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#51 Posted by BoG (5178 posts) -

I think this alleged "loss of relevancy" comes from gameplay changes in most modern WRPGs, and a sever drop in quality for most modern JRPGs.  The most popular titles in the genre are action RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, or Mass Effect (which is accused of not being an RPG anymore). More traditional JRPGs... suck. I don't blame this on their being less relevant, but on designers designing them poorly. If we look at JRPGs on the Nintendo DS, we'll find a goldmine of great titles. 
On the other hand, I think his statement does hold some water. The genre has always been one of the least accessible, especially in contrast with action games. Stat distribution and other RPG staples are not easy for the newcomer. 
I still like RPGs, and if Bioware doesn't want to make them, I'll be sad, but I don't think Atlus will let me down.
Moderator
#52 Posted by Irvandus (2645 posts) -
@ProfessorEss said:
I think RPG as a genre term is becoming less relevant. Nowadays where everything has at least a  touch of RPG in it it's become more of a gameplay mechanic than a genre.  Frankly, I think the term RPG has been terribly misused for a long time now anyways - ever since someone decided that the R in RPG was more about roll than role.
So true.
#53 Edited by tarquinbb (25 posts) -

what is an RPG?  imo an RPG is a game where you can make your own story and have feelings for the characters that no hollywood movie or american TV series can replicate.  perhaps the only comparable character connection can be found through reading a novel.
 
so-called 'RPG' games in this day and age do the pathetic hollywood job, in that they don't leave anything to your imagination.  it's shoved down your throat whether you like it or not.  thinking back to baldurs gate 2 or final fantasy 7, i was thinking about them almost all the time - even when i wasn't playing the game.  mass effect 2 or dragon age?  ehhhh after an hour or so i just wanted to see what happened at the end of the movie (great games, but i'm not going to bother playing them again unless i get amnesia).
 
make a game for morons and what you have is a moronic game.
 
the best RPG in recent memory is bioshock, and even that is suffering from hollywood syndrome.

#54 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Bioware's last spark died with DA2. ME3 will become a harem wife simulator. RIP Bioware.

#55 Posted by Fenrisulfr (133 posts) -

Greg is absolutely correct here. When looking back at what an RPG is, we're treated a lot of cut scenes, tons of text, a lot of characters talking, decent to good stories, and terrible, terrible gameplay. These are video games, not interactive books and movies. While there are a lot of RPG elements in games now a days (such as leveling up and distributing skill points across skills and weapons), it still needs to be able to stand on top of a better foundation and that can be found in shooters and action games. The game play is tighter across the board, combat can be far more adaptable, and more variables can be in a situation that's constantly moving, rather than hitting "attack" and waiting for something to happen later on in the turn.

Saying that, Bioware needs to begin stepping up their own game, literally and figuratively. The combat in ME1 was not really good. ME2 was better, but it still lacked what made Gears of War great. While it's a competent game, I wouldn't rank it as one of my favorites as a good shooter. A decent shooter, but not a good one. I would comment on Dragon Age, but since I didn't play the second one, I don't think I really have a place to talk.

#56 Posted by Natesaint (147 posts) -

RPGs are still around, seesh. Just look a bit harder and you'll find them. I love games like Mass Effect, excellent shooter and RPG mix. Sure 2 cut down on the RPG element, big freakin' deal. It's still an excellent third person shooter with a good journey. Besides, I thought all the Bioware bitching was done over at Kotaku, land of ineptitude.  

#57 Posted by The_Nubster (1953 posts) -
@KingWilly said:
@JoeyRavn said:

@The_Nubster: Some people seem to have skipped reading my post or, worse, the article. No one is denying that games have been infused with RPG elements for decades now. The point of discussion is whether the RPG as a genre can survive. Not "shooter with RPG elements" or "puzzle game with leveling up", but a game whose core mechanics are RPG elements.

