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Five RPG Mistakes That Shouldn’t Keep Happening

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1. You just saved the world, but nobody cares.

mavenUnfortunately, Skyrim is still one of the biggest offenders. You’re a powerful badass with the voice of the dragons, the Archmage leader of the Dark Brotherhood clad in Daedric armor with a bow that can take down a giant with one arrow. And yet, to most folks, you’re still just that random Altmer that showed up to Whiterun in a Stormcloak uniform raving about dragons. Similarly, in World of Warcraft, it took six expansions for your character to finally receive real recognition for their heroic deeds. While we don’t necessarily need a bard following us around or beautiful women throwing flowers over our heads, it shouldn’t feel as if everyone in the world had their minds wiped following our murder of the token villain of the game.

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2. Clunky AI.

One of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s glaring gameplay flaws is the AI’s incompetence. Party members don’t stand still when you want them to, archers overuse their leap back ability, and the mages occasionally charge in to pretend to be offensive tanks. Solas, where did your health bar go? Character AI in video games isn’t perfect, but sometimes it feels as though the devs took a step backwards. By now, the issue of frustratingly dumb AI is a bit unforgivable, especially if older games did it better.

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3. Overly restrictive terrain.

This might not be one of the RPG mistakes present in every game, but it’s still a staple of some open world single player games and MMOs. Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t allow you to swim, cross hills and mountains, or jump down any kind of distance. If you want to get down those stairs, you’re going to walk down them like a civilized person, not by jumping over the side. It isn’t too big of a deal, but it’s a little jarring in an open-world game to suddenly find invisible walls everywhere you go. World of Warcraft has the right idea – if players want to throw themselves off of tall cliffs or go AFK underwater, that’s (literally) their funeral. Invisible walls and a lack of interaction with the world pulls immersion to a grinding halt.

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4. The entire world consists of nine hairstyles.

Destiny and Dragon Age: Inquisition had about the same number of hairstyles, but Destiny handled it far better than Inquisition, ironically enough. While Inquisition opted for bland, flat hairstyles, of which more than half of them were various patterns of bald/shaved, Destiny gave us a diverse collection of possible hairstyles, all unique in their own way. We don’t need long flowing manes or a hair gel factory, but games seem to have become increasingly lazy about hairstyles lately, especially if the devs opted for the rendering ease of shorter hairstyles. There’s a lot you can do with shorter hairstyles, and there’s only so many ways you can shave a person’s head.

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5. You only need ten of these, but we’re going to make sure you don’t gather them too quickly.

Quests with low drop rates are getting a bit old, especially now that we don’t have nearly as much time to spend on questing as we might have years ago. When Farmer Bob asks you to go collect eight bat wings, then those bats should be dropping wings each time you slaughter one. Players shouldn’t have to sit there for 45 minutes murdering bats in a quest that should’ve taken ten minutes. It does nothing to lengthen the game and only adds unnecessary work and padding. Grinding shouldn’t be so viciously forced.

About Deborah Crocker

Deborah is a 22 year old semi-hermit currently plodding through her senior year of college and getting her feet wet in game journalism. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with high fantasy, video games, novels, and Elder Scrolls. When she's not in front of a screen, she enjoys singing and a bit of beading. She's also currently on the hunt for the restaurant with the best cheeseburger.

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