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Why Action?

+6
Birdman
Infinity_Divide
Khayyaam
Gregorinho
Royta/Raeng
Zenyn
10 posters

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1Why Action? Empty Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:37 am

Zenyn

Zenyn
B-Rank

You could have it so much easier. You know that.

Just settle down with a collection of rpg's, each guaranteed over +100 hours of content. Let the player character develop new abilities and skills. No use holding on to your own. You grow older by the minute. There's no chance you will keep your non-rpg regimen up.

If this isn't your sweet spot you can always score big with metrovania and rouge-lite. Think of the endless possibilities! Getting lost in mazes, throwing numbers at enemies or never recognizing any area ever again for limitless replayability.

Why would you adhere to some olden times standard set in an age where you had to share a coin-up cabinet with others in turn, while you waited for your rivals to run out of money, courtesy of the cheating games that only showed you what your limits in endurance are?

Say you climb that mountain, make it to the top? Dole out wisdom and knowledge, show off in a video? Sure you get your round of applause from your golf buddies. But the lay men can't comprehend what is going on, and will often attack what isn't in their own grasp of accomplishment. Why provoke such resentment?

You must be mad. Insane. Dangerous.

2Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:53 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

Quality over quantity for me. I'd prefer a one-room game that last me 15 minutes but is expertly designed over a 200 hour fuckfest of an empty world.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

3Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:22 pm

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

I've never really been big on RPGs. I don't really enjoy progression systems based around levelling up characters, or ones that are very number driven. I don't like having areas and/or enemies that have a "recommended level" to beat - the idea that the devs are telling you "NO! You haven't played enough to beat this yet". I also don't like that, on the other side of the coin, you can overlevel and just steamroll a fight without any thought or effort. It feels to me like an artificial way of adjusting the level of challenge. RPGs often have a good chunk of side content, but I tend to see it as filler. Just extra checklists and busywork to complete. I know that my complaints certainly won't apply to every game in the genre, but they're just the sort of things that put me off.

I think I find action games replayable because improvement is tangible. If you used to get smacked by a boss and now you can beat them without taking damage, you know you've gotten better, which is fun. You didn't get OHKO'd before because you weren't the "correct level", and you didn't master it now by improving your damage output to the point where you didn't even have to use any strategy.

Action games quite often allow you to upgrade a character, but they don't approach it in the same way as RPGs. I feel like action game upgrades try to empower the player, whereas RPG upgrades try to empower the character. Hopefully you can see where I'm going with that - it's not easy for me to describe. There are popular action RPGs that I feel I should try, but I fear I won't like them.

I guess I just like that the challenge feels more "defined" by the developer with action titles. At some point you collect all of your tools, have nothing left to upgrade, and then the devs say "okay, it's up to you now". Having multiple difficulties helps too, so you can help players overcome the lower difficulties with upgrades, but then demand that they improve their skills on the higher ones.

Roguelikes/roguelites are cool. The procedurally generated stuff is really good when done well. Spelunky is a brilliant platformer and I've never seen the same level twice. I think it could be really interesting to see where the action genre could go with procedurally generated content. Maybe best incorporated in to a side mode like Bloody Palace/Horde where you can practice the mechanics without being stuck in the confines of a mission/level with various cutscenes and intermissions interrupting you.

4Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:41 pm

Khayyaam

Khayyaam
D-Rank

I like and regularly play all the other genres you listed too lol.

It's not that deep.

It's just fun.

5Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:05 pm

Infinity_Divide

Infinity_Divide
S-Rank

>must be insane

Indeed.

>spelunky a brilliant platformer

Agreed. Have you played the sequel? It’s really a masterpiece imo.

6Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:28 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

What is this? The 'shit on genres we don't like/aren't action' topic?

RPGs are fine if they good customization.

I get endless replayability out of some of them with builds and such.

7Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:27 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
A-Rank

Because I think they're fun. And so are some of the other genres that you mentioned.

And as @Birdman said, no need to put down other genres.

8Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:30 pm

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

> The "shit on genres we don't like/aren't action" topic?
We shit on things we don't like in near enough every topic, to be fair. I thought, from Zenyn's opening post, that the point of the thread was to have some discussion on action vs other genres (like the ones mentioned), what the appeal is etc. Maybe I've missed the mark here.

