abcabcabc » RPG where did we go wrong?

RPG where did we go wrong?

Posted on 10/22/2013 by with 5 comments


Pen and Paper

I remember as a kid reading the old D&D books, not really knowing what I was doing in the gaming sense of things. But, I enjoyed reading the stories and the character that were described in them. During these early days I was only into them for reading the stories and that was all. I’m not even sure if I had realized that these were games not just books.

Later on in high school I met some people who were very much in to role playing games, so I decided to give it a try even though I wasn’t very good at acting out the roles. I still enjoyed making up stories for each game and loved that fact that the world was wide open in these games.

RPG goes digital

About the same times as I was reading these D&D books I found some RPG style games that I could play on the Commodore 64 without the need to embarrass myself in a very bad role playing voices and acting.

These early games are what really got me hooked on gaming on computers, period.  I loved that fact that there seemed to be unlimited great stories no matter which game you played back then. Of course the graphics weren’t anything to cheer about.

What happened to these stories today?

Sure we could still play pen and paper games to get the story, but I want this in my latest game.

Today we have plenty of RPG’s but most are linear stories and that is just so wrong in an RPG. The RPG should stand for not having any barriers or boundaries.

Yet we have to follow this path to complete story!

Even worse are MMORPG’s!

For these you can throw everything I said above out the window, these are little or nothing even close to a RPG, other than you are completing a story based on some else’s idea . I mean really the only role playing going is the people that stay in character and today those are a limited amount of servers.

The average MMO sends you out to find random items or slay random numbers of beasts to progress through a 100% linear story.

What I want in an RPG!

This is only a dream. I want and open world with characters that don’t level up per se they just get better as they use their abilities. Classless leveling would be the best along with having an unlimited amount of abilities to learn.

A giant changeable open world sandbox to play in. Changing seasons along with the ability to change boundaries as the factional battle rages on in game. The world could be changed by player made cities and villages.

Need to have at least three factions that are battling for the surrounding lands.

The people that put together the Elder Scrolls series might be the only ones that still get it, for what should be in an RPG, but there is always room for improvements.

So today I ask you, what is wrong with the RPG today?


5 responses to RPG where did we go wrong?

  1. On October 22nd, 2013 at 6:27 pm , Southclaw said...

    I’ve never truly enjoyed MMO RPGs, for the exact reason you wrote above!

    They are all pretty much the same, and I think that’s the problem. It’s similar to the FPS-lock the industry has been in. The current MMO model seems too popular to change. ArcheAge and Guild Wars 2 have been among the few that have tried to break out. I respect that a project aimed at a large audience can’t completely change the way things are done because there’s no business sense in that and I think GW2 handled it well. I didn’t feel like the levels and numbers were necessary to the experience yet they were still there for that existing audience who enjoy that side of MMOs.

    ArcheAge boasts this new player-driven experience with building towns/cities and being completely open. I admire what they are doing and really hope it turns out well. I just don’t have time to play regular games let alone MMOs but I really would like to give it a try!

    I think MMOs are changing, slowly. There are way too many free ones out there that seem to be just complete copies of the standard model. Nothing stands out to me as special so that just put me off MMOs in general.

  2. On October 22nd, 2013 at 9:21 pm , Chris said...

    Thanks Southclaw great comments, I couldn’t agree with you more!


  3. On October 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 am , Ryu sheng said...

    I was starting to agree with you until i saw your comments about skyrim. That’s IMO one of the examples of everything that’s wrong with RPG’s these days.

    Consoles are what killed the RPG genre really. When they become more popular the mechanics and abilities of games had to change so as to get the games on them.

    Over the years games have been dumbed down not to be kiddiefied (as many claim) but rather because gamers aren’t as hard core as they used to be. Consoles brought with them casual gaming and that disease spread like wildfire.

    We’ve seen RPG’s dropping in completion time and complexity over the years.

    One of the best examples of what an RPG should be like is Neverwinter Nights 1. The original game was pretty sucky, but that was because it was designed to be an advert rather than an actual game. The expansions however remedied this and became excellent games.

    However, the dev.’s simply turned aroudn and said, don’t like our game? Well, here you go. this is everything we used to build the game go have fun and build your ideal.

    That started a craze that is still going todate, with PW built in NWN still being live now. What’s more because of the way the game was built it was the closest we’d ever get to playing PnP on a PC.

    PC RPG’s need the linerality that they have sadly, because otherwise the game would just go on and on. The way forward is the Far Cry way, open world where you can do and go where you like. Yet at certain levels and places you get events that propel the story along.


    The original Guild Wars game was the first game to break the mould that i played. You buy the game once and then that was it. The leveling system was entirely skill based and the fact the game lasted for so long, and is still going, is IMO proof the game was successful. GW2 however was a disaster, thats why it’s struggling these days and probably will be dead within 6months to a year.

    It tried to meld the originality of GW1 and the normal open world side of mmo’s and failed badly. It’s a shame really since it had the potential to be another mould breaker like it’s predecessor.

    As for ArchAge, i’ll believe when it’s released. To many games the past year of so have built up a huge hype about what they’ll offer and then fallen flat on their face, and some just being the total opposite.

    As for the problem with FPS these days, again thats tied to consoles and casual gaming. Most FPS these days are essentially point and click games. Honestly the last FPS i played (and still play now and again) was bad company 2.

    To really see any advances in games dev.’s need to take an important step, a step they wont do. They need to make development for PC the dominant. You build your game around what a PC can do, and then you port it to console. We’d see a rise in more complex FPS, with less handholding and more open world.

    I think it was in a Totalbiscuit vid where he made the comment that games these days are really nothing more than interactive movies. and sadly he’s right

  4. On October 23rd, 2013 at 2:09 pm , Chris said...

    The Elder Scrolls series to me has the best leveling system or should I say lack of a leveling. Because you only get better as you use stuff just like IRL.

    That is the reason I always put them on top of the list, but I always welcome other opinions.

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the dumbing-down of games for console, I hate the whole button smashing thing.

    Thanks for your Comments

  5. On November 9th, 2013 at 10:11 pm , Xorinth said...

    I play some games online, but their pen-n-paper counterparts (like DDO/D&D) leave more for your own imagination to conjure, which is usually waaaaay better anyway coz it’s not limited in scope, requires no funds, & doesn’t have to follow some linear storyline.

    And speaking of Commodore 64… I remember the text-based games that actually told a story, and you had to decide where to go from there. Do you remember those? It would say something like,

    “…Crickets chirp in the background and birds fly overhead as the dry Fall leaves crunch under your feet. You walk deep into the forest for what seems like ages. You notice a clearing to your right, an odd statue to your left, and an abandoned looking cabin up ahead.
    (Which direction would you like to take?)”

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE those text-based games! Sure, I’m not seeing any special FX or fancy graphics as I play it — it’s just words on the screen — but I could sooooo easily become immersed in such a world, thanks to my imagination. Books were good too — I can still remember the book, “Centaur Isle”. LOL

    *nostalgic sigh* Those were the days of real gaming…

    Alas, we’ve all been gimped by technology’s attempt to make our world better/easier.
    Better technology = laziness = no imagination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« Back home