(Rant) Role-Playing Games That Need to be Made

I just can't rely on modern RPGs anymore. "Triple-A" publishers keep releasing what would be great RPGs without the unnecessary and unwanted multiplayer (looking squarely at you, EA, and that leash you've got on Bioware), or games that aren't RPGs with "RPG elements". Seriously, what use is a dialogue tree in Legend of Zelda?

And it's worse in the Indie sphere. Holy shit, Greenlight is just LITTERED with isometric throwbacks that put too much emphasis on mechanics-exploitation and not enough on being able to actually play a character as a person. And every time I see another damn RPG Maker game, I want to find the people who made that stupid program and shove bricks down their throats.

And the majority of gamers make it even worse. Bioware was on the right track with Dragon Age 2, the Mass Effect series, and TOR. Those are the best games I've played because the dialogue wheel is a wonderful thing for playing out different characters as PEOPLE. Dragon Age 2 was the best at that because the options came with icons to indicate tone! And what happened? They got slammed by a bunch of cry-babies whining about only getting to choose between three colors. Guess what, jerks: Life's a journey, not a destination, and those games contained GREAT journeys.

So, for the few of you left who are still reading because I haven't pissed you off to the point where you've run off to a thread about Anita Sarkeesian, jingoism, or religion (or to jump straight to the comments for a counterattack), here's the important part of this ranty thread: There need to be more RPGs with emphasis on actual role-playing, as in deciding on a basis for a personality and using the game's dialogue and other options to flesh out the character. There also need to be some explorations of genres in different formats.

You have like two or 3 threads worth of ideas here so this will get a little sloppy. Bethesda making an arcanum clone/ripoff/2. I approve. A fable game in a WW setting. I approve too. Dialog is something I also want to see played with. You could have a dial on the dialog screen you use to change up your tone. Also, the sims 3 kind of had a neat system that added extra options based on personality. It managed to be both really simple, but big enough to make a lot of character types. A game about subterfuge and spying could be really neat. I don't know how exactly you could do that. On the other hand I think crusader kings dose it.

I'm sick of medieval RPGs as well. Fantasy means ANYTHING that isn't real. Hell, an RPG in the real world would be more interesting than most RPG worlds. There's something really wrong with that. Give me anything but Tolkien fantasy at this point unless you're actually doing a LotR game. And, RPGs need to focus on the role-playing over combat as well. What's the point of playing an RPG where most of your time is spent in combat and the combat isn't actually good? I can go play an action game and get a better experience.

A Sci-Fi RPG would be nice. Star Ocean always messes it up and has the protagonists with their spaceships and aliens always seem to crash-land on some medieval-level world and throw away their rayguns and use swords instead. Lame.

I want a superhero RPG. The closest things I've really seen have been Hero (which was cancelled) and Awakened (which seems to have the worst luck getting funded or picked up by a publisher.)

I want to pick a power or two and have it actually make a difference. Not a DCUO-style single power with a bunch of different skins. Let us actually use powers imaginatively. Yahtzee once wrote an Extra Punctuation article on having a game where you can control wood, and that sounded really interesting. I want one where power choice can drastically change the gameplay in several ways. Such a game would also lend itself naturally to co-op and other multiplayer modes.

No offense but welcome to the real world market. Your preferences for an RPG are either somewhat niche or extremely challenging/expensive for a developer to build, therefore they do not get made. It costs millions of dollars to build these games, so publishers need to invest in projects they know enough people will have interest in to sell. You take a shot at isometric throwback RPG's and the RPG maker stuff, but those have the benefit of being much cheaper to create so a developer can build a game for those niche markets and make their money back.

Sounds like you want more games that put the emphasis on 'role play' through dialogue options, but that isn't necessarily what other people are looking for in RPG's. Also that kind of branching option creates a mess of dialogue, which especially becomes a problem when you consider it's expected that these things need to be voice acted nowadays.

Personally I like RPG's for the story, prefer them to be linear to get the most value out of a single playthrough, with gameplay/combat that's slower paced and more tactical. Games that offer branching choices tend to be much shorter run time for a single playthrough, and expect you to play through them multiple times to get full value. I've never really been a fan of that. I'm not about to bash those games though as everyone has their own preferences.