> Spelunky 2
Yes, I have! Haven't put as much time in to it as I ought to, but it's very good. Would recommend it to anybody with half an interest in platformers.

9Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:33 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

I think with Zenyn it's best to take it more as an introductory post with some flair. So in this case, why do you prefer action? To me, mostly the replay value. I don't really care for 'action' per se. I just really enjoy high quality single player titles, which just happens to be action more often than not.

Note, I like me a good RPG. Though generally I can only play one a year at best due to the time they require of me.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

10Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:07 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

>We shit on things we don't like in near enough every topic, to be fair.

I know. I'm just asking if that's what this is.

>So in this case, why do you prefer action?

I don't.

I used to want to play action exclusively. The harder the better. I admit I was a bit elitist in that regard. Makes me sick to think about. Terrible person.

But the more I studied the mechanics of various games, the less it became about 'challenge', and more about just 'shit you can do'.

RPGs, action or turn based are full of this. So many builds and set ups. They offer way more than action games in this sense especially with status effect stuff which I love.

I still love all my action games though.



Last edited by Birdman on Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:59 am; edited 1 time in total

11Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:49 am

vert1

vert1
C-Rank

Because ninjas.

12Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:11 am

Nadster


A-Rank

I'm not entirely sure but it just stuck with me throughout the years regardless of the genre.

13Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:39 am

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

>Action - "just fun"
I'm surprised that most of the replies have been condensed down to this, but they aren't wrong. They're like action movies, but you can choreograph the action yourself (to an extent). That's why Urban Reign is one of my favourites - it feels like a martial arts movie, especially when the AI feels like giving you a back-and-forth fight.

@Birdman
Don't get me wrong - I wish I had more appreciation for RPGs. I'd love to have more fun games to play and to see the good in them that others do. They just usually don't click with me, for whatever reason. I prefer real time to turn based, so if anything is going to sway me it'll be an action RPG over a traditional RPG (although I do like Persona's battle system, where you can extend your turn by exploiting weaknesses). I'm sure there's a "gateway" game out there for me somewhere.

14Why Action? Empty why not 'why action' Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:50 am

Zenyn

Zenyn
B-Rank

Since this is a site dedicated (but not exclusivley) to this particular topic, I think it's fair to ask the question.

I guess the remarks about/from SauR got me thinking. If you enjoy one thing, and later dismiss it...what was in it that brought you to it? What left, between the comic panels so to speak, when you give it up?

It's made to reflect and give yourself the answer. Or any answer. And if need be to exchange about it.

It's easy nowadays to get occupied with whatever. I think it's central to me to learn about me. No reason, but I like it that way.

After playing 8-bit Fire Emblem and a Squaresoft title, which both are not action in any imediate sense, I picked up MM11 again. Wiley stage 2, and failed to clear it. Several times. It obviously was a rush to me. The prospect to clear what got me struggling. That hit the sweet spot. Only with action.

Gregorinho wrote:
Action games quite often allow you to upgrade a character, but they don't approach it in the same way as RPGs. I feel like action game upgrades try to empower the player, whereas RPG upgrades try to empower the character. Hopefully you can see where I'm going with that - it's not easy for me to describe.

You made it perfectly clear, so much so that I can say I share your sentiment.

To Birdman:

15Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:26 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

You mean then, why is this site so focused on Action? Or what pulls us into it? Still don't really understand how RPGs relate to that.

But yeah personally, fun, but also control. I dislike how some numbers dictate how well I play or that my 'grind' determines I win. I want to win because I got better, you know? I think that's a bit also what Greg tried to say.

@birdman

> Makes me sick to think about.

Man takes me back to the days of being hype for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and thinking games like Ninja Gaiden are buttonmashers. Good times.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

16Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:47 am

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

> RPGs
I took the opening post from Zenyn to ask "what makes you play an action game over other genres like RPG, roguelike etc". Not specifically "why don't you play other genres", but rather "when you choose to play action, what makes you want to". I just said a bit about RPGs because they were one of the examples in the OP. I didn't mean to rag on about them, but I think some elements of RPGs and action games are a total contrast in design, so it helped me to explain why I prefer one over the other. I know people love them and that's cool, we've all got our own preferences.

