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Story in an MMO

LucioonLucioon Palm Harbor, FLPosts: 814Member Uncommon

Is Personal Story in an MMO a bad thing? Does it isolate players and separate Players in an supposedly Immersive and Massive Multiplayer world?

GW2 makes your story your own by allowing multiple treads due to your own choices

SWTOR makes your story by making the illusion that your actions actually changes the outcome of whats happening

But each and everyone of the MMO out there, the stories are yours and yours alone, they dont' affect whats happening to the world around you. GW2 have a home instance that changed based on your decisions. But its still you own, it doesn't effect the world.

In an Game where players joins at different times, and play at different hours, will there ever be a game where each players contribute to an over arching story?

Will  the only way for an MMO to be truly Massive when we make the developers the Game Masters, changing the story, leading the players as the hand of god in a story that every single player can join and is constantly changing.

Where new characters are born and into the current conflict, not the first conflict. Or will this alienate too much players and cause rage?

Where if over a certain treshold of players does this action, a certain zone appears, or if not enough players does this other action, an certain battle appears, will then the story no longer be individual, instead a story that affects each and every player in the world.

Life is a Maze, so make sure you bring your GPS incase you get lost in it.

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Comments

  • ResiakrawResiakraw Allentown, PAPosts: 73Member

    If I remember right, pretty sure I read something about the Game of Thrones MMO being at least somewhat impacted in the overall story by the actions of players/guilds and how things are turning out on the warfront between the 3 factions. It might not be very detailed changes or anything, probably just some pretty general stuff, but at least its a start. But if there's anyone I would want to have writing our stories it would be George R.R. Martin. Yeah I know he probably isn't going to be writing most of this stuff himself, but if he were involved heavily in writing out and changing the lore of the entire game depending on our actions, and possibly featuring certain players/guilds in his lore writings and stuff that would be pretty epic.

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member


    Originally posted by Lucioon
    Is Personal Story in an MMO a bad thing?

    For me it is.


    Originally posted by Lucioon
    ... In an Game where players joins at different times, and play at different hours, will there ever be a game where each players contribute to an over arching story?

    Plenty of examples for that. From people in DAoC building rams for a relic raid to people in Istaria unlocking regions (and/or mobs?) by collectively building a monument, to unlocking rituals in A Tale in the Desert, to building and raiding guild villages in Darkfall, and countless other examples.

    These are player-made stories. Beats any dev-written cutscene by a country mile. :)

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • CorthalaCorthala LagosPosts: 283Member Uncommon

    Player A:" Did you just killed the Evil Thingy?"

    Player B:" Yeas!"

    Player A :" Ok, I will Wait for it to pop and then I kill it and I will Save all the Lands"

    Player B:" I just Done that"

     

     

     

     

     

    "you are like the world revenge on sarcasm, you know that?"

    One of those great lines from The Secret World

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Corthala

    Player A:" Did you just killed the Evil Thingy?"

    Player B:" Yeas!"

    Player A :" Ok, I will Wait for it to pop and then I kill it and I will Save all the Lands"

    Player B:" I just Done that"

     

     

     

     

     

    I think few cares about this type of logical when playing a game.

    People don't mind it in Diablo 3. People don't mind it in WOW. People don't mind it in LOTRO. People don't mind it in GW.

     

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Ideally, what you want in an MMO world is "news", not "story".

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,590Member Uncommon

    A background story is obviously essential, but that's the lore of the game, it tells the histroy and gives you the reason why you are there. After that, we make our own personal story.

  • QuenchsterQuenchster Monroe, MIPosts: 450Member

    GW2 treated personal story the way it should be treated. Personal story lets your character interact with the world in ways that the multiplayer enviroment won't let you, but it should be used as a guide or a choice and not the beef of a multiplayer game. In GW2 I found myself using it as a tool to get myself to move on to other zones. I had a ton of choices to get experience and none of them expired to forced me to move on, but the personal story would inform me of when I was ready to move to the next zone in an encouraging way.

    While I think it is possible to create story through things like events where all players can participate to reinforce the MMO in MMORPG, I don't think that those events can be used to guide players throughout a world like personal story or just normal quests.