We don't classify them as RPGs, but I'd say the Telltale adventure games have actually got you pretty well covered. There's dialogue trees, choices with consequence, the ability to develop the player character, the works. Sure, the gameplay is pretty much just dialogue options and quick-time events, but it can still draw you in. I've played too many RPGs that are allowed to get away with having awful gameplay (I tried out 'Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines' the other week), and I'd honestly rather play a game where the gameplay is non-existent than one where it's just not fun.

If you consider "baby learns 3 colours" as the pinnacle of dialogue and RPGs for that matter then we will not see eye to eye on a single part of this discussion. That shit was just made for people who find the game part far too inconvenient.

Flammablezeus:
I want a superhero RPG. The closest things I've really seen have been Hero (which was cancelled) and Awakened (which seems to have the worst luck getting funded or picked up by a publisher.)

I want to pick a power or two and have it actually make a difference. Not a DCUO-style single power with a bunch of different skins. Let us actually use powers imaginatively. Yahtzee once wrote an Extra Punctuation article on having a game where you can control wood, and that sounded really interesting. I want one where power choice can drastically change the gameplay in several ways. Such a game would also lend itself naturally to co-op and other multiplayer modes.

*shakes hand* You sir, I like you. We need a good fucking superpower RPG. Infamous is nice and I love it, but I want something closer to an RPG and more powers to pick from. On set in an open-city would be amazing. Power choice should matter, the only current Superpower RPGs are MMOs, Champions Online and DC Universe Online. Champions sucks and DC Universe has uninteresting powers that feel the same.

Minus the usual Cyberpunk and and modern fantasy, I really can't think of any RPGs I'd want to see. Maybe one in the Star Wars universe and Game of Thrones could be fun.

templar1138a:
And what happened? They got slammed by a bunch of cry-babies whining about only getting to choose between three colors. Guess what, jerks: Life's a journey, not a destination, and those games contained GREAT journeys.

Dude, bringing up the ME3 ending and then insulting people over it? Really not the best way to start a discussion.

Hell, I loved most of ME3 and even I find myself losing interest in anything you might have had to say upon reading that.

...

Personally I'd like to see a cyberpunk RPG with turn-based combat mechanics similar to XCOM:Enemy Unkown. That would rock. (Yes, I know, the new Shadowrun. That game was arse.) Plus good characters and well written, well voiced dialogue, but that part kind of goes without saying.

Elfgore:

Flammablezeus:
I want a superhero RPG. The closest things I've really seen have been Hero (which was cancelled) and Awakened (which seems to have the worst luck getting funded or picked up by a publisher.)

I want to pick a power or two and have it actually make a difference. Not a DCUO-style single power with a bunch of different skins. Let us actually use powers imaginatively. Yahtzee once wrote an Extra Punctuation article on having a game where you can control wood, and that sounded really interesting. I want one where power choice can drastically change the gameplay in several ways. Such a game would also lend itself naturally to co-op and other multiplayer modes.

*shakes hand* You sir, I like you. We need a good fucking superpower RPG. Infamous is nice and I love it, but I want something closer to an RPG and more powers to pick from. On set in an open-city would be amazing. Power choice should matter, the only current Superpower RPGs are MMOs, Champions Online and DC Universe Online. Champions sucks and DC Universe has uninteresting powers that feel the same.

Minus the usual Cyberpunk and and modern fantasy, I really can't think of any RPGs I'd want to see. Maybe one in the Star Wars universe and Game of Thrones could be fun.

Volition should make "mankind has yet to recognize my genius". They have the ability. I mean saints row 4 was just a few steps away from being a super-villain simulator. It just need a different setting and name.

Zhukov:
Personally I'd like to see a cyberpunk RPG with turn-based combat mechanics similar to XCOM:Enemy Unkown. That would rock. (Yes, I know, the new Shadowrun. That game was arse.) Plus good characters and well written, well voiced dialogue, but that part kind of goes without saying.

Have you tried Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall? It's practically the finished product compared to Dead Man's Switch's tech-demo, with actually interesting characters, a great storyline with actually important choices you can make and some actual roleplaying every here and there. Sadly the combat is still a little clunky (hiding behind door-frames gives no cover? really?) and the game is a little on the short side, but it is great stuff.

