea of a possible Starfinder?
Nope. I want more fantasy RTwP games from Owlcats rather than sci-fi TB game, so still hoping its Iron Gods AP

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Heh yep we all know shes not thrilled about the unannounced TB sci-fi RPG.
No, I'm not thrilled but I also understand Owlcats wanting to try something different. I just hope they will produce another fantasy RTwP game at some point and/or someone else fills that gap for me

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February 17th, 2021, 01:28
Unfortuneatly I had to say studio
Nowadays I have very little money to spend on games so I am very particular about which ones I buy from, and it is always the small indipendent ones where I feel my small money can make some difference
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February 17th, 2021, 03:00
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Nope. I want more fantasy RTwP games from Owlcats rather than sci-fi TB game, so still hoping its Iron Gods AP



No, I'm not thrilled but I also understand Owlcats wanting to try something different. I just hope they will produce another fantasy RTwP game at some point and/or someone else fills that gap for me
I never played Starfinder. But from what I know Starfinder is fantasy (in space) and the system/mechanics is not that different from Pathfinder. So cheer up you may end up liking it
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February 18th, 2021, 12:39
I think I should clarify when say studio is biggest influence for me. There are some studios that have consistently disappointed me so any game by them is “no thank you”.
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February 19th, 2021, 02:59
Some combination of story, mechanics, and graphics. If you can get two of those right, I'll probably love it. A game that's extremely good with mechanics can make it on just that so I picked that one.

Playtime is more of a cut-off: if it's under 10 hours then I'm probably not interested. Once you're over 20, I'm looking for something that's about $1/hr. Some studios (Larian, Egosoft, Stardock, CDPR) generate more interest so I'm a lot more likely to look the game over but good reviews and/or a lot of buzz can do the same thing. Replayability is almost never a thing. It's rare for me to replay an RPG even if I really love it so that's not a factor.
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February 19th, 2021, 03:14
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Replayability is almost never a thing. It's rare for me to replay an RPG even if I really love it so that's not a factor.
Replayability can be equally important even if you never replay a game. What typically makes a game replayable is having meaningful choices/variations; in narrative, in the character you play, etc. If those things are there a single playthrough is more interesting because the way you choose to play and the choices you make actually matter.
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February 19th, 2021, 04:07
Mechanics and then Setting. And then the price must be reasonable for the expected playtime.

The story is not anything I would be able to judge before buying as I wont read into it.

Studio can play a role, but usually it's the other way around. Spiderweb is a good example. I buy spiderweb games because I like the type of games mechanically (and the story, in this case it might play a bit of a role). But if they made an action RPG, I probably wouldn't buy it. So the studio usually just reflects some consistency of other qualities.

About Replayability of Press or what others say I don't care at all (unless the feedback is super bad / game is reported to be bugged or similar).
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February 19th, 2021, 04:13
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
In my experience when mechanics are shitty story is shitty too. It's all about realisation of the vision and a satisfying playtime makes all other elements feel more favourable. If the mechanics are bad and the story good I would likely never discover this as I am fighting the game. Making the gameplay easier is no solution either as mechanics goes hand-in-hand with story, as for me they are linked together.
I think there are lots of games where the mechanics are shitty, but the story is good.

Cyberpunk 2077 is the most recent and most prominent example. It has a good story (or lets say the story is done in a good quality, whether you like the story or not is something else), but the mechanics are absolutely horrible. There isn't a single element of the mechanics which works decently.

Mass Effect 1 and maybe also ME 2 were in the same boat. Witcher 1 probably as well.

Going away from RPGs a bit for a thought experiment, and just thinking of adventure games and walking simulators, which basically have no mechanics. They can be great too (if you enjoy the story ofc). But now if they had a really great story, but also some really bad mechanics, which stay in the background enough so that they don't kill the experience you get from the story - they would still be decent games I guess.

Of course if the mechanics are so bad AND they have such an importance, that it gets a frustrating mess, then yeah…good story wont help.
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February 19th, 2021, 05:23
Really… I think CDPR was more successful with the mechanics than with the story, personally. The traversal, combat, hacking, all of that was fun for me, and fairly well fleshed out. On the flip side, while there were several good quests, the C&C was lacking and the writing was average.
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February 19th, 2021, 05:46
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
I think there are lots of games where the mechanics are shitty, but the story is good.

Cyberpunk 2077 is the most recent and most prominent example. It has a good story (or lets say the story is done in a good quality, whether you like the story or not is something else), but the mechanics are absolutely horrible. There isn't a single element of the mechanics which works decently.

Mass Effect 1 and maybe also ME 2 were in the same boat. Witcher 1 probably as well.

Going away from RPGs a bit for a thought experiment, and just thinking of adventure games and walking simulators, which basically have no mechanics. They can be great too (if you enjoy the story ofc). But now if they had a really great story, but also some really bad mechanics, which stay in the background enough so that they don't kill the experience you get from the story - they would still be decent games I guess.

Of course if the mechanics are so bad AND they have such an importance, that it gets a frustrating mess, then yeah…good story wont help.
I don't think an RPG can be considered to have a good story with wholly bad mechanics. Of course it depends on how bad is bad. You get a better experience when the mechanics support the fiction. To use your example of CP 2077, I hear lots of great things about the story but people indicate your conversation choices don't really matter and converge quite often, the driving segments suck, and the AI and combat is pants and simplistic, if there are even alternatives to a combat solution presented. That would take me out of the game and make the world feel paper thin. I would not feel invested and want a better deeper experience that you get with a mechanically satisfying game.

Mechanics either support the story or harm it imo. People have different levels of tolerance for this stuff obviously.
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