ID:151324
 
Chances are, if your here reading this, you've played at least one RPG game. Now I'd like to ask you a question, What makes certain games repetitive? I know doing the exact same thing over and over will get boring (Why? Because it's "boring" and/or repetitive.)


Do you think games are bound to be at least semi-repetitive because your running into the same enemies, the enemies have similar AI, because the sameness of scenery, or perhaps something else?

I'd like to hear from gamers who enjoy RPGs or those who don't prefer them for some reason. Why are some games repetitive (Gameplay and Quest) and what do you think would be the fix to Repetitiveness? Feel free to elaborate.
A few of the things on my list:

Grinding mechanics. Every RPG has it, and if it's done correctly, I don't really care that much. I'll give you an example of poor grinding mechanics: always being short on money, and having to just kill monsters over and over, because there is no other way to get money. Alternatively, needing to fight a boss, but no good way to get EXP.

Poor AI, or not a strong enough variance in AI. If your RPG game has a bunch of monsters, chances are they all have different personalities (at least, insofar as a monster can). Some monsters should attack you automatically, others should be fleeing in terror, and some should be neutral towards you. They should not all follow the same mechanics.

Repetitive fights. This is typical of every MMORPG. You have a set of skills you execute to kill this x monster, and a different one for y monster, then you rest, and do it all over. Just like the AI varies, individual monsters should present challenges similar, but not exactly like their fellow kin.
I honestly don't mind grinding as long as the Scenery changes every once in a while and Like DT was saying, Dynamic AI's. Most likely, if a monster gets low on health, and the player is still and healthy, their moral might not be left intact. They'll probably flee, unless it's like a dragon or something that just won't quit until they're dead.
Each time someone does an action they gain "utility" or satisfaction. Before they do the action they guess what utility they will receive. So if the amount of satisfaction expected is 0 or less then they will not do it. This is when an action becomes repetitive. It's an economic theory called Marginal Utility.

An example would be if I asked you to collect 10 pies, you could do that and probably wouldn't mind very much but if I asked you for 50 then you're not going to enjoy yourself.

Hope that helps you with your question.
A couple things come to mind.

I think that in the best-designed RPG, a good player can explore every dungeon thoroughly, do all the sidequests, and employ good strategy, and thereby be able to complete the game without grinding. A player who doesn't use good strategy should be forced to do a small amount of grinding. Also, it is much more satisfying to defeat a boss by figuring out a good strategy than simply overpowering it by gaining 10 levels.

Second, trivially easy battles are boring. If I must grind, then make the regular battles difficult enough so that I must put some care into winning them.

Third, a novel leveling system is much more interesting than a plain old level system. It is especially interesting when I don't know in advance what abilities I will get, or if I do know, what they will be. Ability trees are generally good.

Finally, I am a strong believer in streamlining animations and the flow of battle as much as possible. Here's a simple example. In many games, if I use I regular attack, first we see the attack animation, then a damage number appears, and then if the enemy is defeated, the enemy disappears. Those three animations could partially overlap, or two or even all three could occur at once. The whole process should not take more than two seconds, and ideally about one second.
A lot of things make games repetitive. In most games players seek to become strongest, usually it means highest level. Therefore it follow kill 200 monsters for level 10, kill 210 for level 11, 240 for 12 and so on...
Other games depend on equipment, but it's still pretty much the same: find party, kill boss, repeat 1000 times.
Runescape is probably the most perfectly example: take ANY skill or goal, figure how to achieve it, repeat that action 10,000,000 times.

Basically, as long as you have to do something more than 2 or 3 times it has chance of becoming repetitive.

Quests do not make it less repetitive either, most quests are talk to X, or kill Y.
In response to Zaoshi (#5)
Sure, quests are usually "Talk to x" or "Kill y" format, but games don't press this detail about the quests. Good games will give you a story based reason on why you're killing monster y 12 times. If a story line is really good, I'll sit and read all of the text. I love lore, I think it's one of the best things about RPG's and other games. It's like reading a really good book series.
In response to Danbriggs (#6)
True, quest are normally 'Talk to X', 'Kill Y', then 'Give Z to X' format, but how else could you switch up that system? I can only think of mini-games, but that would require Talk to X or else it's be like a 'random battle' as soon as you press A on a quest board.

Perhaps the player should be the one giving quest/missions to NPCs having them run around for Z? He'd give them instructions and then the NPCs would follow through. You send the NPC through a forest and the directions/map/weapon you give him will determine if you find him in the forest dead, or at the town you agreed to meet at with your snazzy new item. (I've never used the word snazzy before..I blame Byond..and I like it)

Although that doesn't sound like much of a "Player Quest" to me. It does sound a bit neat though.

Danbriggs wrote:
...If a story line is really good, I'll sit and read all of the text. I love lore, I think it's one of the best things about RPG's and other games. It's like reading a really good book series.

I feel the exact same way, a lot of times I end up playing a game mostly to find out what happens next. xD
In response to Truseeker (#7)
Personally I'd read a story only if it's really really epic, or I have no other choice (AC, ME, DMC4 are good ones imo)