Is Bloodborne Genius?

matrix3509

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Dark Souls is good because its was an "action game" that rewarded observation and having a good plan, something which was unheard of at the time, which is why it became a cult hit. It was the antidote to brain dead action games.

Bloodborne is completely antithetical to that design philosophy, rewarding nothing but reactions. Bloodborne was successful because it was the most generic "action game" From had ever made, and because the strength of the level design and setting shone through the generic gameplay. Making elemental buffs worthless, and abandoning any pretense of differentiated armor, in favor of FashionSouls only speaks to that. Just look at the Chalice dungeons, which laid bare how uninteresting and brain dead the combat truly was without the interesting level design to carry it.

Bloodborne's "genius" is that it was dumbed down to offset development costs. A sound business move perhaps, but nothing more.

If I sound salty, its because I sort of am. I'm happy that From has found success, but I am unhappy that yet another niche series gets sacrificed at the alter mainstream appeal. At this point only Armored Core remains, and I'm deathly afraid the same thing is happening to that series. Before Dark Souls 3 came out I wouldn't have been worried, because it a different game after all. But Dark Souls 3 was such a blatant reskin of Bloodborne, they didn't even bother to put poise back in until half a year later.
 

manic_depressive13

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I don't get why people act like using a shield is the default way to play DS? It doesn't "encourage" you to do that because it doesn't really tell you anything. The strat I relied on for the whole game was dual wielding the strongest weapon I could get that still had a reasonably quick attack animation, and wearing light armour to allow the fast roll. If you employed a boring ass strat and found the game tedious as a result, that's your own fault. Can't see how you can legitimately blame it on the game "style" or whatever.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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Yes, I think so. I'm still playing and enjoying it as much as ever. It's rather odd, actually, since I don't really play Dark Souls anymore, despite the two being practically identical in the sense that NG+ doesn't really add anything other than making the enemies tougher. I think Bloodborne's greatest strengths ultimately lie outside of its gameplay. It's functional, fast and fun, but if it was just that it wouldn't have been enough. The level design, setting, atmosphere and music push it into masterpiece territory for me. I think it'll be the go-to example on how to achieve Lovecraftian atmosphere in games for years and years to come. Whereas Dark Souls feels like the aftermath of some unspeakable calamity or centuries of slow decay, Bloodborne puts you right into the middle of said calamity. The setting allows for much more unusual enemy designs than Dark Souls' fantasy trappings, and as such makes the game more refreshing. The way the world loops back into itself is on par with Dark Souls, if not even better. For example, I just recently realized that you can see the balcony where you find the "Make Contact" gesture all the way from Cathedral Ward, hours and hours before you'll reach it in game. When a piece of entertainment has aliens in it, and actually manages to make them feel genuinely alien, I always applaud it. For example: Oedon exists merely as sound. That's properly alien!

The fact that all builds tend to ultimately play the same hasn't bothered me. The way the different weapons behave and are useful in different situations has been enough for me. I've just been playing with the Beasthunter Saif and Rifle Spear, and the playstyle is very different from the blunt force of the Amygdalan Arm and Whirligig Saw.
 

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matrix3509 said:
Bloodborne's "genius" is that it was dumbed down to offset development costs.
This is a weird pet peeve of mine, but "dumbing down" refers to the process of replacing educational content with entertainment content. Both the Souls series and Blooborne are entertainment products already, they can't be "dumbed down" because they're already dumb, and I say that with great affection.

manic_depressive13 said:
I don't get why people act like using a shield is the default way to play DS? It doesn't "encourage" you to do that because it doesn't really tell you anything.
Well, if you watch the video, that's kind of the point.

Precisely because you have to figure so much out yourself, those early experiences of gameplay are often (not always, but often) going to shape players perspective and guide their actions along predictable but not necessarily intentional paths based on how the game itself is set up. A lot of games do this deliberately, heck, Valve always made a huge deal out of the idea of guiding the player through the mechanics, but it's also possible to do it accidentally and thereby teach players to do something which they wouldn't have done had the game set things up slightly differently.

