By contrast, performance in first-person shooters is reliant on good hand-eye coordination and sharp reflexes. As this involves rapid keyboard tapping and precise mouse or joystick movements, it is aptly referred to as "twitch combat." In games like Quake and Half-Life, your avatar will not attack, or aim, or fire automatically, nor is the outcome of the battle decided by a series of random numbers. Instead, victory goes to first one to get the other in their crosshairs and deliver a fatal amount of ordnance. While there are always other strategic elements involved in FPSes, controller skills remain critical to effective gameplay, and you won't win any fights while you're in the kitchen making a sandwich.
Certainly being killed repeatedly by someone with finely honed twitch skills in an online shooter will give anyone some appeciation for how adept many people have become with their mouse, but it doesn't always make the game more appealing. In fact, people often complain that their inherent lack of coordination, or lack of time to practice, makes it much too difficult for them to compete in multiplayer FPSes. Take someone that has little experience with shooter controls, put them in a game of Counter-Strike, and they are likely to be completely discouraged within ten minutes. No doubt a lot of people play RPGs precisely because they don't require high controller dexterity.
It cannot be denied, however, that twitch combat games generally offer a much more level playing field than RPGs. No matter how good someone is with their joystick, there is almost always chance of catching them off their guard and putting a few rounds into the back of their head.
Apples and Oranges?
Again, though they are very different, I think both types of combat require some sort of skill. The real question is which types of skills you prefer to exercise in a game. RPGs do often give you the sense that you are more of spectator than a player, and personally, I'm always glad to find elements of twitch combat in a game, even though my twitch skills leave a lot to be desired. That said, there will always be those who find the intricacies of character development more interesting than being the quickest or most accurate mouse clicker.
Vote in the poll and tell us what type of combat you prefer in a game.