> MW2/NG2
In a perfect world it'd be acceptable to like both for their own merits. I've always liked CoD to be honest - not a complex game, but it knows what it wants to be and does it pretty well. I was disappointed when they went back to "boots on the ground" gameplay. I think the extra mobility and verticality in Black Ops 3 increased the skill ceiling while retaining the arcadey action. Even CoD isn't safe from being nerfed after the casuals complain that it's too hard.

NG is part of my stupidly long action backlog. I'll get there one day...

17Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:37 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

Call of Duty was really good when it first started, and I still remember just how big of a game-changer Modern Warfare was for the genre in terms of multiplayer (but also singleplayer campaigns). Still really enjoy Black Ops, fun plot and fun missions honestly. Never played the more futuristic ones.

> why Action as opposed to other genres
Makes sense. In that sense, I think mostly that I dislike long games that take days to finish. A good 10-15 hour title is about the maximum I can take these days. Which RPGs are really opposite to for example, but so are other genres. I admit to some bias, but as noted I just prefer good singleplayer games. So sports games are out for example. And in terms of shooters I more enjoy the classics than the modern takes, so there's not a lot to play there.

> action backlog
> NG
Heresy!
Jokes aside, you never played one?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

18Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:08 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
A-Rank

@Gregorinho

>Persona combat
If you like the Persona combat system, definitely give the mainline SMT games a look. They, and Persona both use a very similar turn-based system centered around extending turns, but in SMT, the stakes are MUCH higher. Enemies in those games can punish you much harder.

>CoD
I mean, have you SEEN the rants online about skill-based matchmaking? Especially from big name streamers and YouTubers? But I notice that in this case, you don't see as many people taking it seriously, there's a lot more people laughing at that crowd.

19Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:10 pm

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

@TheFirmament1

>SMT
I did have SMT4 on 3DS and didn't really get in to it - didn't quite adjust to the differences it had with Persona. To be fair, I didn't like playing anything on the 3DS, I always found it very uncomfortable. I know there's a remaster of Nocturne in the works - would you recommend that one?

> Skill-based Matchmaking
I've kinda heard bits and pieces about it but not really followed it. Is SBMM literally as it sounds - you get matched with players of similar skill? Isn't that what games with ranked multiplayer? As I say I've not followed it so I'm not sure what the complaints are about.

20Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:18 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

The point is that players don't play CoD to get better, they play it to own some noobs and go 52-0. Skillbased Matchmaking basically means everyone is going 30-30 instead.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

21Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:22 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
A-Rank

>Nocturne remaster
I've heard that it's really similar to the original, but that there are some technical issues with it. Apparently though, Atlus is working to address those issues. I emulated it on PCSX2 though, and it worked fine.

>SBMM
Yeah, basically. People complain about how they get a series of really good matches, and then suddenly, they're thrown up against much better players. There are a lot of complaints from people about how they're "getting matched up against sweaty tryhards". Which, I believe is code for "I can't stomp noobs in this game"

There are some legit complaints I've heard, like internet connection, but the former is the complaint I've heard by far the most often. I'm not into CoD though, so I'm not totally up-to-date on this argument.

22Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:31 pm

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

Ah, yes. The sweaty tryhards complaining about being matched with... other sweaty tryhards. Classic gAmEr move. Was SBMM in Modern Warfare (the newest one)? I was surprised to find I was MUCH worse at MW than I was at BO3.

@Royta/Raeng
>NG
Forgot to reply to this sorry - I've played a few hours of NGB on XB1. Last boss I remember fighting was the skeleton dragon thing. I think I got up to an underwater section but couldn't say for certain. I ended up taking a break from it and never went back to it. I gave my Dad my XB1, so I'd either have to dig out my 360 or borrow it back off him to play NGB/NG2. If I had it all set up I'd probably play it next, but it's just a "when I get round to it" title at the moment.

23Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:35 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

> nocturne remaster
Wait, you talk about it like it's already released, did I miss something?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

24Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:37 pm

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
A-Rank

>Nocturne
It was released in Japan. And a YouTuber by the name of Nyarly imported a copy, and played it.

25Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 6:43 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

>RPGs
>you will win no matter what if you grind

It's true. Though some RPG challenge runs are tough.

I don't care for 'No use holding on to your own' skill. Sounds like me back when I was a difficulty elitist.
Are you talking about muscle memory?

Two things. I play both genres.
And RPG have a lot of complex mechanics to figure out.

For me, games have become huge tool/toy boxes. It has become more about that than anything else for me.

Again I still love all my harder stuff, and wish RPGs could find a way to balance difficulty better. Challenge runs are a thing though.

26Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:53 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

To reiterate, winning by grinding is bad design imo. There are RPGs where grinding doesn't let you win of course. Kind of looking forward to Christmas, Grandia II for the Dreamcast is below the tree for me haha speaking of RPGs.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

27Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:02 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

Yeah it's a problem in that case. In the the context of just winning.

Though even then I'm starting to care less so long as the game let's me mess with tons of tools.

I'm finding more and more to do in games even where grinding to win is a thing. Like trying to beat something faster and having to build around that. Trying to make something happen, rather than just trying to win.

That's what I mean with the toy box example. Just making shit happen that you design yourself. It feels great to plan something then see it all work out.

Okami will always be a prime example (not of RPGs just easiness). Generally easy but fantastic mechanics. I can draw wind and blow a flying enemy out of the air and have him land on a shit Amaterasu took. Hard or not what else lets you do something like that?

28Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:50 pm

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
A-Rank

> Toy Box
Yeah, I like this analogy. It's all about the interactivity and what they give you to play with, whatever the genre may be.

> Hard or not
It's great having games that are challenging, but they still have to be fun. No point having a hard mode that takes the fun out of it. Okami is another one on the infinite backlog. In fact, I went to buy it during a Steam sale a few months ago only to discover that it wouldn't let me - I already owned it. No idea how long I've had it for. First world problems as a PC gamer...

29Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:34 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

> difficulty
I think it's great after you beat it. I'm not too big a fan of a game that immediately demands a lot from you, just let me eaze into it, mastery will come later. But difficulty I feel is the most satisfying (and easiest to design) way to make you dive deeper. I never would've gotten better at Ninja Gaiden if not for its difficulty for example.

> toybox
One thing that I do like about RPGs and RTS games more and more is that toolbox you note. But mostly the setup. You work towards your gear+stat loadout, you optimize it, grind for it, and then you finally put it into action and OHKO a boss. Feels cool. It's more the "what then..." that makes me uninstall most games haha.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

30Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:15 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

>One thing that I do like about RPGs and RTS games more and more is that toolbox you note. But mostly the setup. You work towards your gear+stat loadout, you optimize it, grind for it, and then you finally put it into action and OHKO a boss.

Pretty much this.

>Feels cool. It's more the "what then..." that makes me uninstall most games haha

Definitely the case for some. Take Fairy Tail. There was no replayability or builds. Very limited. I do want to attempt a challenge run though.

But something like Dragon's Dogma offers tons of variety and depending on build you can still get stomped even at max level with best gear.

Doesn't always have to be geared towards highest damage. My sorcerer is debilitation based. My team in Monster Sanctuary is poison based and I'm working on at least one monster focusing on defense with the idea of letting the enemy slowly die while I watch with glee.

Divinity Original Sin 2 is insane with variety and replayability.

Tons of examples, good and bad.


31Why Action? Empty level down Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:38 am

Zenyn

Zenyn
B-Rank

Royta/Raeng wrote: Still don't really understand how RPGs relate to that.

To me, it seems that rpg's are about the comfort to beat the odds with the automated process to get to the end.
As IGA said it about making Symphoney of the Night:


IGACULA wrote:-make the action exploration based (although Castlevania 2 also did this)
-add RPG elements, so anyone who put in the effort could beat it
-no more one-hit-kills
-the player character would not use a whip
-no more stairs (I mean stairs in the style of the previous Castlevania games)
-change the visual style

blood source


Further:

IGAVANIA wrote: We gave the player a lot of freedom because we wanted to lengthen the playtime for an action game, which is usually short. If people spend 5800 yen (approx $58) on a game, they should get 5800 yen worth of enjoyment from it. Even when a game is very difficult, defeating enemies isn’t very exciting, is it? I thought it would be fun for players to get experience from enemies and level up, so I added RPG elements.

