My feeling about battles in most RPG's is that there's way too many of them, and they're boring/simplistic ie fights in most RPG's are a real pain.
My feeling about an active combatsystem isn't that it's the combatsystem that is the problem, it's the ammount of fights. Because fights still shouldn't be the focus of the game, and therefore not exaggregated (think KotOR).
One of the few times I agree with you, ‹bereil.
In my humble opinion, combbat is far too much emphasized.
And the extreme version of that is Blizzards megasellers : They are so much
defining the whole genre (simply because they were so popular)
, that now everyone - especuially those who don't know many older titles - might believe that combat / hack&slay is what an RPG defines !
"It has no combat in it, so it's no *real* RPG" ?
I know, the huge amount of fighting has a very strong tradition : The Dungeon Crawl. And I guess/assume that since the RPG genre was very much defined through early dungeon-crawl - like games or P&P adventures, many people (I guess) assume that an RPG has to
contain a *lot* of combat !
So, the Action-RPG fraction and the Dungeon Crawl fraction unite, at this pecific point. And I assume they are just too many for the non-combat or diplomatic/stealth fraction.
Popularity defines. Or, as we say here in Germany : Millions of flies cannot be wrong" (a very cynical saying, I know).
And that's why PS:T is so much unique (and perhaps even the reason why the sales of it weren't too impressive) : It is has a strong orientation against
combat ! (Although some at RPGWatch say it has a very weak implementation of the "stealth way".)
By the way, I'm still playing TOEE at the moment, and I'm still quite impressed how many non-combat options it has ! - Assumed you build up social skills as well !