I think the traditional cRPG (of which Dragon Age Origins was the last) are gone. Maybe not forever, but they're gone for now. The reason for this is because all of the gameplay systems that were in place to make an RPG fair are no longer necessary. We don't need dice rolls to handle the mathematics of whether or not my sword cut this Orc's head off. Computers do that now. It doesn't mean the RPG genre is dead, it just means that it's evolving. Remember how crappy third person shooters were? I'm talking about stuff  like Rogue Trooper, or even worse, the shooting in PS2 Grand Theft Auto games. It was bad, and then Gears of War came along and turned the whole thing on its head, and now it's a viable gameplay environment to have a ton of fun in.  I really don't understand why everyone in this topic seems to fear change, or the truth. The default Giant Bomb response to hearing something they don't like seems to be "SHUT UP YOU'RE WRONG AND YOU'VE GOT POOPY PANTS". Zeschuk isn't saying he wants RPGs to go away, or that he wants RPG fans to die in a fire while Dudebros rape their wives. He's saying that in the current environment, traditional RPGs are "less relevant" than they used to be. And how can they not, when every game under the sun is cribbing addictive and fun systems from RPGs?   Anyone who says Call of Duty's online component isn't similar or a direct lift of traditional RPG mechanics is a fool. Call of Duty using an RPG progression system means that more and more studios are realizing that a lot of genres can't stand on their own two feet for 8-15 hours, so they crib from RPGs. I don't mind, considering it's produced a lot of awesome games so far (like Bioshock, or Deus Ex).
Yes, it's nice to hear from someone who understands what's being said. By no means are RPGs becoming forgotten about, but RPGs in the sense that everyone thinks about are obsolete, and the systems are definitely pretty shoddy in this day and age. For example, in a game like Fallout, the crosshair doesn't mean that's where my bullet is going to go. I could have 100 Gun skill and be aiming at someone's face point-blank with a sniper rifle and miss. Why is that dice roll necessary? 
 
That's not to say that FPS games don't benefit from RPG tropes, like progression and skills. Again, in Fallout, there are Perks that improve your character and cater to your playing style. RPGs are evolving and changing, and it's hard to make an RPG that can support it's own weight for the length of a campaign (20-40 hours) because things start to seem tedious. By rolling it into a different genre, like a cover-based shooter or a straight-FPS or even an adventure game, players can benefit from the progression and power of good RPG elements without suffering from the ones that hamper the fun of the game.
#58 Posted by AssInAss (2407 posts) -

RPG is now the most confusing term in the videogame vocabulary, with so many sub-genres. Turn-based, action, strategy, dungeon crawler, rogue-like. Ffffffuuuuuuu

#59 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

I think what people need to realize is that the video game role playing term does not apply to cutscenes, story, or linearity. What it entails is merely that your ability is dependent on statistical values, and that there will be a progression in these values throughout the experience. People call Zelda an RPG because it has a fantasy setting, but it's an action-adventure. Your ability is based on your own talent with the controller (action) and moving through the story (adventure) and not through experience levels.

So comments about how 'a roleplaying game should make you feel like you're a person' are only accurate when discussing tabletop. In video games, branching narratives and dialogue trees are not specific to RPGs. You can make an RPG with no narrative whatsoever, and you can make a 2D fighter with dialogue trees... The defining trait of a video game roleplaying game is that ability is expressed through statistical value.

#60 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11040 posts) -

I'm sorry, but the traditional CRPG stopped being relevant to gaming as a whole somewhere around 2003, when Black Isle went out of business and Bioware made KotOR (it's first attempt at making a game for the mass market). Since then, with the exception of Dragon Age Origins (a deliberate throwback), Bioware has been slowly but surely progressing towards mass-market penetration by making the RPG elements in Jade Empire and Mass Effect 1 kind of bad and then finally saying "Screw it, we're making a shooter as the delivery mechanism for the characters and story". Same kind of goes for Bethesda, although by that merit Fallout 3 would be a pretty bad shooter. Inversley, we can probably thank Call of Duty 4 for almost singlehandedly popularizing the trend of progression elements being put into action games. To be totally frank, it's because Dice Rolls don't make the money they used to, or perhaps because the two surviving major western-RPG developers are too inundated with success to make anything niche because "Corporate Overlords" and "The Elder Scrolls was never really about that anyways"
 