In DS1 the first real encounter you have is with the asylum demon while you only have a broken sword. Since the typical new player won't be good enough to kill the asylum demon with a broken sword, and the exit from the room is hidden off to the side where players wouldn't naturally look, many players will simply die at that point. That is intentional, it is teaching you that hey, you're going to die a lot but that's okay, don't be mad.

The second encounter you have is with a hollow archer shooting arrows at you down a long corridor and the first piece of starting equipment you're going to get, besides your broken sword, is lying off to the side. Guess what, it's a shield! Now, the point here is that you use the shield to block the arrows as you move down the corridor with the shield up, it's a basic puzzle which teaches you that shields are good for avoiding ranged attacks. But, given that the player just died to the asylum demon, it might also have taught them that the way to not die is to use a shield. This is an unintentional lesson. If the game had forced you to avoid those arrows as you move down the corridor, sure, you might have died more, but the lesson you would have learned is that dodging works and being killed by the asylum demon was because you didn't dodge well enough, not because you didn't have your shield yet.

Dark Souls 2 does this hugely better by basically forcing every class but one to play a good few minutes before it's even possible to get a shield. I suspect that is also deliberate. But I also suspect most people who picked up DS2 had already played DS1.
 

manic_depressive13

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evilthecat said:
Well, if you watch the video, that's kind of the point.

Precisely because you have to figure so much out yourself, those early experiences of gameplay are often (not always, but often) going to shape players perspective and guide their actions along predictable but not necessarily intentional paths based on how the game itself is set up. A lot of games do this deliberately, heck, Valve always made a huge deal out of the idea of guiding the player through the mechanics, but it's also possible to do it accidentally and thereby teach players to do something which they wouldn't have done had the game set things up slightly differently.

In DS1 the first real encounter you have is with the asylum demon while you only have a broken sword. Since the typical new player won't be good enough to kill the asylum demon with a broken sword, and the exit from the room is hidden off to the side where players wouldn't naturally look, many players will simply die at that point. That is intentional, it is teaching you that hey, you're going to die a lot but that's okay, don't be mad.

The second encounter you have is with a hollow archer shooting arrows at you down a long corridor and the first piece of starting equipment you're going to get, besides your broken sword, is lying off to the side. Guess what, it's a shield! Now, the point here is that you use the shield to block the arrows as you move down the corridor with the shield up, it's a basic puzzle which teaches you that shields are good for avoiding ranged attacks. But, given that the player just died to the asylum demon, it might also have taught them that the way to not die is to use a shield. This is an unintentional lesson. If the game had forced you to avoid those arrows as you move down the corridor, sure, you might have died more, but the lesson you would have learned is that dodging works and being killed by the asylum demon was because you didn't dodge well enough, not because you didn't have your shield yet.

Dark Souls 2 does this hugely better by basically forcing every class but one to play a good few minutes before it's even possible to get a shield. I suspect that is also deliberate. But I also suspect most people who picked up DS2 had already played DS1.
By the time you find the shield you've discovered dodging and that you can burn down enemies quicker two-handing. Maybe having the shield in that exact location is particularly conducive to causing the player to conclude they're supposed to use one, but I don't really buy it. There are a myriad of ways to interpret the design of the tutorial level and to approach the subsequent game. As far as I'm concerned, if you stop exploring play styles based on a tenuous association formed during a ten minute tutorial level, and spend the rest of the game hiding behind your shield, maybe it's your fault the game is slow. Don't act like it's an inherent design flaw that you chose to play it safe.
 

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Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
matrix3509 said:
Dark Souls is good because its was an "action game" that rewarded observation and having a good plan
All you need is a single "good" plan and it works on every enemy.

This statement is more whitewashed than triangle triangle square working on everything in God of War, which is also a gross exaggeration.

It almost sounds like you hold a personal grudge against this series from the sound of your posts in this thread, especially when comparing it to games like Bayonetta. It would make more sense to pit Crysis against Call of Duty, and even that's preposterous.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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evilthecat said:
matrix3509 said:
Bloodborne's "genius" is that it was dumbed down to offset development costs.
This is a weird pet peeve of mine, but "dumbing down" refers to the process of replacing educational content with entertainment content. Both the Souls series and Blooborne are entertainment products already, they can't be "dumbed down" because they're already dumb, and I say that with great affection.

manic_depressive13 said:
I don't get why people act like using a shield is the default way to play DS? It doesn't "encourage" you to do that because it doesn't really tell you anything.
Well, if you watch the video, that's kind of the point.

