I wanted to link this a couple of days ago but it slipped my mind: Jay Barnson has another great post up about role-playing games on the computer. Of particular interest is the bit about scope & scale, and the contrast between Oblivion and Final Fantasy.
I’m betting what most gamers want is a game with both huge scope and massive scale. I would add that I’d like this, plus dynamic content. I’m greedy that way. (Actually, you could argue the Nethack has all of this, so let me add graphics and accessible gameplay to the wishlist.) While we’re at it, let’s make sure the game has emergent self-balancing properties too. (This is as opposed to the %mechanical forced-balancing we see in Oblivion.)
This is in no way easy to pull off, which is why we don’t see games like this very often. (Heck, we don’t see RPG’s in general as often as I’d like.) Still, this only fuels my interest in the subject. Sure, the perfect game is impossible to make, but that does not diminish my desire to play it.