And I think that's a shame. Why? Because I like Dice Rolls. I like the tactical combat of Baldur's Gate far more than I like the "not quite as good as an actual shooter but you can put points into incinerate so we can still pretend its a RPG" shooting of Mass Effect 2. While Bioware has finally got their storytelling up to a certain level of cinematic quality, they've kind of spit on their D&D legacy as a result. Do I blame them? No. Because I still like Bioware games because I've come to accept that they're more about the storytelling anyways. But it annoys me that in order to find my fix of a tactical RPG I either have to go back in time (with all the anachronisms present in older titles) or I have to go indie (which has its own set of caveats). The RPG seeping into everything has been good for video games. The RPG as a genre being dead is bad. For me at least. Where's Dave Snider when you need him?

#61 Posted by DefaultProphet (313 posts) -

@FlipperDesert said:

Hearing this makes me sad. Hey, game makers? Give me a traditional RPG and I will play it. I want a wizard and I want to click on the wizard and make it roll a dice to magic missile a skeleton and then I get some sort of loot from the skeleton to better attack skeletons. Get on that.

And you're in the VAST minority

#62 Posted by Loose (419 posts) -

Seeing all the hardcore/old-school RPG fanboys flip out over shit like this makes my day.

#63 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

Dragon Age : Origins is stil one of Bioware's best selling games to date. EYE got a postive QL and they even mention the fact that the story is indecipherable. People like RPGs and story isn't always a driving factor.

People seem to think DA:O had a great story actually so I am not seeing that as being a good point? I thought it was a generic trope ridden cliche fest myself but I am in the minority. And EYE? Please. That game is a shooter with some RPG mechanics for character customization. It is NOT an RPG. Also I seriously doubt it is selling all that well, or would be well scored if reviewed by a major games publication. It is in essence, a small dev source mod release, and it shows.

Contradicting yourself and ignoring reality doesn't make you right.

#64 Posted by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

Diablo 3 is not an RPG.

#65 Posted by Kazona (3055 posts) -

The only thing I'm getting from all this is how quickly people can turn on a developer if they release one not-quite-perfect game. Ok, so Dragon Age 2 wasn't the sequel some were hoping for. You could even say that, according to some, DA2 was a bad game (which I don't agree with. It was one of Bioware's less stellar titles, but definitely not horrible). But that is one "bad" game versus a whole lot of outstanding games. With the amount of quality titles Bioware has put out over the years, I think they're allowed one (minor) mistake.

I for one agree with Greg that traditional RPGs are becoming less relevant. They will never disapear completely, but they are becoming even more of a niche than they used to be. And at the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I think Bioware is one of the few developers who's on the right path when it comes to combining RPG elements with other genres.

#66 Posted by AyKay_47 (291 posts) -

@GunslingerPanda said:

Bioware are becoming less relevant.

Beat me by 6 hours and 45 minutes.

#67 Posted by zeus_gb (595 posts) -

I really don't care what genre a game is because all I want is a good game.

#68 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2052 posts) -

'True'-RPGs are pretty rare these days. Even the beloved Witcher 2 is basically an action game with progression and dialog trees.

#69 Posted by MikkaQ (10227 posts) -

He's got a point, nowadays it seems that the RPG is a set of mechanics that you can attach to almost any kind of game. It kinda started with the JRPG, putting it RPG gameplay into a game with literally no role-playing or character customization. Now it's in almost every shooter in some form or another, from progression based multiplayer in COD to more traditional fare like Deus Ex 3.

#70 Posted by Little_Socrates (5651 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

@Little_Socrates said:

It's still kind of fun, but if somebody tried to tell me the combat in Persona 4 or Final Fantasy was more fun than, say, the combat in Bayonetta or God of War,

Bayonetta=>Persona 4>(imagine many, many >'s here)God of War>Final Fantasy(generally speaking-- 9 and 6 are pretty decent)

;)

Comparing those games' mechanics is pretty ridiculous, though. They pleasure entirely different parts of your brains . Persona 4 is a game where I consider my guys' loadout, plan accordingly and then lay out a game plan for tackling the enemies I'll be facing. I play around with numbers and skills to see what works best, and the sensation of beating a boss 5-6 levels before the designers expected the average player to, is amazing.

