What's the appeal of Idle RPGs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by watermark, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. watermark

    watermark Veteran Veteran

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    So recently I discovered a type of RPGs that seems to be very popular with mobile users: Idle RPGs. Below are some examples of the most popular ones:

    Almost a Hero
    Post Knight
    Questland

    These games have the following characteristics:
    - Battles take up 80% of the game.
    - Customizing/Equipping character takes up almost the other 20%
    - Story takes up 0%~1%....i.e. story just some flimsy excuse to get you battling.
    - Battle is mostly automatic. Player can tap on screen to attack or cast special moves if they want, but otherwise the battlers fight waves of enemies continuously, even when player is not actively playing the game. In fact, it's probably possible to beat these games without ever interacting directly, assuming you've played long enough and have the right stats and equipment.
    - There's usually limited, asynchronous multiplayer such as PvP or ranking score boards.

    While many people say that they play RPGs for the story, apparently there's a big chunk of the population who thinks otherwise, as proven by the popularity of these games. I think there's something to be learned from this. So:

    1. Does this kind of RPG appeal to you? Why or why not?
    2. What aspects of this type of RPG do you think we can use in more traditional RPGs?
    3. Any other thoughts about Idle RPGs?
     
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  2. fallenlorelei

    fallenlorelei Veteran Veteran

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    I played an idle game on my phone for a few months. I thought it was so dumb, "Why am I enjoying this?!", but there I was opening it up every few minutes for whatever reason. I can't remember what the game was since I've since uninstalled it. Bummer.

    So I am an old lady who really dislikes smartphone game controls, but I like RPGs. I think I had fun being able to gear up and become stronger and fight things without the effort of using weird touchscreen controls. Especially since 80% of the time I was using the app, I was at work, and couldn't play the game like a sideways controller.

    They're also kinda like mindless ARPGs in a way? In Diablo, I set up all of my cooldowns on a macro that I only had to click once to auto-fire on cooldown, and then ran through rifts. All I had to do was make sure I didn't stand in anything bad. A lot of people wouldn't think that type of gameplay is fun, but the shiny loots and pretty effects are enough for me :)
     
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  3. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Well, a lot of mobile gamers have limited time to actually play on their phones, and as such games that can be played with for just a few minutes or so is a huge hit for the mobile market. This is why hyper casual games are a big hit, because they give you a lot of fun for playing just a few minutes or so.

    Now here comes Idle RPGs, they combined casual play style with some kinda RPG mechanics. So now, its not just you're having fun by playing for a few minutes, you actually even get stronger with just that few minutes + a very long idle time.. Because of their somehow casual nature, even those who dont actually play RPGs can be easily hooked into it.

    I play Idle RPGs and energy based RPGs on my phone because they fit perfectly into the times where I have a few minutes of break and can open my phone, sometimes even at work. While I keep playing the more traditional RPGs in my PC and Consoles.

    So its kind of like this for me:

    1) Idle and Energy based RPGs on phone when Im outside
    2) Traditional RPGs on PC and console when Im at home

    I also tried playing some traditional RPGs on the phone but even though they are good, I find playing them on the phone for longer periods of time isn't as fun and comfortable for me as playing them on a console. My phone hates it too because it drains the battery quickly.

    It all boils down to knowing your audience and what appeals to them, at the end of the day, the demographics of mobile users are still different than PC/Console users.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  4. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Not really sure if Azur Lane counts as one, but you can put the game on auto-battle for you and the most you do is just clicking on stuff once in a while. For me, the main appeal in it is collecting the dozens of different characters, and it gives me something to do in the bus or during breaks at work without requiring too much attention from me.

    The main appeal for me would be the character designs, and the collector's aspect of it. And obviously also for being able to play it on the go, and having regular new content updates. A single-player idle RPG on PC would never work for me, lol.
     
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  5. TWings

    TWings The Dragon Whisperer Veteran

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    1. I've never played any of those, but from what I'm reading, it doesn't appeal to me at all. It doesn't sound really worthy of beeing called "RPG" to begin with. That's more of a battle simulator with some customizable parts.

