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How would you innovate on stagnant genres - ARPGs/Diablo-likes

AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 7,314
edited November 2019 in General Gaming
On to the next thread. For me, this one is difficult, because unlike the two prior genres, ARPGs are very much a genre that I'm still attached to. 

I think ARPGs suffer from a general mindset of "if it aint broke, don't fix it," which results in a deluge of good but largely disposable games. It's a similar situation to the MOBA genre, but with more niche and indie financial success stories because these games didn't immediately establish f2p as the end-all-be-all standard for the entire genre like MOBAs did.

Do they need fixing? Not really. But something new and distinct would be appreciated. They also tend to lag behind the industry from a graphical and polish standpoint. 

My idea focuses on combining existing strengths

Potentially unpopular opinion, but ARPGs don't really do a good job of making both the long term progression and the short term/low level gameplay experience satisfying. Path of Exile is an excellent example of compelling long term progression, but it's early game experience is slow and boring. Diablo 3's polished combat, fast skill unlocks, and runes make the early game immediately fun, but it's progression isn't as deep in the long term.

I think something with combat on par with or better than Diablo 3, with a steady stream of skill unlocks, a rune system for immediately tangible customization, and a deep skill web for long term customization is the best of both worlds.

To preface my next point, let me establish that Diablo-like games and Dynasty Warriors games have a lot in common. They both rely on rapid kills to create a sense of power fantasy. Both of these genres have something the other sorely needs. Dynasty Warriors needs a more compelling loot treadmill akin to a Diablo-like, while Diablo-likes could really benefit from a Warriors-esque rudimentary combo system. 

In a tangible sense, if each basic attack skill in an ARPG had branching combos with light and heavy attacks (performed by left and right click by default), a lot more combat variety could be achieved. Visually, this would be represented by the skill icon flipping like a Guild Wars 2 chain skill. A light attack (left click) would continue the chain, while a heavy attack (right click) would unleash a unique animation and high damage based on when in the chain it was used, and the chain will be reset. We could take this a step further with a dedicated "ultimate" slot, which has its own resource bar and can only be used when full, similar to a Warriors Musuo attack. 

Finally, I think the genre generally has a bad case of preset character syndrome. Grim Dawn offers no visually variety in your base character at all. Path of Exile has all of the drawbacks of having premade characters with none of the compelling storytelling benefits. Diablo 3 is a bit better in that it allows gender selection, but offers no further character options, and Diablo 4 looks to add visually customization, while bringing back the gender locking.

Simply put, the barbarian is not Kratos. The ranger is not Alloy. The thief is not Nathan Drake. The duelist is not Geralt of Rivia. ARPG protagonists don't have interesting stories to tell that cannot be just as easily told by another character. There is no reason from a gameplay or storytelling perspective for us to not have customization here.


  • k61977k61977 Member EpicPosts: 1,470
    The problems with ARPG's is the idea you have to innovate them at all.  There is nothing wrong with them.  The problems come when they think they have to change everything in every iteration an run off the people that supported the games in the first place.   I understand trying to draw new crowds in to the genre but you don't do that by alienating the ones you already have, which happens all to often now in gaming.

    The biggest problems with genres like ARPG isn't stagnation it is the over-saturation of the genre with crappy cash grabs.  Everywhere you look is some developer making a crappy knock-off of a throw away game.  People tend to get burned out when everywhere they look is the same crap.  It drives people away from the actual quality ones because they think they will be the same old cash grabs.
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member LegendaryPosts: 3,448
    If you are talking about ARPGs in the narrow sense and only looking at Diablo-esque / top-down / isometric ARPGs, then that is one of the most disappointing genres around for my playstyle.

    The biggest issue?

    The view. In a role playing game, we're supposed to be playing an actual role and connecting with the character we've created/selected. But, with the typical viewpoint, you just can't see shit. There is no real connection to your own damn character, let alone any fear/awe/friendship with anything else in the game. The gameplay becomes a case of playing the UI, not the game, because you can't see shit, just the UI.

    So, yeh, I'd change the view. Or at least give us the options. I want to be able to see my character, see the enemy and see the world I'm playing in.

    If you're talking about the broader genre of action RPGs, i.e. any RPG with action combat. Well, that's a pretty wide genre with a lot to offer. The only thing I want to see is far less focus on story, and much more focus on gameplay. We also need more open world RPGs because, despite the popularity, we really dont actually have that many of them. Even the ones we do have, a lot of them are still designed pretty linearly.

    I also want to see deeper combat mechanics. Action combat is ALWAYS shallow (or, at least, I've never played an action combat game with deep combat, they may exist...). But action combat doesn't have to shallow.
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,561
    I dont' play much ARPG.  What I find when playing diablo is all you do is repeat a tiny map over and over again and try to be as effective as possible.  That is quite boring to be honest.