Bayonetta, on the other hand, taxes my reflexive abilities and my experience with other action games such as DMC. There's an entirely different brand of strategic elements going on here.

Its like comparing an RTS with a platformer, and saying one is intrinsically better than the other is plain wrong. Mario Galaxy and Starcraft 2 are not trying the same things-- neither are Bayonetta and Persona 4.

Well, not quite. An RTS and a platformer are trying to accomplish two different things; commanding your civilization/forcer and traversing terrain are completely different and would both serve difference purposes in a game based on, say, The Lord of the Rings. However, the difference between reflex-based melee combat and turn-based melee combat is purely mechanical, but are both options to accomplish the same goal. And, generally speaking, the reflex-based combat is faster and more entertaining, which is why Final Fantasy XIII might have my favorite combat system since VII. (I haven't played VIII though, so I don't know what that combat system is like.)

Also, while the boss encounters in Persona 4 are maybe equal to Bayonetta and even better than God of War II's, the general mob combat in Persona 4 is really kind of boring. The rewards from leveling in that game are cool, but the actual combat is pretty disinteresting when you're just grinding out levels. Beating up mobs in Bayonetta or GoW is pretty awesome, though. I find Persona 4 to be the FAR better game (in fact, it's probably in my all time Top 5 without having finished it,) but the combat is definitely not the reason.

#71 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

They've done everything in their power to sour my desire to play RPGs, but luckily devs that aren't Bioware have kept things fresh. 
But yes, as far as they are concerned this is true. And since they're the center of the universe, the backlash to DA2 and the lukewarm response to their MMO means the entire genre must be dying.

#72 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@phrosnite said:
Diablo 3 is not an RPG.
lolkay
#73 Posted by Afroman269 (7388 posts) -

All this recent shit coming out of Bioware is just making me like them less. I'm still looking forward to Mass Effect 3 but that's pretty much it when it comes to Bioware. At least games like Witcher allow me to care even less about what Bioware says and does.

#74 Edited by mutha3 (4980 posts) -
@Little_Socrates said:

Well, not quite. An RTS and a platformer are trying to accomplish two different things; commanding your civilization/forcer and traversing terrain are completely different and would both serve difference purposes in a game based on, say, The Lord of the Rings. However, the difference between reflex-based melee combat and turn-based melee combat is purely mechanical, but are both options to accomplish the same goal. And, generally speaking, the reflex-based combat is faster and more entertaining, 

 
Ah, so killing dudes at close range is a genre now? Stronghold:Crusade can be described with a vague moniker like "turn-based melee combat" as well. Does that mean its sharing the same "end goal" as Bayonetta?(no).

Sorry, but you're being rather silly here. You kill dudes in Bayonetta, and you kill dudes in Persona 4--
 
That's were the two games' end goals in terms of mechanics begins and ends. Persona 4 is a turn based JRPG, Bayonetta is a character action game.


 which is why Final Fantasy XIII might have my favorite combat system since VII. (I haven't played VIII though, so I don't know what that combat system is like.)


There you go. That's a much, much, much less silly comparision to make.
 
I think FFXIII's battle system is garbage, though.
 
  @Little_Socrates said:


Also, while the boss encounters in Persona 4 are maybe equal to Bayonetta and even better than God of War II's, the general mob combat in Persona 4 is really kind of boring. The rewards from leveling in that game are cool, but the actual combat is pretty disinteresting when you're just grinding out levels. Beating up mobs in Bayonetta or GoW is pretty awesome, though. I find Persona 4 to be the FAR better game (in fact, it's probably in my all time Top 5 without having finished it,) but the combat is definitely not the reason.


