RPG's have been around for a long time. I'd like to know from everybody what their favorite aspects of the genre are? How can these things be improved? Mine are as follows.
The ability to level up: Leveling up is one of my favorite things about RPG's. The ability to see how much work you put into strengthening a character or a party is a great way to portray progress. In my opinion though, I believe there should either be no leveling system, or no cap on the amount of levels achievable (there should at most be a soft cap).
Equipment Customization: Being able to customize everything on your body allows players to express themselves through games. Like leveling up, equipment offers a way for players to show the dedication they put into a game. Donning a piece of legendary gear that nobody has is a great feeling. In some games, though, the rarest pieces of equipment are just the opposite of their type; rare. In popular RPG's most high end players have the SAME GEAR, or are at least striving to obtain the same gear.
Classes/skill trees: Games that offer a vague path for your character to progress in are my favorite. Grinding and leveling up in order to obtain that skill that will give you the edge in battle can be addicting. I think games these days are seriously limiting the amount of classes the game should have. In my opinion, Final Fantasy XI had the best class system simply because there were so many! I think the game has upwards of 30 character classes now? The more classes the better because that will help players to stand out more.
PVP: In my honest opinion, I think all PvP in the latest MMO's are terrible. It's not as cutthroat as it should be. Current PvP should alter their name for PvP to PvP: battlegrounds. Games like Ultima and Tibia had THE BEST PvP system. Anybody could kill anybody almost anywhere (there are safe zones in town so you can't be attacked by players). When you die, there is a chance that you will lose your gear, allowing the player that killed you to take it. There is a penalty for murder though. The more people you kill, the more you have a chance to get a red skull, which allows ANYONE to attack and kill you without consequence. Also, all of your gear drops no matter what.
Quests: I love questing in games, but i hate the fact that all quest givers have a damn question mark or exclamation mark over their head. You are also literally told the exact path to complete your quest, whether aided by an NPC or some form arrow on your map. Final Fantasy XI had a great quest system, as you actually had to go around town and converse with the NPC's in order to obtain quests (No question marks over NPC heads meant you had to talk to ALL the NPC's). There was also a fame system that forced you to do a lot of quests with certain factions in order to obtain harder quests with better loot.
The way RPG's, or atleast MMORPG's are going these days, they won't be around much longer. They're becoming so easy that anybody, including children can play them. The amount of competition offered is atrocious. Content also seems to be lacking in story. I'm very disappointed at the state of games these days, and it's caused me to lose passion for something I once loved and used as a form of escape. How can one escape in a world where you're literally told exactly what to do? It's too much like the real world.