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Default What is your personal definition of a CRPG?

September 7th, 2018, 10:27
Please keep it to your own definition, and let's not debate or turn it into some kind of contest. I'm really just curious about how we all differ in this way - and it might help us understand each other better.

I'm curious - as this always comes up in relation to what games the Watch should be covering, and in countless debates.

CRPG = Computer Roleplaying Game.


For YOU - what constitutes a CRPG?

Examples of games that are and aren't would be most welcome.

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September 7th, 2018, 11:51
Alright. To me, I would say some kind of levelling system is mandatory, where your character actually grows in competence during the game. This eliminates games where added strength or abilities come only from gear upgrades, such as the entire Zelda series.

Secondly, I have to go with "Character trumps Player", as in it's your characters abilities that matters most and not your own. Of course a player can utilize those abilities better or worse, so player skill should always have impact (be it twitch, strategical or tactical), but a low level character should never be able to beat the end game. Unless they use some serious cheese that is, SOME mechanical loop holes are fun.

And…That's about it. To me CRPG is exactly that, a game where your character advances as the game progresses. Of course, for me to think it should be advertised as a CRPG I also like to see good C&C, equipment upgrades, interesting interaction with the world and NPC's outside of combat, a compelling story, non-linearity, quest journals and a good combat system. But I wouldn't say any of those are mandatory for calling it a CRPG. They just make it a better one to me.
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September 7th, 2018, 13:59
* It should be of "choose your own adventure" type, preferably. a.k.a "open world".

* Leveling is not a must, but there must be many options for upgrades of gear and weapons.

* Loot is important, a normal shooter with 10-15 guns won't cut it, it can never be a RPG to me.

* Day and night cycles, preferably NPC schedules as well. Weather patterns. This is because i want the "sim" part. It's also part of the "make your own adventure", without these things it gets too static.

* Quests from people you meet in the world. Not missions from a base which you are transported to after each successful mission - not very RPG'ish to me.

This is why I would rank something like STALKER very high as an RPG, while others might not think of it as an RPG.
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September 7th, 2018, 15:01
Very interesting topic, Dart!

Hmm, for me cRPG is the game that enables me to react appropriately to events and companions, and build my character accordingly.

I always start a game with a relatively "blank slate" character. Yes, I have a few firm preferences, like I want to pick the prettiest looking race, and want to be a goody two shoes, but beyond that, I don't have much planned. I want to explore what the game throws at me and develop my character accordingly - this means interesting world/lore, story, companions and diverse options of dialogues and character building are VERY important elements for me.

I HATE set protagonist (like Geralt) with passion because I feel that they usually come with pre-built/planned personality.

Also, I don't like games like Skyrim so much because there are no companions with vivid personality.

Not a big fan of dungeon crawlers either because those usually have very weak story.

Of course there are some exceptions but yeah
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September 7th, 2018, 15:12
My definition is pretty simple, consisting of three simple rules to keep it simple.

An RPG is:

1. Character/attribute/weapon stats that you can improve through leveling or attaining feats.

2. C&C

3. Customization in classes.

4. Exploration

…consisting of FOUR simple rules to keep it simple, sir!
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September 7th, 2018, 15:21
Well I'll try but I'm not the most descriptive writer on this forum.

#1 for me would be a good story that revolves around a central plot. It could be a world ending event, a personal family story. or your not the chosen one.

Two examples of this would be Dragon Age Inquisition & Dragon Age 2.

#2 would be companions. I'll solo if I must must but well written companions enhance an RPG for me. They add to the story, and even bring their own quests and betrayals.

Examples again would be every BioWare game.

#3 They can be open world or linear I have no preference but everything seems to be open world today. I find open world games get boring faster in my experience.

Just compare Witcher 2 with any Bethesda game.

#4 it can either action oriented or turn-based as again I'm not to picky, but I find I enjoy RTwP or pure action games more then turn-based nowadays.

Compare Original Sin 1& 2 with Pillars of Eternity 1&2 vs Latest Fallout games.

#5 the game can use a set player character or allow you to customize your player as I don't mind either way, and find myself not caring about this much.

Again take any Bethesda game and compare it with the Gothic, Risen & Witcher games.

# 6
again it can use first -person, third-person, isometric or whatever it wants to. Though I find I prefer playing Isometric games nowadays again.