I disagree. The combat in P4 is one of my favorite parts of the game, I like it more than the story even.
#75 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -
@FlipperDesert said:
Hearing this makes me sad.  Hey, game makers? Give me a traditional RPG and I will play it. I want a wizard and I want to click on the wizard and make it roll a dice to magic missile a skeleton and then I get some sort of loot from the skeleton to better attack skeletons. Get on that.
Add different, unlockable wizard-themed hats to this formula.
#76 Posted by Little_Socrates (5651 posts) -

@mutha3: I didn't mean to imply the two games were of the same genre or that comparing the combat was a direct comparison of the two games' quality. However, you can approach the concept of killing dudes from a number of different mechanical systems, but ultimately Bayonetta's storyline could have played like Persona 4 and Persona 4's storyline could have played like Bayonetta, though it probably would have drastically changed the tone of each game. I will agree that the goal of "what do we want to evoke from our combat" is very different. I know a lot of people don't like combat in FFXIII, that's fine.

Maybe it's just where I'm at in the game and the combat gets way crazier from where I'm at (Void Quest,) but otherwise I disagree about the combat vs. story in P4.

#77 Edited by Jeust (10343 posts) -

Well, I've always played RPGs because of the story, so I can understand what Greg Mizuka is saying.  

#78 Posted by mutha3 (4980 posts) -
@Little_Socrates said:

@mutha3:

Maybe it's just where I'm at in the game and the combat gets way crazier from where I'm at (Void Quest,) but otherwise I disagree about the combat vs. story in P4.

It doesn't! But just for reference, how many hours are you into the game at that point?
#79 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2052 posts) -

@Afroman269:

But the Witcher isn't a 'real' RPG franchise, though.

#80 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Greg doesn't own a DS. Which is lucky for him, he can avoid that awful Sonic RPG. But otherwise, he would find a fairly active and vibrant RPG community.

#81 Posted by Levio (1781 posts) -

RPGs are out. Guitar and Dance games are going to take over the whole industry.

#82 Posted by Little_Socrates (5651 posts) -

@mutha3: About 30. I'd have played more over the last few weeks but I've been completely incapable of finding my disc. Luckily, my roommate has one so when I go back to school I can play.

#83 Edited by Jimbo (9712 posts) -

They're desperate for Bioware games to be selling 5+ million copies instead of the usual 2-3 million copies, and they're convinced the only way to do that is to break out into the mainstream audience by moving closer and closer to the genres which are capable of selling that many (ie. shooters), and further from their proven formula. Not only will that not work (because there's far more competition in that direction, and Bioware just can't hang with the big boys in terms of action / shooting), but I don't think they're even right.

There was nothing wrong with the balance in ME2 (that's not to say that Dragon Age shouldn't have stayed Dragon Age). ME2 sales weren't held back by a suboptimal RPG/Shooter balance; they were held back by it being a sequel in a story-heavy franchise and by the platform releases being all over the place. ME2 sales were always going to be held back by ME1 sales to a large extent. They keep saying that ME3 is an ideal place to jump into the franchise (for exactly this reason), but let's face it, that just isn't true and everybody knows it.

They aren't going to hit the kind of numbers they're looking for with DA or ME now because they both have too much baggage in one form or another. A fresh Bioware franchise (after ME is put to bed), with the quality of ME2 and a properly handled multi-plat release... now that does have the potential to sell the kinds of numbers they're looking for imo, and they don't need to shift the balance even further in the shooter direction in order to do it. The RPG (or 'Typical Bioware Game' if you prefer) market may not offer the (remote) chance to sell 10-20 million units, but it will stretch to 5+ million under the right circumstances... and I think Bioware are far more likely to hit 5M from their very strong position in the RPG market than from what would be a fairly weak position in the shooter market. Bioware themselves will become irrelevant if they move too far from what they're good at.

