RPG: What would YOU play? in Design Philosophy
But speaking from a realistic standpoint, what do you like to see in an RPG? Is it being able to kill things? Because able to find rare, powerful equipment? Being able to just explore the game world, or just sit around bragging about your stats or what? What are some RPG elements that make-or-break a game for you?
Lots and lots and lots of items! Random generators can be employed to increase variety. I like to be able to play over a period of weeks and still be finding new and better things to outfit my character with at the end of that period.
I also like a certain amount of safeness in the games I play. If permadeath is possible, there should be concrete things I can do to avoid it. If item or home loss is possible, allow me to pay a price to keep from losing them. A good portion of the fun for me in an RPG is having a character (and her items) for a long, long time.
Random generators are great, but do you mean new and better thans as in "this sword does 30 damage when my last sword did 20", or "this sword shoots fireballs when my last sword didn't"? Do you mean better things as in just being more powerful than the last things you had, or better in that they have something that's niftier about them than the last item?
Concrete things such as not wandering into the cave that everyone knows houses a big nasty dragon that eats experienced players for breakfast, lunch, dinner and sometimes a late night snack?
If you handle this incorrectly, you go the EQ route: Adding extra levels that are real hard to attain, adding monsters with 10x the hit points to make things harder...then having to add stronger swords and stuff to make things interesting for players, then having to add tougher monsters, in a never-ending, destructive loop. As you add this tougher loot, all the old loot in the game becomes worthless.
DAoC has a good answer for this in it's realm vs. realm PvP model, in which the end game is to try and grab the keeps and special relics owned by the other side, which gives your realm extra abilities. And if you control enough of the world, one of the best areas of the world opens up for your realm only. So there is a constant fight back and forth that engages the long-time players.
A smart randomness for tons of aspects of a game always grabs my attention.
And logging off when the evil admin Foomer logs in?
from a cunning theif who relies on his stealth and wits, rather than his ability to stab people to death (when you do it right, they shouldn't be able to tell that you've done it at all)
The evil administrator, feeling especially evil one night, decides to tamper with the mental powers of the local shopkeepers in the village-city, causing them to lower their prices. He then commands the guards to declare, "All items in the village are now on sale!" Once the players have gathered together to purchase these cheap goods, he summons hordes and hordes of midnight creatures, the most feared monsters in existence (short of the evil admin himself), just outside the gates of the village...
As the players' screams of frustration reach his ears, he cackles to himself, his job well done, and logs off.
(And oh so much more fun with permadeath!)
Sounds like you don't want anyone to play your game. =P
A GOOD one, which is rare nowadays. Something new and original, like living the life of a rockstar or something and making songs in the game and having concerts and such. (You could name it virtual rockstar ;p)