    I hope ARPG and mmorpg cross breed.  I presume that is what lost ark, lineage eternal is doing.  Also Torchlight become more "open worlded"? etc

    Basically I want to play an isometric mmorpg with combat as smooth as ARPG.
  • Viper482Viper482 Member LegendaryPosts: 3,930
    Grim Dawn is great. I have spoken.

    Make MMORPG's Great Again!
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member EpicPosts: 2,556
    edited December 2019
    My opinion is that the genre doesn't have enough popular IP titles along with the big money that comes along with those brands. Where's the Star Wars, Middle Earth, DC multiplayer Lost Ark type arpgs?

    The basic formula for successful Arpg's is there and every aarpg so far has contributed in creating at least one vital feature that is necessary in a good arpg. I bet five people on this site in one afternoon could come up with ideas and concept's to create the best arpg ever made but not a single game company would care cause the big returns aren't there so we are stuck with indies mostly and the always depressing Games Workshop half a$$ery.

    PoE - deep progression system, nice cosmetics, for some people the game has endless replayability
    Diablo - polish & lore
    Marvel Heroes - great use of rng for rewards/loot, multiplayer open world type zone(Midtown)

    Just like the moba genre gaming companies temporarily invested in arpg's then abandoned them cause there isn't millions upon millions to be made there. If Disney or EA actually cared and wanted to make great games they could make an arpg that could be better than MH or Diablo(any) but they won't cause they destroy game genres like it's no big deal for that never ending next big thing chase.

    How I'd innovate/invigorate the aarpg genre is after I win about 5 different lottery jackpots license a few popular IP's starting with DC cause their license would be the easiest to get. My second move would be to make Brevik an offer he could not refuse to make a Marvel Heroes type of DC Arpg and not be as dumb about monetization as Gazillion was.
  • F2PlagueF2Plague Member UncommonPosts: 232
    Viper482 said:
    Grim Dawn is great. I have spoken.

    As much as I am sure everyone appreciates The Mandalorian reference. I really don't see the appeal of Grim Dawn. But that can be boiled down to personal taste I suppose.

    That being said, I think ARPG's need to throw more curve balls at players to keep things interesting. Everyone knows how to beat the AI in these games, they are dumb, they don't think logically. They attack when they should be defending, and defend when they should be attacking.

    Adding a system where players can drop into other players games as a strong named mob (with randomly generated abilities to keep people in the dark) to flat out hunt the players would be cool. If the players beat you they get good loot and exp, and if you kill 1 or more players before dying you go back to your game with some loot and exp.

    This will also break up the monotony of running around and blowing up everything on the screen. It will give players a sense of dread and worry. And also give people the ability to go and ruin someones day. Which is always great!

    This system was used in some Resident Evil games, and it was amazing. I think it could easily be tailored to other genres to keep games interesting.
  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 4,011
    edited December 2019
    You want to win over a crowd of people in any genre? Give them something sacred.

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • MiaAllanMiaAllan Newbie CommonPosts: 1
    Palebane said:
    You want to win over a crowd of people in any genre? Give them something sacred.
    The truth has been spoken. 
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 7,314
    g0dl355 said:
    An open/shared world MMOARPG with all the traditional elements found in games like WoW is a niche that I'm suprised hasn't been filled successfully. 
    Not for lack of trying.

    Or perhaps for lack of trying... whose to say whether the concept is flawed or if literally every studio to try it is inept.
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    edited May 2020
    Events,i have played what is imo the best event ever in any game and i loved it for many years.It was called Besieged,the Beastmen tribes of the game world attack the major city and the gamer's have to join in to protect the npc's and drive back the Beastmen.

    Obviously most can relate to ideas like RIFTS from the game with the same name as well many other ideas across many different games.We need more of this FUN gaming and way less of the end game gear grinds.

    It  really seems the new generation of gamer cannot relate to simple FUN,yes we played game for a very long time just for the FUN,we did not need a single reward handed to us.Now gamer's seem to ONLY want to play reward systems,fun is not a factor.

    Game studios are even relying on bragging systems and rewards to drive their numbers,example Esports,leader boards,rankings,world firsts etc etc.I have in the past asked the simple question,if your so called great game had NO rewards,would you simply play it for fun?
    So there you have it,FUN over grind and reward,fully scripted and non scripted events.


    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • Ancient_ExileAncient_Exile Member RarePosts: 1,303
    I made some comments on the following thread as to how I would improve the ARPG known as Neverwinter.

    "If everything was easy, nothing would be hard."

    "Show me on the doll where PVP touched you."

    (Note:  If I type something in a thread that does not exactly pertain to the stated subject of the thread in every, way, shape, and form, please feel free to send me a response in a Private Message.)

  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,161
    Convert to third person over the shoulder view with physics combat.
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