Edit: I can't believe I have to clarify this but ... this thread is not just about RPGs, it's about games as a whole and progression mechanics.
So ... I just want to first start off by saying that I'm not trying to construct some ultimate critique of this trend in games. In fact, I feel that had I bought a few more triple A games as of late, I could make a much more rant-esq thread, but I haven't bought many so I won't. Instead I'll keep it simple.
I'm playing God of War right now and I am overwhelmed by just how much unlocks and upgrades are possible. To the point where I am kind of turned off. Especially because I'm about 5 hours into the game and I still have to read text boxes about what each item does. If you don't like this example or disagree on this particular game, that's fine. But it's not a "God of War thing". It's a triple A game thing.
It seems like whenever I play a triple A game there is so many elements, generally elements that are associated with the RPG genre, that just feel so cheap and tacked on. A million different perks, level ups, and different "branching" paths that aren't branching at all. When you have a game series where you can unlock every perk or every ability, a big part of what makes leveling systems in RPGs so interesting is already gone. But it's even worse when you realize that these leveling systems are just a way for developers to pad out what you can do at what parts of a game in the least interesting way possible without actually putting in effort to make progression in a game interesting.
Leveling systems in games are always going to be, at best, a supplement for the progression you'd see in real life. The only games that are ever going to mirror true real life progression are competitive skill based games, like Arcade Shooters or Fighting titles, but that can be very linear and inconvenient for certain games. At the very least though, we should see some games try to build a more natural progression. Because even though I love upgrading trees in games like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter, not every game should have the same systems built into it over ... and over ... and over again. It doesn't even have to be a revolutionary upgrading system ... it can even be more story based.
Unfortunately I am having trouble thinking of examples. Which perhaps makes this a less valid opinion. But I'm sure that as soon as I move onto the next game out there to feature this system, it will all come running back to me. Like when you wonder why you hated Taco Bell for so long and then remember as soon as you buy it again. Ultimately, I just feel that developers really need to start using their noggin. I certainly do not have the best solutions, but I'm sure that some talented devs out there do ...Last edited by AngryLittleAlchemist - on 21 April 2018