Precisely because you have to figure so much out yourself, those early experiences of gameplay are often (not always, but often) going to shape players perspective and guide their actions along predictable but not necessarily intentional paths based on how the game itself is set up. A lot of games do this deliberately, heck, Valve always made a huge deal out of the idea of guiding the player through the mechanics, but it's also possible to do it accidentally and thereby teach players to do something which they wouldn't have done had the game set things up slightly differently.

In DS1 the first real encounter you have is with the asylum demon while you only have a broken sword. Since the typical new player won't be good enough to kill the asylum demon with a broken sword, and the exit from the room is hidden off to the side where players wouldn't naturally look, many players will simply die at that point. That is intentional, it is teaching you that hey, you're going to die a lot but that's okay, don't be mad.

The second encounter you have is with a hollow archer shooting arrows at you down a long corridor and the first piece of starting equipment you're going to get, besides your broken sword, is lying off to the side. Guess what, it's a shield! Now, the point here is that you use the shield to block the arrows as you move down the corridor with the shield up, it's a basic puzzle which teaches you that shields are good for avoiding ranged attacks. But, given that the player just died to the asylum demon, it might also have taught them that the way to not die is to use a shield. This is an unintentional lesson. If the game had forced you to avoid those arrows as you move down the corridor, sure, you might have died more, but the lesson you would have learned is that dodging works and being killed by the asylum demon was because you didn't dodge well enough, not because you didn't have your shield yet.

Dark Souls 2 does this hugely better by basically forcing every class but one to play a good few minutes before it's even possible to get a shield. I suspect that is also deliberate. But I also suspect most people who picked up DS2 had already played DS1.
The point of the game (all Souls games) is to get you to think outside the box and be observant. If it was truly a difficult game, it would've left you stuck with the broken sword, period.

The fact that the games have found success outside of Japan is encouraging in that our dumbed down culture hasn't made us completely hopeless.
 

sXeth

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Phoenixmgs said:
You can't buy say an item/weapon in DnD to triple your damage or anything like that as level restricts your damage potential.
Items in D&D can prettymuch do whatever you want. But even to keep it in a standard sense, they're literally the only way to increase your damage output. I might be an edition or two behind, but its prettymuch always been that your levels control your ability to hit, but damage is almost entirely based on the weapon used (And whatever accoutrements it has). Magic has scaling (though it caps at a certain amount), but items that allow access to higher rank spells, or modify spells to do more damage are also entirely inside the basic system.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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hanselthecaretaker said:
Phoenixmgs said:
All you need is a single "good" plan and it works on every enemy.

This statement is more whitewashed than triangle triangle square working on everything in God of War, which is also a gross exaggeration.

It almost sounds like you hold a personal grudge against this series from the sound of your posts in this thread, especially when comparing it to games like Bayonetta. It would make more sense to pit Crysis against Call of Duty, and even that's preposterous.
Every enemy falls for the same exact strategy. Hell, you have to go out of your way to not exploit the horrible AI like you can't even strafe or use a bow and arrow without exploiting the AI. Just a simple block/dodge then attack, that's it. Even Uncharted throws enemies at you to change up your strategy. I mention Bayonetta because the game throws enemies at you that force you to use the dodge offset mechanic whereas a Souls game doesn't throw enemies at you that you need to parry for example. There's no enemies to force out of your comfort zone so that you actually "git gud".

