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devoras: For me, the most important part of an rpg is the ability to really customize your character in a meaningful way as you proceed through the story.
This is a silly question and maybe I'm a big dork for feeling strongly about this, but what about aesthetics? Along with choice for build I like a lot of choice of look, and more important, when I get items and use them, be they armor, swords, or even just a ring, I WANT TO BE ABLE to see them on my character.
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devoras: For me, the most important part of an rpg is the ability to really customize your character in a meaningful way as you proceed through the story.
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tinyE: This is a silly question and maybe I'm a big dork for feeling strongly about this, but what about aesthetics? Along with choice for build I like a lot of choice of look, and more important, when I get items and use them, be they armor, swords, or even just a ring, I WANT TO BE ABLE to see them on my character.
That's a good point, there have been games where it bothered me that my choice of armor wasn't reflected in how my character looked, or how my party members looked. That definitely helps with immersion, but I don't see it as important or meaningful as personalization and customization of my character in other ways, like class, abilities, or race.
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tinyE: This is a silly question and maybe I'm a big dork for feeling strongly about this, but what about aesthetics? Along with choice for build I like a lot of choice of look, and more important, when I get items and use them, be they armor, swords, or even just a ring, I WANT TO BE ABLE to see them on my character.
I can relate, although I grew with games where the inventory was a table of names and stats and you never saw more of your characters than 16 color pixel portraits... (think The Bard's Tale...).

If a game really shows all the stuff I'm wearing - and let's me get creative combining them, it's a real bonus. I think the first game that really impressed me that way was Morrowind (and all the later TES games where weaker in this regard, sadly...).
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devoras: On the upside, many other genres blend in rpg mechanics more than they used to, and that only improves them.
Every now and then, a game introduces RPG mechanics where they don't belong. The best example I can think of is competitive multiplayer games with persistent character advancement; why should a player who has played the game longer have a mechanical advantage over a newcomer? It's not fair; if anything, the balance should go the other way.

(By persistent; I am referring to when the character gets more powerful on a permanent basis; that is, not just for one match,)
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devoras: On the upside, many other genres blend in rpg mechanics more than they used to, and that only improves them.
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dtgreene: Every now and then, a game introduces RPG mechanics where they don't belong. The best example I can think of is competitive multiplayer games with persistent character advancement; why should a player who has played the game longer have a mechanical advantage over a newcomer? It's not fair; if anything, the balance should go the other way.

(By persistent; I am referring to when the character gets more powerful on a permanent basis; that is, not just for one match,)
I wouldn't consider that an rpg, not all progression mechanics translate to being a role playing game. A competitive fps is one of the furthest things away from an rpg you can get, the genres are incompatible.

But I would agree that giving players advantages in fps games like you state is a bad thing. The only way to do it is give players different 'classes' so that they have options that are balanced between them, rather than a direct increase of power. Even so, those mechanics are so shallow that they most definitely are not rpg mechanics, even in a loose sense.
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Engerek01: What does niche mean?
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StingingVelvet: Opposite of mainstream, basically. A smaller but passionate audience.
Thank's a lot. Now the whole topic makes more sense to me.
My ultimate definition of an ARPG depends on how it makes me feel. An ARPG makes me feel energized and in battle, especially melee battle with a multitude of enemies coming at me, it makes me think, "I'm gonna die.. I'm gonna die.. Die! Die!" How I quantify it is with mouse clicks - because I'm having to switch opponents and react in real time to whichever is going to hurt me worst or whichever will die easiest. Hence a blizzard of clicks whenever I'm in battle. Like Pavlov's dogs, I have associated mouse clicks with ARPG's!

And @dtgreen, of course, these are my own definition based on my own personal playing history. I haven't played the same games in the same order as anyone else, and with each new game I played, my game universe expanded to include them and their idiosyncrasies.

My first RPG (as I see it) was Eye of the Beholder on the Amiga, and thus Dungeon Crawlers are definitely RPG's in my book. My first CRPG in the strictest definition of the word, in that I played it on a PC, was Planescape: Torment. If I'd played something else diametrically opposed to it, gameplay-wise, first, my sense of what a RPG is would be different.
We can agree on some basic features, but after that, it's all based on personal history and experience.

So, we'll all agree to disagree and amicably argue our fine[r] points, and then, and here's my most important point - go out and play more games to broaden our games universe even further! \O/
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devoras: For me, the most important part of an rpg is the ability to really customize your character in a meaningful way as you proceed through the story.
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tinyE: This is a silly question and maybe I'm a big dork for feeling strongly about this, but what about aesthetics? Along with choice for build I like a lot of choice of look, and more important, when I get items and use them, be they armor, swords, or even just a ring, I WANT TO BE ABLE to see them on my character.
Aesthetics are definitely an important part of character customization. Not all RPGs have much of it due to POV limitations or something (ex, Legend of Grimrock), but most of them try to have at least some of it.
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Getcomposted: My ultimate definition of an ARPG depends on how it makes me feel. An ARPG makes me feel energized and in battle, especially melee battle with a multitude of enemies coming at me, it makes me think, "I'm gonna die.. I'm gonna die.. Die! Die!"
Of course, there is one battle in the original Bard's Tale where you have to fight 396 melee enemies at once, and that game would definitely not be classified as an ARPG, as the game is turn based.

(Then again, the most practical way of winning this fight is to use spells and breath attacks to take out groups of enemies at once, and then raise the battle message speed as high as it will go, even if that makes the messages go too fast for you to read.)

Might and Magic 2 also has some huge encounters, and many times the easiest strategy is just to cast Power Shield and then auto-attack until the battle is over (assuming your party is strong enough).

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Getcomposted: My first RPG (as I see it) was Eye of the Beholder on the Amiga, and thus Dungeon Crawlers are definitely RPG's in my book. My first CRPG in the strictest definition of the word, in that I played it on a PC, was Planescape: Torment.
I'd argue that Eye of the Beholder was your first CRPG, as it is an RPG that is played on a computer.

Now, if you had played Dungeons and Dragons (with pencil, paper, and other players and a DM), now that would be an RPG that is not a CRPG.

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tinyE: This is a silly question and maybe I'm a big dork for feeling strongly about this, but what about aesthetics? Along with choice for build I like a lot of choice of look, and more important, when I get items and use them, be they armor, swords, or even just a ring, I WANT TO BE ABLE to see them on my character.
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Gilozard: Aesthetics are definitely an important part of character customization. Not all RPGs have much of it due to POV limitations or something (ex, Legend of Grimrock), but most of them try to have at least some of it.
And RPGs don't have a monopoly on that feature. Consider such games as The Sims and its sequels, which I have never seen be referred to as RPGs, but which definitely allow you to customize your character's appearance.

(In fact, I believe that in the newest installment, a patch removed some of the restrictions on character customization, allowing you to even create a character who appears and dresses male, but can become pregnant, for example.)
Post edited January 08, 2018 by dtgreene