The subject of how role-playing games have changed over the years is a common one, and even experts have difficulty defining the term, "RPG."
But while many fans of the old-school styles and presentations bemoan the shift to action/adventure mechanics, we wonder if there's anything else modern RPGs can do to appease those sufferers. We can forget about a return to turn-based combat; that just isn't going to happen, so it's a futile wish. But what else makes you look at an RPG and go, "yes, that's actually an RPG I want to play"?
Too many RPGs feel the same due to their emphasis on fast "twitchy" action, but there are significant differences. For example, take this fall's role-playing offerings: Dark Souls and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim . If you're familiar with both titles, you know how they differ and very likely, one appeals to you more than the other. Well, take that preference and expand it; apply it to the rest of the industry and create a list of requirements that would do two things: 1. it would make the game an actual RPG, and 2. it would make you want to play it.
Personally, all I really want is a mechanic that allows me to utilize some strategy, an interesting battle and/or character advancement system (like Materia and the Judgment Wheel), a good story (that is also a primary focus), and a world that makes the experience seem surreal. A world that is a fantastical version of ours, with forests and cities and of course, mysterious locations we don't have. I also want full control over my character and party; I don't need to create them, as I expect the writer who produces a great story to do that, but I want to be able to give each of them commands during battle. How's about you?