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Thread: Rank the Individual RPG Elements

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    • Former Cid's Knight

    Smash Rank the Individual RPG Elements

    We all are united by our love of a certain RPG series, but when you break the genre to its components, what is most important to you?

    To make this easier, I'll try to break them down for you:

    Story and Characters
    Battle System
    Exploration/Dungeon Design
    Music
    Graphics/Art Direction
    Development/Customization system
    Choices that affect narrative
    Other (specify please)

    Please rank all of them. I know some people only really care about one or two elements, but try to actually rank them all from most important to least. Please don't just list the few elements you care about and then lump the rest into an "everything else" category. Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Oof, this is so hard cause *ideally* in a great game they are all an important component of a greater whole, but I'll give it a shot.

    1. Charm (I feel like no other category properly describes this)
    2. Story and Characters
    3. Music
    4. Graphics/Art Direction
    5. Battle System
    6. Development/Customization system
    7. Exploration/Dungeon Design
    8. Choices that affect narrative

  3. #3

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    Story/Characters
    Exploration Dungeon Design
    Battle System
    Development/Customization
    Graphics
    Music
    Choices that affect narrative

    Some of these are tough.

    I consider story/characters and ganeplay about coequal, but since you divided up the gameplay into multiple segments that's an easy top for me.

    Next was a harder choice. I stongly considered battle system as second because it's pretty darn important to enjoying the game and generally one of the things you spend the most time doing. However, I went with exploration because I think this is the thing that I desperately need to offset battles. No matter how great the system, I get tired of constant battling. It's one of the main reasons that other SMT games never compare well to the Persona series for me. They have similar combat, but I just don't want constant combat, period. The fact that making too much battle is a negative for me puts exploration ahead of battle system.

    Skill growth and such is important but ultimately it's going to take a backseat to actually applying it in battle.

    Music/Graphics was a tough choice because the music can be very compelling. What it comes down to for me is that the music is nonessential. I can always mute it if it's bad. Can't really do anything about a video game with bad visuals.

    I rank choices affecting the narrative last because, while they can be nice sometimes, I really don't care that much if they're there at all and often games that focus on such choices are not really the type of games I like.

  4. #4
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
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    Kind of tough since most of these are important and a game is more than just the sum of its individual parts, but:

    This would roughly be my priority in terms of what enhances the experience for me and what keeps an RPG memorable in my mind (which is to say, they're not necessarily what i would drop a game for. If a game has bad music for example, I won't drop it, yet music greatly enhances some of my favorite games, more so than their gameplay, and story beats that stay with me the longest had great music to go with them)

    1. Story & Characters
    2. World building (I feel like this is separate enough from story and characters)
    3. Music
    4. Exploration/Dungeon Design
    5. Graphics/Art
    6. Battle System
    7. Development/Customization
    8. Choices that affect narrative

    The last spot was definitely the easiest, I don't really care whether a game has narrative choices in it or not. Although obviously if a game does have them, I want them to be done well and not just tacked on.

    My top three is like a holy trinity, if you make an interesting world I'll care that much more about the story and characters inhabiting that world. Enhancing that story and its characters with great, fitting music will completely hook me.

    Following behind those is exploration/dungeon design, partially because they kind of mix with world building and story. Let me explore the intricate world you created, see its landmarks and history rather than only hearing about them while I'm guided on rails. Dungeon design can be a big boon too because nobody wants to sour climactic story beats with a bad dungeon.

    Then there's the other gameplay parts, obviously it's still important that I like it enough to actually go through the game (see: FF Tactics, I hate its battle system and the snail's pace it plays out at, never played much of it), but ultimately it's not what I'll remember RPGs for.

    Graphics/art direction is in the middle, I don't care *too* much about it, but I don't want my games to look ugly either.

  5. #5
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    I am undecided on the list but world building is easily, far and away, the most important category to me.

  6. #6
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    Story and Characters
    World
    Exploration
    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Elements
    Atmosphere/Vibe
    Dungeon Design
    Immersion
    Development/Customization system
    Choices that affect narrative
    Enjoyable Minigames
    Graphics/Art Direction
    Voice acting quality (if there is voice acting)
    Battle System
    Music

    Don't get me wrong, I love music, it just doesn't tend to impact my enjoyment of a game. Probably because I enjoy most music anyway.
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