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Thread: Character vs. Plot

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Question Character vs. Plot

    Which is more important towards your enjoyment of an RPG: The characters you play as or the actual story? Granted there is a bit of give and take here as both blend into each other but which would kill your interest in a game faster, having a dull cast or a nonsensical story? Why?

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    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    A'nutoh Tia (Sargatanas)

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    Judging by my top three or so games and how most of their plots are pretty much on the "okay" side of things, in the end I think the characers are what make or break a game's story for me.

  3. #3

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    A story can be as complex and far-spanning as a single plot can possibly be, but if it doesn't have at least decent characters to ground its events and emotional moments, it all means pretty much nothing. All the same, a mostly lacking and underdeveloped story can be salvaged if I really like the characters trodding through it.

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    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Characters for sure.

  5. #5

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    Stories can bore or annoy me, but very little kills a game for me like characters I actively dislike, as I am constantly forced to experience the entire game through / with them.

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    Nayru Lacroix (Sargatanas)

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    Characters, I'll put up with the most cliched by the numbers plot if the cast is entertaining. Look at Neptunia, some evil thingy is doing evil stuff. VII had a decent story, but I'm here for Neptune shenanigans.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I'm going to go against the grain here and say story actually. Largely because the plot has to intrigue me enough to play the game in the first place. It's rare to get a real taste of the characters before playing a game so often this is the deciding factor. The other thing here is that a good plot usually means good characters whereas a crappy plot tends to also have bad characters as well.

    I can suffer through sub par characters if the story-line is interesting enough. I've also been pleasantly surprised with certain games that had obnoxious characters but the story was good and eventually the characters grew into real awesome people.

  8. #8
    Uchu's Avatar
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    Characters.

    Of course if they live in a world of complete drivel then even the best written characters will have a hard time keeping my attention. But if I don't gel with the cast then it's usually game over for me very quickly regardless of the plot's quality.

  9. #9
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    Characters are more important. Good characters can make a boring story enthralling. Bad characters can ruin the best story.

    That said, I still think the most important aspect of an RPG to me is world building. Even if the characters are relatively bland, and the story they're going through is basic, give me a fantastic, well crafted world to explore and live in, and I won't care.
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    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Characters, plot, and world could all carry a game if done right. For character vs. plot, I'll probably side with character because really bland characters can ruin a good plot. On the flipside, a very standard plot could still be enjoyable if the characters are engaging and witty. World building could trump both but it needs to fit the game purpose, like in Breath of the Wild. A vast detailed world could still feel empty without the right motivation for exploring it.

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    Loony Bob (Sargatanas)

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    Characters. Most plots in the FF series are actually pretty average at best. The characters make the games incredible.
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  12. #12
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
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    My entire writing process is so utterly engorged in developing character histories and personalities that I seem to have virtually no concept of plot.

    (SPOILER)Basically, I've taken everything, every book I've read, every film/show I've watched, every game I've played, and every short story I've heard and crammed it into one massive epic just so that I have an excuse for the ways in which my characters behave and interact. Out of the close to 500 characters I've created, I have about 10 favorites. Considering the fact that I want even my "NPCs" to have some kind of individuality, I spend very nearly every waking moment coming up with backstories for everyone. The only way to prevent the eventualy onset of insanity from trying to literally create my own world is to tie as much human experience back toward a singular source.

    In the game of plot, having most if not significant events be tied back to a single source is considered lazy and inevitably ineffectual, but it's the option I'm left with after spending years developing two planets with various cultures spanning multiple countries and continents. Granted my writing style had been greatly impacted by other writers I've worked with as I never originally would have cared so much about all this... detail.


    So... yeah... Character

    This is why games like Tekken and Mortal Kombat fair so much better than games like Deadliest Warrior.
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  13. #13
    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Both.

    I like the idea of characters over story in theory, but then that's exactly what FFXV did and I didn't like that aspect at all, so...

  14. #14
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Loony Bob (Sargatanas)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotic View Post
    Both.

    I like the idea of characters over story in theory, but then that's exactly what FFXV did and I didn't like that aspect at all, so...
    Really? I felt the opposite. :o
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  15. #15
    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Huh. I came away absolutely in love with the quartet but I still have no idea what the hell the point of most of their adventure was.

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