Saucy

I disagree. Defeating enemies is exciting if the slobs are interesting to fight. That would mean they just don't roll over.
"Lengthen the playtime for an action game" says it all.

In short, I think there's a major attitude difference you get from enjoying action and rpg, and hybrids. I use it to discern the unique points of any action. Novel games can have action elements when they use QTE. Even when a game is very easy, doing inputs for promts isn't very exciting, is it?

32Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:46 pm

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

I think that's a bit of a generalization though. While true for some games, and there generally being a 'gearcheck' in most, player skill definitely helps elevate the good RPGs from the bad. Final Fantasy X, Tales of Symphonia, Baten Kaitos, Golden Sun even Pokemon (just the ones I've played mind you)- all have systems that allow skillful players to exceed in ways others cannot by smart usage of abilities/buffs/ setups etc. for example. It is a disservice to say the RPG mechanics technically play the game for you. If that is what you mean by that haha

> the discussion of money vs time gained
This never works for me. You should never hold a pricetag on your time imo. Otherwise you'll never get great games like Zone of the Enders.

> QTE, fancy animations
To be fair, Ninja Gaiden II did just that, so did GoW. You can mash a 'cool cutscene' together with a cool mechanic so that both parties (casual & veteran) win in a sense.


> what are RPGs about
Imo: grand adventures. Exploring the world with a group of friends. A fairy tale in a sense. With a relaxing combat mechanic that can be played casually or hardcore. That's my personal desire from it at least.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

33Why Action? Empty well, you got me there Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:46 pm

Zenyn

Zenyn
B-Rank

Generalization, sure. The amount of complexity I cannot know, you can always hold against me. Even action is not pure.
Neither is truth. Just labels to communicate.

34Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:21 pm

Birdman


SSS-Rank

>To me, it seems that rpg's are about the comfort to beat the odds with the automated process to get to the end.

What is the 'automated process'?

35Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:39 pm

DIYDylana


D-Rank

''Action'' games  (By that I don't mean games with action or action combat in it, but games focused on action) get straight to the gameplay, and they tend to focus on making said gameplay as interesting as they can rather than spend all their resources on other things like progression, simulation and narrative. While I do think other stuff is important too, when I want to play a game in the traditional sense, I want to get straight to that gameplay, and I want things like visuals and audio to support it, not carry it

Also, it depends on what type of ''action'' you mean. The action umbrella that is simply about the player's physical, dexterity based gameplay. A focus on that real time control. I feel like because combat is the easiest way to put conflict into a game with non abstract theming, action has become synonymous with combat. So if I'd answer generally, first off, I'm just not good at a thinking man's kinda thing, and with action games I tend to be able to kind of trial and error my way into winning while easily being able to change my tactics and see how that effects the game.

Second, I think games that have a right balance of action, tactics/strategy and chance to be the most interesting (Look at how deep 1 on 1 fighting games get..). You're much less likely to ever really get to a ''solved'' or overly predictable game, because there's an element of execution added on top of it. Maybe 1 move is technically the best move in that scenario, but is much riskier to execute than another that could still get the job done. I also am very much all about that thrill of ''oh shit this is hard and thrilling am I gonna get it right this time?'' and ''Oh yes I can feel myself getting better'' kinda deal, of which I personally get much more immediate feedback, punishment and rewards when it's action. Finally, there's always a sense of urgency and everything is always moving.

When it comes to combat, I think it's a combination of the thrill of movement and attacking in terms of theming, but also the gameplay those ideas tend to translate to. Like, you could turn all the ''fighting'' into pieces of cheese moving at each other and I'd still enjoy it, I don'' really give a shit about violence.  It's that constant real time back and forth of chosing different offensive, defensive and movement options. There's a huge range of even just combat action games, so I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

I dunno if that made any sense but that's my expeirence.