Seth Carter said:
Items in D&D can prettymuch do whatever you want. But even to keep it in a standard sense, they're literally the only way to increase your damage output. I might be an edition or two behind, but its prettymuch always been that your levels control your ability to hit, but damage is almost entirely based on the weapon used (And whatever accoutrements it has). Magic has scaling (though it caps at a certain amount), but items that allow access to higher rank spells, or modify spells to do more damage are also entirely inside the basic system.
A weapon sets your base damage and your damage doesn't increase much by getting better weapons. However, your significant damage increases come from leveling. A wizard gets access to more powerful spells as they level. A rogue's damage potential is the sneak attack and they add a D6 to their sneak attack damage roll every 2 levels I believe. A ranger gets their damage increase via shooting more arrows per turn, which is increase via leveling. Same thing for a monk.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
hanselthecaretaker said:
Phoenixmgs said:
All you need is a single "good" plan and it works on every enemy.

This statement is more whitewashed than triangle triangle square working on everything in God of War, which is also a gross exaggeration.

It almost sounds like you hold a personal grudge against this series from the sound of your posts in this thread, especially when comparing it to games like Bayonetta. It would make more sense to pit Crysis against Call of Duty, and even that's preposterous.
Every enemy falls for the same exact strategy. Hell, you have to go out of your way to not exploit the horrible AI like you can't even strafe or use a bow and arrow without exploiting the AI. Just a simple block/dodge then attack, that's it. Even Uncharted throws enemies at you to change up your strategy. I mention Bayonetta because the game throws enemies at you that force you to use the dodge offset mechanic whereas a Souls game doesn't throw enemies at you that you need to parry for example. There's no enemies to force out of your comfort zone so that you actually "git gud".

I'd love to see a playthrough of you using the same attack on every enemy. Even if you could it would be foolish, since some enemies are highly resistant to certain attacks. If it was like you say, the games wouldn't be so notorious for deaths. The games are also notorious for being fair, so that can't be an excuse.

Bayonetta is a completely different style. The reason Souls games have such a following is because they give the player freedom of choice, as others have said. I don't want a game Simon Says'ing me along, which ironically is the opposite of depth.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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hanselthecaretaker said:
I'd love to see a playthrough of you using the same attack on every enemy. Even if you could it would be foolish, since some enemies are highly resistant to certain attacks. If it was like you say, the games wouldn't be so notorious for deaths. The games are also notorious for being fair, so that can't be an excuse.

Bayonetta is a completely different style. The reason Souls games have such a following is because they give the player freedom of choice, as others have said. I don't want a game Simon Says'ing me along, which ironically is the opposite of depth.
Here's a video of Bloodborne where R1 spam just pretty much owns every enemy, and he doesn't even play very cautious. Dodge then R1 spam, it ain't hard.

The style of Bayonetta is irrelevant. Any game with combat depth makes you do something other than 1 thing all game long. You can reduce any game to Simon Say's. The Souls games are Simon Say's with only one color. And Bayonetta has far more freedom in choice because there's more choices in how to engage enemies in combat.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
hanselthecaretaker said:
I'd love to see a playthrough of you using the same attack on every enemy. Even if you could it would be foolish, since some enemies are highly resistant to certain attacks. If it was like you say, the games wouldn't be so notorious for deaths. The games are also notorious for being fair, so that can't be an excuse.

Bayonetta is a completely different style. The reason Souls games have such a following is because they give the player freedom of choice, as others have said. I don't want a game Simon Says'ing me along, which ironically is the opposite of depth.
Here's a video of Bloodborne where R1 spam just pretty much owns every enemy, and he doesn't even play very cautious. Dodge then R1 spam, it ain't hard.

The style of Bayonetta is irrelevant. Any game with combat depth makes you do something other than 1 thing all game long. You can reduce any game to Simon Say's. The Souls games are Simon Say's with only one color. And Bayonetta has far more freedom in choice because there's more choices in how to engage enemies in combat.
Your OP is about Bloodborne being genius. You said you agreed with the video posing the statement to various degrees. This is definitely an example of conflict of style. Like others have said, Bloodborne is a pretty distilled game, especially next to any Souls game. I'd agree it's also pretty simple next to Bayonetta but again, that's beside the point because it's not designed to be strictly an action/combo-heavy/points-for-style kind of game. Far from it (no pun)

If Souls was as shallow as you say, it wouldn't have practically the entire fanbase still discussing builds and play styles years later. Where is the same depth of discussion for Bayonetta or other similar games? It doesn't exist because for all the style and combat "depth", they are an open book. Flash is fleeting when there isn't much to compliment it with.
 

