Throughout the history and evolution of electronic entertainment, role playing games have been one of the most prolific genres by far, from the text-only Multi-User Dungeons (M.U.D.s) - one of the early forms of massively multiplayer gaming - to recent graphical powerhouses such as the Witcher 2 and the upcoming Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
As a result, the genre has always been in the forefront of trend-setting, with many modern tropes and clichés stemming from 20+ year old sources. While these tropes are often ignored (or, in rare cases, done well enough to be welcome additions to the overall experience), for the most part the possibility of improvement exists. Some ideas on the subject:
Convoluted Character Development
|Final Fantasy VII status screen,|
part 1 of 3.
What's Right: This type of system is, however, highly beneficial to players that wish to engage in "min/maxing", the process in which they develop the characters to be as powerful as possible (usually via focus on specific statistics per character and in-game "grinding" techniques that allow them to maximize their gains - these are unique to each game and usually very time-consuming).
|An age-old habit for the genre,|
by the looks of it.
Overuse of Dialogue
|Intro scene from The Witcher.|
Not pictured: A heap of exposition...
|...which the game will gleefully|
use on each and every occasion.
|Meanwhile, Half Life manged it right.|
Part 2 Link
* Emergent Gameplay (Wikipedia Link)
* Dialogue Conventions (FFVII Case Study)
* FFVII Status Screens (FFVII Wiki)
* The Witcher Official Site
* Multi-User Dungeons (Wikipedia Link)