GabeZhul:

Zhukov:
Personally I'd like to see a cyberpunk RPG with turn-based combat mechanics similar to XCOM:Enemy Unkown. That would rock. (Yes, I know, the new Shadowrun. That game was arse.) Plus good characters and well written, well voiced dialogue, but that part kind of goes without saying.

Have you tried Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall? It's practically the finished product compared to Dead Man's Switch's tech-demo, with actually interesting characters, a great storyline with actually important choices you can make and some actual roleplaying every here and there. Sadly the combat is still a little clunky (hiding behind door-frames gives no cover? really?) and the game is a little on the short side, but it is great stuff.

Eh, that seems like it would be throwing good money after bad.

Besides, I'm not particularly enamoured with the Shadowrun setting. The kitchen sink approach is kind of charming, but I feel that all the fantasy stuff could be ditched without losing anything of value.

Are you SURE that you can't stand modern RPGs anymore? It seems you've chosen mostly AAA releases that pretty much pander to the casual market and dumb down the mechanics as a whole. You laud DA2 for adding pictures to their dialogue but everything else was pretty much a dumbing down down from DA:O. You had less options to choose from, more auto-dialogue, and the choices themselves were pretty haphazardly summarized to the point Hawke might say something you weren't expecting based on the shortened description. But hey, at least you have pictures so you don't have to use your brain because thinking is hard apparently (especially funny considering your terrible defense of ME3's ending). The games you've listed are actually fairly limited in their roleplaying because they give you little variation when creating your character. The aforementioned DA2 fell short because Hawke was pretty much already a fairly defined character and offered very little player input compared to most other RPGs (certainly a downgrade from the Warden in DA:O since everyone's Warden was vastly different from each other in due part to all the different races, backgrounds, and dialogue options). Mass Effect suffered a similar problem with Shepard after ME1 and ESPECIALLY in ME3 after they removed the "neutral" dialogue option (hell, any RPG with only 3 dialogue options is pretty bare to start with). TOR was ok for an MMO, but as a roleplaying game it was quite sub par. True Nuetral got shafted in favor of maxing the Light/Dark dichotomy and Light/Dark options pretty much boiled down to angelic saint and mustache twirling villain.

Now as for RPGs I would like to see, I'd have to say I'd love to see one set in modern times or a distant future. The only "modern" settings in RPGs I can think of are exclusive to a few MMOs and Mass Effect is pretty much the only big singleplayer sci fi franchise out there.

Zhukov:

GabeZhul:

Zhukov:
Personally I'd like to see a cyberpunk RPG with turn-based combat mechanics similar to XCOM:Enemy Unkown. That would rock. (Yes, I know, the new Shadowrun. That game was arse.) Plus good characters and well written, well voiced dialogue, but that part kind of goes without saying.

Have you tried Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall? It's practically the finished product compared to Dead Man's Switch's tech-demo, with actually interesting characters, a great storyline with actually important choices you can make and some actual roleplaying every here and there. Sadly the combat is still a little clunky (hiding behind door-frames gives no cover? really?) and the game is a little on the short side, but it is great stuff.

Eh, that seems like it would be throwing good money after bad.

Besides, I'm not particularly enamoured with the Shadowrun setting. The kitchen sink approach is kind of charming, but I feel that all the fantasy stuff could be ditched without losing anything of value.

Your call. Personally my biggest gripe with the Shadowrun Returns games is the very limited cyberware options. In the tabletop game you could give your street samurai a cybernetic arm that had stabilizing gyros for better shooting, extra strength for close combat, a retractable blade in the elbow, a poison gas sprinkler in the wrist and a laser, a lockpick, a switchblade, a poison needle and a vibrator in each finger... In the game you can choose between two lame arms, one that gives 1 strength and one that gives 2.

But still, aside of my gripes, I actually think Dragonfall is one of the best RPGs of recent memory, and Dead Man's Switch doesn't even compare to it. I don't even know why they didn't make this game on the first place...

HOWEVER, if you think you might change your mind later and give the game a try after all, I would say wait until September. Harebrained Schemes is planning to pull a CD Project move and re-release the game as a "Director's Edition" with added assets, more missions and lots of other goodies (and apparently free of charge for those who got the original game).