Danbo Jambo

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Bloodborne is ANOTHER game which makes me wonder if I'm just getting old, as I really just don't "get" it.

The combat feels messy, I hate the fact that enemies respawn forever (DS2 is by far my fave in the series), and I found the world very samey & confusing at times.

It felt way more of a button basher than any of the DS games because of how your life replenishes, and overall I was hugely disapointed.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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hanselthecaretaker said:
Your OP is about Bloodborne being genius. You said you agreed with the video posing the statement to various degrees. This is definitely an example of conflict of style. Like others have said, Bloodborne is a pretty distilled game, especially next to any Souls game. I'd agree it's also pretty simple next to Bayonetta but again, that's beside the point because it's not designed to be strictly an action/combo-heavy/points-for-style kind of game. Far from it (no pun)

If Souls was as shallow as you say, it wouldn't have practically the entire fanbase still discussing builds and play styles years later. Where is the same depth of discussion for Bayonetta or other similar games? It doesn't exist because for all the style and combat "depth", they are an open book. Flash is fleeting when there isn't much to compliment it with.
My OP was about commenting on the video and the guy's theory of "play conditioning". I said I agreed with THAT for the most part to varying degrees. I think some games can be played "wrong" / in less fun ways to a certain extent as I gave examples of Vanquish as well as Dishonored. I titled the thread "Is Bloodborne Genius" due to the video title being "Bloodborne is Genius" and asking if people agreed with the video's main point. In hindsight, I probably should've named the thread something else. I didn't make the thread to really talk about the quality of the Souls games.

My last paragraph of the OP was basically saying Souls combat is too simple and repetitive, and that I would like the series to evolve into a survival horror game focusing much more on puzzles and traps while keeping the boss fights. These games have great atmosphere and level design but I feel lots of built-up tension is lost due to trash mobs basically being around every corner. If you had much fewer enemies to fight but each was much more of a threat, the tension would skyrocket and build off the already great atmosphere.

fisheries said:
Yes, there are. Specifically, there are black knights peppered throughout the game who are far tougher than you are at the start, and to kill the first one you almost certainly need to get in a parry or a backstab, because at the start of the game, your DPS isn't high enough to pose a threat to them, and your damage reduction from shields won't protect you from them.

Did you even play the game, or are you just trying to bait people with blatant rubbish? There are numorous different shake ups and tests. Black Knights test dueling, including parrying and backstabs. Sorry chump. The gargoyles are a DPS check. The Capra Demon tests how you react to pressure and your ability to dodge. The Gaping Dragon tests your spacing. Sif tests your ability to stay mobile while doing damage. O&S test your ability to deal with multiple opponents. It's ok if you didn't play it, just don't piss on our heads and tell us it's raining. Every enemy in DS is a new challenge, because of that limited moveset. You aren't learning your own moves. You're learning your enemies. Every new enemy is a new challenge they've thrown at you to master. If you really think a hollow is the same as the stray demon is the same as the belltower gargoyles, then you clearly haven't played the game.

Bayonetta gives you uninterruptible bullshit instant attacks, where the only challenge involved is in getting the highest possible score out of it by abusing just how little respect the game has for your intelligence by throwing mostly enemies who pose zero threat to you, ever, just so you can juggle them. It's got more buttons, but it's mechanically deep as a puddle, and mastering it just means learning which combos are worth the most and memorising them. Dark Souls does more with two buttons than Bayonetta does with an entire moveset.
I blocked the Black Knights triple sword attack with dex character with a medium shield, which I shouldn't be able to do. Of course, you really can't beat them early because you just don't have the stats to beat without being basically perfect over a long fight while slowing chipping away at health.

Check my trophies if you think I didn't play Dark Souls (my PSN is exactly the same as my username). The gargoyles I could also block for some reason. Again, as a dex character, I shouldn't be able to fully block attacks from bigger stronger enemies but the game lets you do it for some reason. Thus, the gargoyle fight only plays like a fight against a couple of normal enemies, just that they dish out more damage obviously. Remove the dogs and the Capra Demon is really easy. Gaping Dragon is joke easy, I literally went through that whole dungeon plus the dragon and didn't die a single time. Sif was a pretty good fight for me just because I fought him pretty underleveled, but I still used the same strategy.