36Why Action? Empty lemon crush Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:53 pm

Zenyn

Zenyn
B-Rank

That was beautiful. Thank you for this. Wanna go steady?

37Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:27 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

Good post and welcome Dylana!

Mostly good points that I think we can all relate too, especially in terms of 'get straight to the gameplay'. Though later entries tend to forgo this part. I still love games like God Hand for this, who have barely 10 seconds of cutscenes to go through before the gameplay stats. What's this? Who am I? Why am I here? I don't know, all I know is that I must kill haha.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

38Why Action? Empty Re: Why Action? Mon May 17, 2021 2:47 pm

DIYDylana


D-Rank

Royta/Raeng wrote:I think that's a bit of a generalization though. While true for some games, and there generally being a 'gearcheck' in most, player skill definitely helps elevate the good RPGs from the bad. Final Fantasy X, Tales of Symphonia, Baten Kaitos, Golden Sun even Pokemon (just the ones I've played mind you)- all have systems that allow skillful players to exceed in ways others cannot by smart usage of abilities/buffs/ setups etc. for example. It is a disservice to say the RPG mechanics technically play the game for you. If that is what you mean by that haha

> the discussion of money vs time gained
This never works for me. You should never hold a pricetag on your time imo. Otherwise you'll never get great games like Zone of the Enders.

> QTE, fancy animations
To be fair, Ninja Gaiden II did just that, so did GoW. You can mash a 'cool cutscene' together with a cool mechanic so that both parties (casual & veteran) win in a sense.


> what are RPGs about
Imo: grand adventures. Exploring the world with a group of friends. A fairy tale in a sense. With a relaxing combat mechanic that can be played casually or hardcore. That's my personal desire from it at least.

I lack the full context of the convo so I hope this isn't too unrelated but:

I think this divide is less about video game RPG's never rewarding skill or not being complex.
It's more that the moment people add RPG elements, it tends to prioritize Progression, Simulation, Narrative, Toy elements and Roleplay over Challenge. In Action games challenge is central and the rest works around it, in most of these games, progression is central and challenge is just in a supportive role. It becomes about the progression, expression and exploration rather than what we traditionally think of ''gameplay''. While adventure games mostly focus on this progression through structure and item based character progression, RPG's tend to do it through very incremental abstract character progression, which is even more likely to fuck up the balance of interesting encounters. These games aren't based on skill or problem solving based difficulty, they're mostly based on ''effort'' (put in the time and energy regardless of the skill) based difficulty, the other two types of difficulty may be there, but they tend to play a supportive role. This is even the case in more gameplay focused JRPG's like old Shin Megami Tensei games, most of not losing had to do with paying attention , finding the right items/demons and perseverence rather than with coming up with complex strategies. I know nocturne involves more strategy and overworld puzzles, but that wasn't the standard for that franchise.

Even if the core, micro level gameplay would be just as good as an action focused game, taking this rpg route will usually have sacrifices made to people looking for pure action or strategy, unless it focuses on challenging rpg combat rather than anything else (various dungeon crawlers do this for example). Plenty of these games aren't complex to facilitate getting better, they're complex so you can fuck around and play in the way you want or find ways to exploit these systems, to toy around with them and to play as a certain ''role'' you picked tied to your character that's different from other players. The skill becomes more about knowledge rather than execution, and often it's made optional so most people can just enjoy the adventure aspects.

Symphony is a very good example of how mixing it tones down action elements. The zelda 2 inspired level design became much more about exploration and progression rather than what makes for an interesting combat encounter, but there are still parts that are interesting. I actually liked the Inverted Castle much more, because it at least felt more like it had challenging enemy encounters. It's not even necessarily about how difficult it is. Kirby games are easy as fuck, but they are still designed like a challenge game first, with toy and exploration like elements second. Symphony is designed like a progression based game first, something I can not say for let's say, Order of Ecclesia, which is much more based around challenging encounters. There's also some games that sit somewhere in between, where the exploration IS the challenge, like Super Metroid. I see those like challenge games that simply focus on structure/macro elements rather than micro elements.

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