#84 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

If Bioware stops making RPGs tomorrow and starts making some other more popular genre, that just means less RPGs will be swayed by their bullshit ideas like dungeon recycling. So more power to them, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

#85 Posted by Diablos1125 (176 posts) -

I don't mind them getting rid of some RPG tropes but as long as they keep the persistence in there, whats not to love? Story, action and incentive (assuming they do all these right of course)

#86 Edited by strangone (179 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater said:

I'm sorry, but the traditional CRPG stopped being relevant to gaming as a whole somewhere around 2003, when Black Isle went out of business and Bioware made KotOR (it's first attempt at making a game for the mass market). Since then, with the exception of Dragon Age Origins (a deliberate throwback), Bioware has been slowly but surely progressing towards mass-market penetration by making the RPG elements in Jade Empire and Mass Effect 1 kind of bad and then finally saying "Screw it, we're making a shooter as the delivery mechanism for the characters and story". Same kind of goes for Bethesda, although by that merit Fallout 3 would be a pretty bad shooter. Inversley, we can probably thank Call of Duty 4 for almost singlehandedly popularizing the trend of progression elements being put into action games. To be totally frank, it's because Dice Rolls don't make the money they used to, or perhaps because the two surviving major western-RPG developers are too inundated with success to make anything niche because "Corporate Overlords" and "The Elder Scrolls was never really about that anyways"  And I think that's a shame. Why? Because I like Dice Rolls. I like the tactical combat of Baldur's Gate far more than I like the "not quite as good as an actual shooter but you can put points into incinerate so we can still pretend its a RPG" shooting of Mass Effect 2. While Bioware has finally got their storytelling up to a certain level of cinematic quality, they've kind of spit on their D&D legacy as a result. Do I blame them? No. Because I still like Bioware games because I've come to accept that they're more about the storytelling anyways. But it annoys me that in order to find my fix of a tactical RPG I either have to go back in time (with all the anachronisms present in older titles) or I have to go indie (which has its own set of caveats). The RPG seeping into everything has been good for video games. The RPG as a genre being dead is bad. For me at least. Where's Dave Snider when you need him?

Fucking exactly. For me, the RPG genre as I know and love it (tactical turn-based combat, skill checks in and out of combat, focused on character skill not player skill) has been dead for years. The only people debating whether or not traditional CRPGs are dead are people who never liked them that much in the first place. 
#87 Edited by yinstarrunner (1171 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater
Thanks for finally saying it.  I'm suprised that so many people here are so quick to write off an entire system of game mechanics so easily.  RPG systems can be deep, rewarding, and yes, even fun.  Getting immersed in the systems of such a game, and building your characters to exploit such systems is incredibly fun to me.  Trying to make the seemingly small, yet unquestionably hard, decisions between two pieces of equally balanced equipment is FUN TO ME.  I don't always want to play a SHOOTER, or a CHARACTER ACTION GAME, sometimes I want something that tests my mind more than my reflexes, something I can go through at my own pace, and while those twitch-based games are really, really fun, I'm not some ADD kid who constantly needs explosions to validate playing a game. 
 
Whatever, I've become pretty bitter over the years.  I'm going to go back to playing Strange Journey on my DS, a game that manages to be fun while still having those blasted DICE ROLLS (OH NO!)  I'm sure it would be so much more fun to play if I hit the Y button rapidly to repeat the same animations ad nauseam until the bad guys were dead.
#88 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

Out of curiosity, how many view role playing as something only weird people do?  My guess is a lot of you.  And that, not any mechanical reason,  is why actual Role Playing Games are irrelevant now.  People don't actually want to do any such thing.

#89 Posted by Azteck (7447 posts) -

You know what? Mass Effect 2 was a major let down as I was expecting an RPG but got nothing like it, so I think he's full of shit.

#90 Edited by Marokai (2640 posts) -

The only thing that's becoming less prominent are developers that actually care about making games that fit their audience as opposed to trying to make every game a blockbuster mainstream hit purely out of a desire for more and more and more money.

#91 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -
@Turambar Yeah I'd be interested, because for all his love of D&D; computer games, Dave Snider seems pretty put off by the idea of tabletop roleplaying (which is really the only way to roleplay, as a game can only give you predetermined options). I'd really like to know how many of the 'diehard RPG fans' actually play/would play a real tabletop roleplaying experience. Because it seems what they want more is a complicated spreadsheet simulator about min-maxing and overcoming difficult statistical odds.
#92 Posted by BBQBram (2165 posts) -

Skyrim begs to differ. I also don't care about genre barriers, I just know Mass Effect is great.