You obviously haven't played much of Bayonetta. You won't get far on the higher difficulties without learning how to dodge offset.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
hanselthecaretaker said:
Your OP is about Bloodborne being genius. You said you agreed with the video posing the statement to various degrees. This is definitely an example of conflict of style. Like others have said, Bloodborne is a pretty distilled game, especially next to any Souls game. I'd agree it's also pretty simple next to Bayonetta but again, that's beside the point because it's not designed to be strictly an action/combo-heavy/points-for-style kind of game. Far from it (no pun)

If Souls was as shallow as you say, it wouldn't have practically the entire fanbase still discussing builds and play styles years later. Where is the same depth of discussion for Bayonetta or other similar games? It doesn't exist because for all the style and combat "depth", they are an open book. Flash is fleeting when there isn't much to compliment it with.
My OP was about commenting on the video and the guy's theory of "play conditioning". I said I agreed with THAT for the most part to varying degrees. I think some games can be played "wrong" / in less fun ways to a certain extent as I gave examples of Vanquish as well as Dishonored. I titled the thread "Is Bloodborne Genius" due to the video title being "Bloodborne is Genius" and asking if people agreed with the video's main point. In hindsight, I probably should've named the thread something else. I didn't make the thread to really talk about the quality of the Souls games.

My last paragraph of the OP was basically saying Souls combat is too simple and repetitive, and that I would like the series to evolve into a survival horror game focusing much more on puzzles and traps while keeping the boss fights. These games have great atmosphere and level design but I feel lots of built-up tension is lost due to trash mobs basically being around every corner. If you had much fewer enemies to fight but each was much more of a threat, the tension would skyrocket and build off the already great atmosphere.

I can certainly agree with that. I would've liked to see the games eventually focus more on the significance of each fight, and alleviate the strain of design based around needing soft souls as currency for upgrading. Doing more with less so to speak. Instead of so much redundancy there could be more significant rewards based on defeating more challenging and significant enemy encounters. Have character improvement occur more naturally through simply practicing the actions and skills you wish to improve upon, and succeeding in respective disciplines would automatically enhance your build. It gets too tedious simply farming x to apply to y the same way regardless of what part of your build you're trying to enhance.

Exploration would compliment this the same way, where the more risk you take, and the further you strive, the greater the possibility for finding equally compelling rewards. There can still be a ton of content and stats of course, but the methods of procurement would be more naturally occurring, logical and practical within the game world.

I don't think current design and control schemes are quite sophisticated enough yet, but it is a nice thought.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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hanselthecaretaker said:
I can certainly agree with that. I would've liked to see the games eventually focus more on the significance of each fight, and alleviate the strain of design based around needing soft souls as currency for upgrading. Doing more with less so to speak. Instead of so much redundancy there could be more significant rewards based on defeating more challenging and significant enemy encounters. Have character improvement occur more naturally through simply practicing the actions and skills you wish to improve upon, and succeeding in respective disciplines would automatically enhance your build. It gets too tedious simply farming x to apply to y the same way regardless of what part of your build you're trying to enhance.

Exploration would compliment this the same way, where the more risk you take, and the further you strive, the greater the possibility for findind equally compelling rewards. There can still be a ton of content and stats of course, but the methods of procurement would be more naturally occurring, logical and practical within the game world.

I don't think current design and control schemes are quite sophisticated enough yet, but it is a nice thought.
I would like to see most RPGs have less combat, you spend way too much time fighting in most RPGs when RPGs aren't supposed to be combat games. For example, I'd love Witcher 3 to have focused on the witcher monster fights which are far too easy if you actually prepare and buff yourself like a witcher is supposed to do, and Witcher 3's combat system was tailored to humanoid enemies and just didn't work that well against the bigger monsters, which should've been the highlights of the game. The gameplay in most RPGs just isn't up to task IMO and there's lots of things that can be done like you mentioned to spice up the genre if nothing else.