  • GN-003GN-003 NA, HIPosts: 78Member
    Originally posted by Larsa

     


    Originally posted by Lucioon
    Is Personal Story in an MMO a bad thing?

     

    For me it is.

    I'm with this guy, especially if it's a major focus.

    Obviously it comes down to taste, but a personal story (or a story of any sort) isn't what attracts me to this genre. If I want an isolated experience, I'll play a singleplayer game. Odds are it's going to be more enjoyable than anything an MMO can offer.

    Take SWTOR for example. Critics and consumers lauded the extensive voice acting and class specific campaigns. It was hailed as one of the best, if not the best story-driven MMOs of all time. That's all well and good, but as someone who has played through KOTOR and KOTOR II, I felt that SWTOR paled in comparison. It was hardly the SWTOR 3,4,5,6,7,- that they claimed it to be. If an MMO that cost hundreds of millions (not to mention developed by Bioware) can't provide me with a better singleplayer experience than a game I played in 2003, why should I be bothered about a personalized story?

    I highly doubt TESO will be a better singleplayer experience than Morrowind, Oblivion or Skyrim when it's released. As it should be. I don't expect it be any other way. My point is, you can't, or perhaps shouldn't focus on both singleplayer and multiplayer when it comes to developing an MMORPG. The time and effort used to create an expansive, personalized, on-rails story could have been used to make the multiplayer aspects and the world itself more compelling. Not to mention the concessions and design choices (and limitations) that have to be made in order to accommodate said story.

    I'm not saying there isn't a place for story in an MMORPG, but not when it takes precedence over the multiplayer/virtual world. You run the risk of having the player feel detatched. Like GeezerGamer said, you can still have a fleshed out world that is rich in lore without the game forcing you through a linear campaign. Again, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people absolutely love the class specific campaigns in SWTOR.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,590Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GN-003
    Originally posted by Larsa

     


    Originally posted by Lucioon
    Is Personal Story in an MMO a bad thing?

     

    For me it is.

    I'm with this guy, especially if it's a major focus.

    Obviously it comes down to taste, but a personal story (or a story of any sort) isn't what attracts me to this genre. If I want an isolated experience, I'll play a singleplayer game. Odds are it's going to be more enjoyable than anything an MMO can offer.

    Take SWTOR for example. Critics and consumers lauded the extensive voice acting and class specific campaigns. It was hailed as one of the best, if not the best story-driven MMOs of all time. That's all well and good, but as someone who has played through KOTOR and KOTOR II, I felt that SWTOR paled in comparison. It was hardly the SWTOR 3,4,5,6,7,- that they claimed it to be. If an MMO that cost hundreds of millions (not to mention developed by Bioware) can't provide me with a better singleplayer experience than a game I played in 2003, why should I be bothered about a personalized story?

    I highly doubt TESO will be a better singleplayer experience than Morrowind, Oblivion or Skyrim when it's released. As it should be. I don't expect it be any other way. My point is, you can't, or perhaps shouldn't focus on both singleplayer and multiplayer when it comes to developing an MMORPG. The time and effort used to create an expansive, personalized, on-rails story could have been used to make the multiplayer aspects and the world itself more compelling. Not to mention the concessions and design choices (and limitations) that have to be made in order to accommodate said story.

    I'm not saying there isn't a place for story in an MMORPG, but not when it takes precedence over the multiplayer/virtual world. You run the risk of having the player feel detatched. Like GeezerGamer said, you can still have a fleshed out world that is rich in lore without the game forcing you through a linear campaign. Again, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people absolutely love the class specific campaigns in SWTOR.

    agreed...

    But I forgot to add the word "Together" Don't shove me in an environment where I am the only one that matters. As this poster said, If he wanted a single player expierience, there are games that specialize in that and will blow MMOs with SP focus away.

    We play MMOs so we aren't alone. I initially had no intention of playing a certain wow clone I was tired of WoW and knew it to be very close in game play. But 2 guys from work bought it so I said "WTH, a bad game with freinds is still better than an awsome game alone"  Unless you can't really game with your freinds in that online game. Go figure.