Just compare Pillars of Eternity 1&2 with Witcher 2,3 and Fallout 4.

#7 Character progression must make sense and be easy to understand, I never understood some players need to power build in Hack and slash games.

Look at at the Diabo games and compare them with the Dragon Age games.

Now after saying all that I find I enjoy playing most games that include RPG mechanics so I cant be labeled as an hardcore RPG player anymore. Nothing lost in my opinion.

As some of my favorite games include the Dues Ex and Dishonored games. I also love to play JRPG games and don't mind RPG maker games, and visual novels either.
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September 7th, 2018, 16:04
Simple answer for me, anything uber complex and sort of D&D-ish in video game form. Baldur's Gate, Vampire: The Masquerade-Redemption (Bloodlines has character sheets but it's not *that* complex), etc.. When I think CRPG I think games that require thought, in both character building and how you approach the content. Gothic is more an ARPG to me, with a mixture of CRPG-ness. But I think expansive character sheets, dice rolls, etc., when I hear CRPG. And isometric seems to come to mind, too.
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September 7th, 2018, 16:29
The only requirement I have is that you must be able to have a very different experience with the game based on choices you make. This could be how you explore the world, build/party choices, quest choices, dialogue choices, etc. In other words the role-play affects game-play. This is a pretty open way of looking at it, particularly with modern games that have adopted RPG design principles.
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September 7th, 2018, 16:45
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
What is your personal definition of a CRPG?

CRPG = Computer Roleplaying Game.
In my case it's simple. There are two types of cRPG:

1. RPG developed for PC without dumbing anything due to parallel porting it elsewhere AKA no technology compromises.
Means IMO PC versions of TW3 and FF15 are both crpg because both contain features not possible on other platforms. An opposite example, ME Andromeda isn't cRPG, control scheme is nicely adapted to k+m, but 3 active abilities and mushrooms only achievement (fly mako) make it obviously nonPC product. Additionally, ME4 does not feature any modern PC feature unavailable on inferior hardware which means it's basically Nintewndo Gameboy game ported to PC.

2. RPG developed for PC with outdated code or engine but developer has no plans to port it elsewhere during the development cycle.
This go for numerous RPGmaker crap or simplistic games like Stardew Valley. While they look as if escaped from ZX Spectrum and C64, they're still cRPG. Later ports to phones or consoles can't change that fact.

Note that I do not nor will discuss what IMO is RPG here.
Another note, IMO no mmo is nor can ever be RPG or cRPG. That genre should be called "mp grinder", not mmorpg.
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September 7th, 2018, 18:51
RPG to me is about character progression both in terms of power and personality.

When I was young(and still do), I read all sort of fantasy and mythological stories. The biggest draw is how the hero undergoes various trials and grows in power to overcome any obstacles. In order to fully realise this a RPG needs a good character, leveling and loot system. All three in game is preferable but even just one will do.

Progression in terms of personality is where I don't just want to grow in physical power but I also want to "grow" as a person by under going trials as the heroes of yore. I want to face difficult and different situations and resolves them as much as possible. This is where a good story and role playing systems comes in. I want multiple ways of solving a problem within the context of the story bu this means we will need interesting world and characters who inhabit the said world.

Thats pretty much it for me!

Things like, if its party based, set protagonists, open world, closed world, CRPG, JRPG, realtime, turn based consoles doesn't matter to me. As long as they meet my above criteria I am happy to consider a game as RPG. Of course RPG comes in a scale
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September 7th, 2018, 19:56
I'm with @joxer when it comes to needing to built for the pc. It's fine if it gets ported to lesser devices but a game should be built with the pc as the premier device.

I want to be able to create my character and role. I also fine with the idea of rolling stats or assigning points. Daggerfall might have been my favorite system.

Combat must not be the primary focus of the game. It is perfect as a component but useless as the only means of gauging success.

Exploration is vital. Loot is nearly as vital. Crafting/alchemy are great if done well.

Open world games where I get to explore/loot/grow are preferred.

I prefer fantasy over all other choices. I like playing with magic, so I'm fine with endless worlds that have the fantastical as the theme.
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September 7th, 2018, 21:07
I don't really have one. I just know one when I see one. I was never into the debating often seen on rpg forums of "is this a rpg?" or, "is that a rpg?", to be honest.

