I often wonder why there's quite so much focus on combat in RPGs.
A game like D&D is combat oriented anyway BUT absolutely nothing forces you to put it everywhere in your adventure. When I am DM, I reward roleplay a lot to encourage it. Does the player respect his alignment, background, race and class? Is he trying to bring his character to life? For example, I sometimes grant bonuses or additional penalties depending on the roleplay of a player on a Persuasion or Intimidation attempt. If he just says "I'm trying to intimidate him", I don't even give a throw and I pretend the player hasn't said anything. What I ask my players is to play a role not just being there with their character sheet and rolling dice.
For my part, I try to give life to all NPCs with a way of speaking that is specific to each. As DM, I play all the other roles and I want to make it alive, realistic and captivating. It is not always easy but I try. This is what RPG letters really mean. Nothing else.