Stats in an RPG are a different animal than stats in a tactical shooter, and serve different purposes and are integrated much differently. RPGs and adventure games both have stories and character interaction, are they the same? There are no behind the scenes random "die rolls" in a shooter that determine who goes first or when (dependant on certain stats), if they hit or miss (dependant on certain stats), how many points of damage are done, etc. But it's not just about stats, it's also the overall battle system and how it's weighted by those stats and die rolls in every way that distinguishes the genre. Throw plot progression in there, and there is enough to qualify at least early JRPGs as true video RPGs
But I will say that there are WRPGs that are much truer, in terms of interaction and battle parameters, which is something I've never argued against
Personally I define RPGs by their relation to its roots in tabletop wargames like Chainmail, so that's where I'm coming from, and the fact that this type of battle system, along with some narrative is what distinguishes the genre from everything else.
And sorry if I come off like a dick, since you are logical and have a grasp of the genre beyond the story whores. More than these fools who think the Japanese did turn based combat first, or WRPGs are easy or just hack n' slash, which is utterly absurd. It's like the child not recognizing the father.
I understand where you are coming from, but with so many games using stats, the line between an video game RPG (by your definition) and any other genre becomes blured. Old games like X-Com which were reasonably free form, characters had stats, and the game had some sort of story progression, become RPGs.
JRPGs definitly promote the story aspect, but in action they are much more like movies where the player has no efficacy. The player meerly views the story but does not take part. The player choses their best weapons and strategy for the team to defeat an obsticle. In that way, they are more closely related to RTS and adventure games where story blocks are unlocked by the player by defeating levels.
What you are arguing is definitly the industry opinion on what makes and RPG for a video game. I just disagree with that view. Coming from a P&P background, I have always seen the defining element of RPGs as being the act of taking the role of a character and the ability to determine that characters path.
I certainly don't expect the industry to change their labels because of one asshole like me, but when comparing to genres of games like WRPGs and JRPGs, I am given to applying my view of what makes an RPG when attempting to determine which is more suited to be called one.
I played table top wargames also, but I never considered those RPGs so I don't make the same connection between those and video games. Those were closer to games like X-Com, Civ, and the old turn based strategy games (which most people ditched in favor of RTS).
I give that post a 9.8.
Thank god for the disable signatures option.