1. The main problem with a faux-WW2 setting is the expectations. With sci-fi/non-tolkien fantasy, you can fuck with the settings as much as you want, whereas faux-WW2 there are certain things there's meant to be there (piston engines, nukes, "us vs them"). But yes, too many Tolkien inspired fantasy. Tidbit: In China, even worse: every fantasy is set in the 3 Kingdom period WITH THE SAME FUCKING CHARACTERS.

2. Yeah, sounds alright.

3. Law of diminishing return prohibits this from ever happening. Consider a dialog tree with 2 options (Yes/No): add in 3 tones each, now you have 6 options. Now, instead of the npc needing to respond to your y/n answer, the NPC needs to realise both your dialog and your tone, and all those needs your added response as well. See the amount of effort needed just exploded, and for what purpose?

4. A crusader king style TBS will work better in this aspect. Otherwise, what's preventing me from bribing every single guard in Harrenhal/KsL and murdering Little Jeff and Big Daddy (or the Baratheon bromance)? Also, the story's already been set so you risk running into the "BUT STORUH!!!!1111" or the law of diminishing returns where there are just too many outcomes

I am more a creation person, so never for once think your story is more important than mine. "But you are supposed to do X" is a big red flag for me, and the only reason why Ed Jones didn't get an axe to the face 30 seconds into the church in State of Decay. Just give me the grand objective and I'll figure it out from there.

KoTOR III.

Why? Because II left with a pretty ambiguous ending that is open enough to spawn any kind of amazing sequel, simply put, the narrative has arranged itself in a way that would a sequel viable.

Also, Obsidian has expressed interest in doing a sequel many times. They're qualified to do it, the only thing standing in their way is EA and the Mouse House's approval to go ahead with it.

It'd be an amazing game; just letting the guys rip into the Star Wars universe properly and truly showing off what they can do with the source material.

The downside being that it would be published by EA :/

Dragonball Z MMORPG. Pick android, saiyan, human, namekian, alien, or whatever majin Buu is. FLy around, gain power level, and learn transformations. Create custom finishing moves, etc. Man that would be sick.

Can I please have a good Pirate RPG? You know....that isn't SIMS Pirates? And that movie tie in game for the Xbox don't count either. I want a good modern Pirate RPG where you start out with nothing, recruit crew, take on missions, search for treasure, raid and plunder towns, get drunk off of rum, partake in ship battles, have epic sword fights, and manage all of your supplies and equipment.....Why hasn't any of this happened yet (and Risen 2 was crap btw)? It needs to happen...CD Projeckt RED...make it happen.

Valkyria chronicles is a rather neat WW era RPG. It's basically WW2 with all the names changed and more midevil style. The art style and characters is just so nice, but it suffers from story overload. You have like 5 cut cut-scenes between each battle.

Smolderin:
Can I please have a good Pirate RPG? You know....that isn't SIMS Pirates? And that movie tie in game for the Xbox don't count either. I want a good modern Pirate RPG where you start out with nothing, recruit crew, take on missions, search for treasure, raid and plunder towns, get drunk off of rum, partake in ship battles, have epic sword fights, and manage all of your supplies and equipment.....Why hasn't any of this happened yet (and Risen 2 was crap btw)? It needs to happen...CD Projeckt RED...make it happen.

Assassin's creed blag flag? Might also want to look at caribbean. It's a lot like mount and blade only your a pirate. Though there doesn't seem to be a really good mix of these two games. Black flag is lacking in the RP aspect, but caribbean doesn't have a a lot of closeness you play most of the game 100 miles above your character

RomanceIsDead:
Dragonball Z MMORPG. Pick android, saiyan, human, namekian, alien, or whatever majin Buu is. FLy around, gain power level, and learn transformations. Create custom finishing moves, etc. Man that would be sick.

This actually did exist in the form of Dragonball Online, you could be saiyan namekian or even a majin(both male and female which I found interesting) it's story was written by Akira Toriyama and was supposed to be the canonical replacement to GT.

I say did because I don't think it ever got out of beta and it certainly never made it to getting translated into English from it's Korean origins and brought to the world.

 

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