The Optimal RPG Length (For you)

TaciturnTaciturn Posts: 42Member
This is, of course, subjective, but I want to see your thoughts on this.
The topic at hand is the length of a standard turn-based story driven RPG, and how that length is broken up.

In your opinion...
1. For how many hours should the main quest last?
2. How many turns should a typical battle* last?
3. How many battles* should it take to level up?
4. How many battles* should it take to complete an arc/chapter/episode?
*That is/are appropriate to your level

My answers:
1. At least 20 hours
2. Two to three turns
3. 15 battles
4. 10 to 20 battles


  • nujumkeynujumkey Posts: 296Member
    edited April 16
    The obvious amswer is that it depends on the type of game. South Parks rpg would be significantlt worse if it was strerched out to a 20 hour campaign, and skyrim would be worse if it was squished into 20 hours. But for my ideal rpg:

    1. 5-8 hours
    2. At least 3
    3. 6-10 battles
    4. 10-20 battles 

    Edit: i thought about it more and changed some numbers. Basically my ideal rpg is long enough that i dont finish it in one sitting and the battles don't go by too quickly, but the overall story arc takes quite a while. Child of light and some rpgmaker games come to mind, though in child of light you got levels very quickly because of the filler stuffed into the levelling system.
    Post edited by nujumkey on
    Twitter is @nujumkey
    Steam is Nujumkey
  • Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member
    Hmm, well, I have two major modes when it comes to gaming: Quality of story, and the ability to keep playing and still enjoy after I've beaten the main story. So, given this:

    1. Varies drastically, based strictly upon the tale you wish to tell and the message you wish to convey/AS LONG AS I WANT IT TO.
    2. Again, depends on the story. Is it a story with an emphasis on the lethality of the real world, or is it high fantasy, with HP bloat?/LOL BUCK THAT MIN-MAXING LIKE A BOSS THIS IS GONNA TAKE HALF THE TURNS IT SHOULD.
    3. Well, that, um, hm. The story side of me wants it to continue the trend, that it fit with the narrative./HARD AND FAST EARLY, SLOW AND STEADY LATE. ROCK IT.
    4. As many as it takes, but the author needs to keep in mind that moderation is a powerful tool./I CAN FITES MOAR NOW PLOX?!1!?
  • lightlight Posts: 290Member
    What about the local multiplayer story-driven RPG's aimed at married couples I wish they'd make? (I'm as single as the next guy, but I'd like my preferred medium not to switch over to television when I settle down.) What kind of parameters may make that feasible?

    I'm thinking the standard 80 hours would be too long, as much as I love those. So maybe 20-ish.

    Should the players always be doing the same thing/ fighting the same battle? Would people be okay with sitting through a scene the other player is in but they aren't? What about when not both people are present, should there be single player activities?

    Would turn based combat be fun with two people?

    Does having a second player add storytelling possibilities, or should this just be something we append to existing RPG's? (etc.)
    Drake Bell!
    Darklurker - Ana - Davey Wreden - Niles - Catwoman - Thwomp - Zazu
  • TaciturnTaciturn Posts: 42Member
    @light like local co-op? The closest I can think of off the top of my head would be Pokémon battle facilities. My friend and I quickly discuss our plans but that rarely exceeds 5 seconds per turn. That, at the very least, isn't enough sociality and the animations can't live up to a TV show. So we're reluctant to play that unless we're multitasking with some other media at the same time.

    I have a hard time imagining a couple sitting down in front of a TV set to play a turn based RPG instead of doing something that better facilitates social dynamics (i.e. a movie or real time game). Perhaps a slow paced mobile game would work. One would check their phone, get a brief story or battle update, then take their next turn. This way it's less awkward and making progress is more convenient.

    Just as a side thought, it might be interesting if there was a single player option in which you could gather loot for your companion (but not for yourself)... so when they check back in they'll find a pleasant surprise.
  • Brother_NerdBrother_Nerd Posts: 50Member
    Heroes of Might and Magic comes to mind, but the story mode is weak until more recent installments, and there's no 2-player in their storymode, but to simply play through a scenario is actually not that bad. Civilization kinda makes it's own story, but the replayability in that regard is limited. I've heard good things about most Warhammer games, but that's all been from avid consumers of Games Workshop material in general, so I can't attest too much to that.

    Honestly, @light this really feels like a relatively underexplored concept. Hmm, should check if they've done an episode on it yet, but I don't think that they have.
  • vlademir1vlademir1 Posts: 428Member
    I have some strong misgivings about the specifics here, or rather the lack of them.  My answers will, for example, vary depending on whether or not we're talking a linear narrative, an open branching narrative (Undertale is a solid example), a closed branching narrative (first half of FF6 is still my go to example) or an open world type narrative (FF1 may be the best turn based example I can think of, though second half FF6 is also good). Here's a linear narrative baseline answer set:

    1.  The main quest should take enough time to tell the story it's about without leaving me feeling it wasn't really finished nor like it overshot the end of it's story.  Ideally this should be done in five to ten typical play sessions.  That said, session length is going to depend on the mechanics of the game.  Anything less than fifteen hours and anything more than 100 hours are probably both indicators of problems outside an open world.
    2.  If we're talking classic FF or DQ 2D era style of combat, three to five turns seems about right for non-boss battles and ten to twenty for bosses.  If there is some meaningful tactical decision making in combat then shift those numbers up a bit, say five more turns for non-boss encounters and ten more for bosses.
    3&4.  On a purely idealistic level, I want to say one level per story arc which should be from one boss to the next and a typical play session then should be one arc.  Realistically I'd say no more than two levels should be gained between bosses and there shouldn't be more than three bosses per arc, which should still be about one session.
    I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Look upon my works and despair!

    Truth is never lying right there on the surface for everyone to quickly find, it requires dedication, the right tools and time.
  • desolation0desolation0 Posts: 176Member
    1. Anything slightly less than infinite since my personal moratorium on games that don't end. I never get to the end of an rpg. I tend to restart to try something different, because I missed something missable, and finally stop playing because I figured out all the mechanics and the story.
    2. 8 longish turns early, 3-5 quicker turns after I've figured things out and leveled useful skills.
    3. 4-10 depending on the relative strength of the mobs to my group, rewarding tougher fights but not too much that you over-level whether you grind or not, to nudge me along faster.
    4. 8-24 depending on exploration and speed of combat, about 3 per plot beat/puzzle/miniboss/exploration discovery is probably it.
Sign In or Register to comment.