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Elder Scrolls Online is all about storytelling, forget the pvp, forget the gameplay, and lets focus solely on storytelling here. If you look back at all the games in history back to the days of Dungeons & Dragons itself and rolling of dice. We see storytelling, before video games we had games which a friend would sit down and tell storys and let you make decisions in that story, we called this friend a Game Master.
Game Masters were the RPG video game storys of the old. Sure we wanted to do things our GM wouldnt let us do but we still enjoyed these things to a high degree, we had mental pictures in our head of what a Dragon coming up on you would look like or a Beholder would look like as its gazing at you. You could feel the fear down your back as your friend would tell the story. This is what made RPG games so great, its what got you really into storys.
When MMORPG's first started to come out we had games like Everquest, Ashreons Call and EQOA. Which had very little story to them but huge sandbox's, back then, everyone wanted more stories in thier games but technology limits kept he storytelling to a minimum. Eventually technology caught up with data storage, and before you knew it, we were seeing many storys pop up in games such as Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft, mostly in the form of quests and such, Everquest 2 had a ton of storylines, they put in so many that it would take years to do them all if you started now. This filled the needs of many to have storylines in a MMORPG.
Then somewhere around 2007, LOTRO finally launched, another Major MMORPG with great storytelling,. J.R.R. Token, a writer whos works we all grew up on with books that really was a part of the foundation of fantasy and RP, that went along with the style of Dungeons and Dragons RPG. This game was the real last RPG that was released, that had huge storytelling and storylines. In fact what happend next was MInes of Moria which would change the way MMORPG storytelling was seen in the gaming industry and hasnt been easily duplicated since its release.
Back in 2008 Lotro's Mines of Moria made Expansion of the Year. It was praised across the entire gaming industry as one of the best expansione ever made. We have to look back and ask ourselves, what made moria so great? It was the not just storytelling and quests, but the FEELING the player got by being part of that storyline or quest that made Mines of Moria so great and launch it to Best Expansion of the Year 2008. When you would go through Mines of Moria, you really felt the feeling of something happening, the feeling like you were part of the storyline and making a differance. I want to show you some of the comments that were made by the reviews when Moria came out. It was amazing. It even resembles what I feel about ESO today.
It's a wonderful marriage of content and art design that further strengthens the developer's knack for storytelling, a floundering art in most MMOGs, yet a triumph in Mines of Moria
but the chapter-by-chapter progression of the story makes the overall context of your adventures just as engaging as the actual gameplay
Of course, you can play the game just as easily by focusing solely on the objectives, but you'll be missing out on a lot of the story that gives the quests a sense of substance and significance
Moria make it relatively easy to get lost on your way from A to B, and that provides a great sense of adventure and uncertainty.
These missions are story setup for the last mission before going into the Mines of Moria. This last mission is important though and will make you really feel like you're part of the story, or at least it did for me.
The moment you ride up alongside the Black Pool (that body of water near the gateway to the mines of Moria) and see those dwarves throwing pebbles into the water
These were just a few of the review comments that was made about Mines of Moria, these comments tell you one thing. STORY and the FEELING of being a part of that story. LOTRO hasnt seen an expansion like Moria since, but had something really special there, and the storyline and storytelling was at its height in the RPG gaming industry.
Next lets look at SKYRIM, which was indeed a single player game, it has some relevance here even though it was not an MMO. It was a single player game that had some of the most modren and advanced storytelling an MMO has ever seen, so much that MMO players were playing single player games for a while, which is very rare to see a single player game do, but it hit Number 1 single player game for over a Year, which is a great accomplishment for an RPG offlien game. I put this in because it shows how a RPG with great storytelling and the FEELING of being a part of a STORY is the most imprortant part of a game, weather it be OFFLINE or ONLINE.
Next we have FFXIV, which was not quite skyrim quality but had two great things, A Great AAA storyline which was some of the best storytelling in an MMO since Mines of Moria. It had modernized graphics which added to the FEEL of the Main Storyline, which made the player really FEEL like they were part of the STORY, from day one that storytelling of the main storylines and the crafting quest lines, and the Job questlines, even as theme park as the game may be, MADE THE Player FEEL like they were part of the STORY. It was a blast. This also is a game that came from a Single player game which had great RPG storytelling alot like Elder Scrolls in that context. FFXIV did not have any more Storytelling beyond the mainstoryline, job lines, crafting lines. and after 2.1 did not have much of a story after it, but it was a blast to get to the end of that story, and made that game very fun and successful.
Now We have Elder Scrolls Online. A game which offers the next SAGA of storytelling in the MMO history of games. This main storyline is 5-6 hours long, much like Skyrims storyline. What this offers is a chance to have MULTITUDES of Storylines of Storytelling that lets you the player FEEL like you are part of the STORY, it gives you STORYTELLING for the ENTIRE game, you can be a part of the story 24/7 while leveling, you can finish a storyline if you want or don't want and go to another storyline. This my friends is the meaning of RPG in the MMORPG name. This is the next SAGA of STORYTELLING that allows the player to be a part of the STORY And REALLY FEEL Like they are part of it and this why, ESO Will not only succed but be the GAME OF THE YEAR of 2014.
I await the next chapter in the MMORPG Storytelling.... will it be EQ Next? Maybe, but 2015 or longer before that happens. So if you love Storytelling and FEELING like being part of the Story from START to FINISH, you'll be playing ESO with me. I hope alot of people who just look at gameplay or pvp or other things beside storylines and storytelling can see this from my point of view, and why the MMORPG GAME INDUSTRIES TOP games follow Storytelling. This is also why even with any bad media or talk, or anything negative, this game will succeed like the games before it have.
(I dint play swtor or GW2 so I cannot comment on thier storylines in this timeline, but SWTOR brings in millions right now so I can only guess the SWTOR storyline was pretty good also.)