I can tell you what I like, as did other comments.

I like fantasy worlds, specifically classical fantasy. Dragons, wizards, orcs, etc. with a mysterious world and setting with rare weapons of magical power and other treasure to be found. Not too much treasure though! This is a problem with even modern shining examples of the genre, games as fine as Divinity original sin - they are scared to not give the player enough treasure items in the form of gear, so they overload it. And that is a mistake. You should find mostly junk weapons, most of the time. Or, perhaps just a little bit better than junk, on occasion. A powerful magical weapon/armor should be rare to find. That makes it much more special and significant for the player, upon discovering and being rewarded with these items, rather than showering him with tons of magical goodies, constantly. (unless I suppose if its an action rpg - that is different)

The ideal is isometric "top down" view. This is because the best rpg is a multi-party type of game. A party of at least 4 characters. This is to allow for the classic strategy of one wizard, one thief, one fighter, and one cleric. It doesn't get much more basic than that, folks. But of course if 5 or 6 characters in the party? - even better.

Finally, a D&D-like system of character progression. This makes it fun to level up and get more powerful. To be more basic, there must be an ability for and a focus on character growth. Perhaps the most important factor of an rpg, in my humble opinion. Interest in the game would diminish quickly without a hook like this. If not, then we can at least say the game doesn't really resemble an rpg, because this is a vital element of the rpg.
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September 8th, 2018, 11:54
Without any order :

- Character growth
- story
- discovery
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September 8th, 2018, 15:04
For me CRPG is:
- An interesting realised world with its own internal logic i.e. city has a logical layout, every building is enterable, day/night schedules etc
- Characters that inhabit that world logically and exist purposely (i.e. they don't depend on the player character for their existance)
- Interesting stats and attributes to build a character(s) with that are impactful and meaningful. Even if that means a gimped build.
- A more thoughtful game where you consider every decision and its ramifications

To be an excellent CRPG means being excellent in all of the above plus UI, graphics and music.
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September 8th, 2018, 18:33
I have no definition per sey but party base and world changing around your actions are aspects I like. A touch of realism always help (though obviously fantasy games will have magic and sometimes dragons but that doesn't mean the issues at hand can't be grounded in realism).
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September 9th, 2018, 00:55
1. statistical character development

There are games that are weaker than others in this regard however.
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September 9th, 2018, 01:24
I think I'd also keep it to a minimum:

-Character System with Progression
-Progressing Story AND/OR Discovery
-Outcome of Results in the Core Gameplay-Loop is heavily influenced by Character System

Everything else is optional. A story isn't mandatory if there is at least some discovery. If you imagine a Legend of Grimrock for example and remove the Texts in your sleep it wouldn't have a story anymore, I'd still call it an RPG. It would still have a setting, but so does every game. What keeps it being an RPG is the discovery, even though is extremely weak in that game. But if you'd have no story, and had no movement, I don't think I'd call it RPG anymore.

On the other hand, a Chose-Your-Own Adventure where you just go from event to event, has a story, but no discovery.

That's why I am going for Story AND/OR Discovery.

The dependency of the core gameplay loop on the character system is what mostly excludes games which just have some RPG or Achievement Elements, like most shooters.
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September 9th, 2018, 12:31
I see CRPGs as the computer version of traditional pen and paper RPGs, and by that a sub-genre under the 'video game RPG' moniker.

  • Character progression
    • Directly influenced by the player in a mathematical way (e.g. by spending skill points).
  • Gameplay that can be directly affected by the characters skills/abilities
    • While I personally prefer a variety of gameplay in a CRPG, I still consider combat-only games CRPGs.
  • Environmental exploration on a broad scale
    • I would never consider an escape-the-room type game a CRPG, even with character progression, unless said room was a mansion-sized room.
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September 10th, 2018, 10:07
Many interesting replies so far - thank you for that! I will read them in-depth later today.

I would add my own definition, but it's a little too broad to be of much interest, I think.

But, if I had to nail it down - it would be something like:

A game in which you portray a living being and in which you can affect one or more actions taken by that living being.

That would put any game on the spectrum, in any case.

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September 10th, 2018, 20:12
Well, I'd like to add that it is about playing role, too, for me.
Like playing a role in a theatre, not like playing a role in business.
Hence the word "role-playing game".
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