    2. I'm tempted to say none, but since I've never tried one, I can't really know if there's any good stuff in it.

    3. As the others are saying, it fits the mobile market's casual "gamers". People who need to be able to play 2 minutes and stop without notice. At this point it's pretty much the same use as watching cats videos on youtube. It's not so much playing as just having something on the side with a feeling of acomplishment and time well spent maybe ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  6. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    Lots of freemium mobile and browser games do that, but it doesn't really count as a proper idle game. Of course, it's not uncommon for people to make macros to fully automate things like that, so...

    ...I guess that means the appeal of idle games is "I'm leveling my doods without being there" or something.
     
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  7. Elissiaro

    Elissiaro Veteran Veteran

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    It's fun watching the numbers go up.
    Note that my only experience with idle games is cookie clicker, but I'm sure it's similar.
    Sure you start out clicking manually. But that's kinda boring, plus your fingers get tired, so you hire a nice old granma to bake for you. And soon, your legions of eldrich grandmothers are drowning the world in delicious baked goods!
    And you don't have to move a finger after those few clicks needed to buy the first grandmother. In fact, uh, the clicks are kinda useless now, when we have a million grandmas, and cookie factories, oh and a portal to the elemental plane of cookies.
    They're addictive, is what I'm saying. (Stares at cookie clicker shortcut...)

    Edit: Also the rpg type idle games probably have like, fancy hats and weapons to unlock... And not just different types of milk and background cookies.
     
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  8. lianderson

    lianderson Veteran Veteran

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    If I was to be an armchair psychiatrist, it'd be tied to how some people like gardening. You know, just having things grow. Abstract or not. (or to go even deeper, it could be tied to things such as raising kids, or to go even deeper deeper, seeking purpose so that suicide system doesn't physically turn on)

    But hey, numbers are fun. And everyone has different tastes in RPGs. Some like stories, some don't, and some have played so many of the same story, they just don't care anymore. They're like, yo, I got a full time job and I don't care about experiencing another contrived tale about a magical girl with mysterious magical girl powers. I'm just here for teh levels and teh phat lootz!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  9. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I've never enjoyed the "idle RPG" type game until I ran across "Grand Summoners" last week. Crunchyroll was advertising it to me for while and I was like, "Let's see if it's any good". It is... well... an idle RPG.

    Here's how I play it:

    1. Decide what I'm going to do (game is energy based, spend energy to do an activity).
    2. Make sure I've got the right "loadout" for what I'm doing.
    3. Make sure "autobattle" is enabled.
    4. Start the activity and run it in the background of whatever I'm doing.

    Basically, the game acts a lot like Pokémon. Gotta catch 'em all... gotta evolve 'em all... upgrade 'em all... Etcetera. I enjoy the collection and building of power (which didn't take me long due to the events being currently run). I actually managed to get hold of a very powerful unit early on that let me rofl-stomp most of the main questline.

    Yes, there's a story. Lots of them. Lots of dialogue. Most of it poorly translated with tons of typos/grammar errors. Did I enjoy the story? Yeah, most of it. Despite how repetitive and LENGTHY all the dialogue got.

    I spent a bunch of time just trying to collect all the "early game" units and trying to level them up to evolve them. I spent a lot of time gathering resources to do the evolution (evolution requires you hit max level with the unit and then collect currencies you'll spend to evolve them and continue leveling them). I spent a lot of time gathering multiples of the same creature to "Limit Break" them (which increases their base stats and then Luck, which is used to get drops from battle).

    Basically, the entire game is just a series of a ton of different progression paths. It keeps track of everything you've ever done, every unit that's ever passed through your hands... every Quest you've completed... Quests have "achievements" in them that you finish to get even more loot. There are Daily Rotating Questlines... Some of which are for powerful or unique Story units...

    I dunno, I find it sort of fun. It's the only idle game I've ever really enjoyed. Probably because it's actually got a plethora of content for new players and I haven't felt "restricted" like games like Farmville do to you. I completed the "main story" today and discovered that 3 more "Chapters" open up after that, and a ton of Sidequests to power up the "main character" you play as (who you don't have to use in your party if you don't want to).

    Lots of content and lots of choices without a lot of restrictions is what makes me want to play a game, generally. Also, collecting things tends to make me want to keep playing as well.
     
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