I'm new to the rpg genre. I played about a dozen so far and found some things I liked, some things I didn't. But I've never finished an rpg. At some point I've always given up, either through boredom or frustration or whatever.
I began to wonder what elements I'd like to see in an rpg and thought I'd list them beow. I'd be interested to read other folks' rpg wish list. I'd also be glad to hear of any rpg recommendations that match (or nearly match) the list below . . .
Basics: I’d like a game that’s more about the ‘story’ than about ‘winning’, more about the ‘journey’ than ‘arriving’: so even if you lose, you still feel like you’ve had an amazing adventure. I’d like a game with a lot of replayability, where different choices can take the game in a totally different direction. I’d like a game about decisions, where decisions really matter. I’d like the basic format of the game to minimize mouse clicks in favour of making key decisions and letting them play out automatically.
Character creation: I’d like some randomization. For example, astrological/numerological attributes based on birth date and name selection. I’d like more ‘social interaction’ attributes (e.g. personal ‘style’) and some subtle gender differences. I’d like some backstory for character immersion.
Levelling up: I’d like a more dynamic, life-like system, where it’s possible to blunt performance by overuse (i.e. ‘burn out’); and maybe a ‘give/take’ system, where you improve performance in some areas but worsen it in others.
Equipment: I’d like access to suitable ‘class’ equipment from the start, with options for improvements as quests are completed. I’d rather receive equipment as rewards for achievements rather than loot from enemy corpses or random finds in random chests etc.
Travelling: I’d like to minimize on mouse clicks by simply choosing where to go on the map and then journeying automatically. Journeys can still be dangerous or fortuitous, but it’s all done automatically without lots of mouse clicks. Maybe you switch to a ‘travelling’ screen or something . . .
Combat: I’d like to minimize mouse clicks in combat. I’d like a system where you can prepare for combat and then let it play out. I’d like combat to be about preparation, planning, luck and not a button-mashing clickfest. I’d like combat styles to reflect character class (so you can play your role). I’d maybe like a designated combat screen for stylized combat. I’d like different forms of ‘combat’; for example, answering riddles, winning bets, or trading insults - not just armed combat.
Quests: I’d like background info for quests – map clues, hints etc. I’d like quests to be challenging but achievable in a variety of ways. Although it’s good to have choices for quests, once a choice has been made, I’d like gameplay to focus on the resolution of that quest (like opening a new chapter). I’d like significant rewards for completing quests, significant punishments for failing them.
Environment: I’d like a game where the environment is the major character – a place with identity, a place with atmosphere. I’d like a coherent art style to reflect a believable (but not necessarily realistic) world environment. I’d like to be able to savour the environment and soak up the atmosphere (but not necessarily ‘open world’).
Loot: I’d like the gaining of loot or rewards to have a rationale (not random finds in dungeons or chests); for example you won a bet, or answered a riddle, or completed a quest etc.
Journal: I’d like a journal that records your key decisions, thus allowing you to preserve your games and make a story out of them.
Currency: I’d like a game with alternative currencies such as ‘reputation’ or ‘honour’ – not just gold.
Consequences: I’d like a game where your actions have significant consequences, where you can’t do things casually but must think it through.
Pace: I’d like a game that accommodates different playing styles or whatever tempo you're happy with.
Story: I'd like a more mature story, perhaps based on mythology - maybe a journey that is both physical and spiritual. I'd like a story that is engaging and thought-provoking - and not necessarily dark or bleak or horrific.
Setting: I'd like a game with a distinct setting and corresponding aesthetic: so it might be Ancient World, Dark Ages, Medieval, Gothic, or even Victorian or Art Deco.
Focus: I'd like the focus to be on character and decisions - not weapons and spells (although these would probably play their part).