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what is the most important element in a rpg for you?

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Exploration and stuff to do in an interesting world. I want to see some cool shit apart from the story pieces.



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I think the battle system is definitely the most important part.

A lot of time on RPGs is spent battling, so if I'm not enjoying that then it doesn't matter how good the rest of the game may be I just won't want to play it.



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The storyline for sure it makes all the things you do in the game worthwhile.



First the story and the lore, as well as interesting/funny/cute characters. Then the atmosphere which means graphics/music (thankfully RPGs especially Japanese tend to look and sound beautiful). Then the combat mechanics as well as general systems. Then the difficulty and balance.



For me it's the World. Let me explore a World that is beautifully created with things I have never seen before. Let me interact with people and let me understand the different cultures from town to town. Let me walk to a cliff at night and in the distance see the glowing face of the devil. Let me walk to a single city, look around and see floating islands and three moons while looking at the aurora borealus. Let me see giant robots and giant monsters duke it out and literally tear each other apart and I'm not even a part of it, but I can choose to help.

Give me a new interesting, large, living, breathing World.

The story is pretty much always going to be similar to something else.



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It's pretty hard to just say one single element really.
When I think about it, I think it's mainly the correlation between Music-Story-Characters.
The battle System is very important to keep the interest going. But to me it's the other three elements that in the end makes me look back at an rpg and feel that it was epic.



Great dynamic story, great music, beautiful environment doesn't have to be graphically intense, memorable characters, dynamic sidequests, a little mini game like building things from the ground up like the castle in Suikoden 2 or mini village in Dark Cloud 2, Inquisition did it but blew it there, it could have been more.



             

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Gameplay. Few games have a storyline that's so good that the gameplay doesn't matter. If you've got a game with poor gameplay, then more than likely the story won't be able to carry it. Xenosaga is one of the few RPGs that has a storyline good enough to carry the crappy combat system. The second one though? Nope.



Explorable world map, good story, random battles (like the old times)... A couple of towns...  The whole wrapped in Nice graphics and music!



For me:

a.) Customization
b.) Exploration
c.) Grinding