  • LucioonLucioon Palm Harbor, FLPosts: 814Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GeezerGamer

    A background story is obviously essential, but that's the lore of the game, it tells the histroy and gives you the reason why you are there. After that, we make our own personal story.

    You are correct that Background story is essential, same as the a personal story that flushes out your character from others. I believe GW2 is on the right track to make it feel like my Warrior is different than your Warrior.

    What I believe is needed to bring the story in an MMO forward is not to eliminate Personal Story, but also have an Over Arching Story that everyone participates in, where new Elite Boss mobs appears, each with different name, so that when an General gets destroyed, another takes over, does things differently.

    Is it an Development and coding problem where its easier and cheaper to make the same Boss Mob to respawn instead of creating a new one every time one gets killed? I would believe so, but with the technology of today, I firmly believe that its possible to do so.

    The one thing that I really wanted to see, not sure if anyone agrees, is that if you clear an Dungeon, you have an option to destroy the dungeon, or leave it vacant, and in a few days, someone will repopulate it. You might have merchants, outlaws, another Boss mob, thiefs or it could become an Guild Getaway place that you can furnish, that might repopulate it. It could become another tavern where you can get more lore out of the place.

    I just think having a more evolved world just make it that much more unique and exciting to explore. Have our technology reached a point where this is possible?

    Life is a Maze, so make sure you bring your GPS incase you get lost in it.

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    been playing video games on and off for 20+ years (wait actually 30! wow!) and some of those years its all I did other than work. I have never paid any attention to the lore or story.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • DivonaDivona WellingtonPosts: 175Member

    I very much prefer personal story created by myself based on what I do in game rather than have it pen up by developer, and being hand holding me through to save the world from the burning fire, being the one hero, just like every other thousands players in the game.

    I see MMORPG to be different than other genre where the story is about lore and the history of the game world, where it will continue moving forward when I'm offline. World events are one off, and if I miss it, then I will be read about it or hear the story about the events from other players who participated in.

    Having static personal story disrupted the feel of the virtual world, but instead turn it into a game where there is the end point to reach.

    EVE Online does a pretty good job at create the on going world story based on the players action, and put them together into timeline. Even though, the main quests are static, but that is optional.

    Simply say, I prefer to play MMORPG because of the community and ongoing of the living virtual world than have my character become God and save the world from danger with the epic loots, until the next expansion come out so I can save the world once again, and again, and again.

  • LucioonLucioon Palm Harbor, FLPosts: 814Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Divona

    I very much prefer personal story created by myself based on what I do in game rather than have it pen up by developer, and being hand holding me through to save the world from the burning fire, being the one hero, just like every other thousands players in the game.

    I see MMORPG to be different than other genre where the story is about lore and the history of the game world, where it will continue moving forward when I'm offline. World events are one off, and if I miss it, then I will be read about it or hear the story about the events from other players who participated in.

    Having static personal story disrupted the feel of the virtual world, but instead turn it into a game where there is the end point to reach.

    EVE Online does a pretty good job at create the on going world story based on the players action, and put them together into timeline. Even though, the main quests are static, but that is optional.

    Simply say, I prefer to play MMORPG because of the community and ongoing of the living virtual world than have my character become God and save the world from danger with the epic loots, until the next expansion come out so I can save the world once again, and again, and again.

    I believe that will be the new evolution to Story telling in MMO's.

    Where we would celebrate an Player character's triumph in defeating an General from the legions of hell, and the game itself made it an Holiday of Player X  or Guild X day

    When we have a world of Mystery and Wonders and treasures to find, a guild beating some Boss Mob shouldn't anger the players because that boss mob no longer exists in the world.

    Where there is an Conspiracy within Conspiracy within Conspiracy. Will it become too complicated or will it make the world more alive?

     

    Life is a Maze, so make sure you bring your GPS incase you get lost in it.

  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon

    i think the only "personal story" mmorpg should have is a name player (character) make for himself among other players ("big asshole", "best armor crafter", "the guy who led raid on ....."

  • Dahkot72Dahkot72 Pelham, ALPosts: 261Member

    I personally hate the trend in cut scenes (TOR/TSW/even TERA has minor ones albeit much less intrusive and often) and voice acting and single player in mmorpg's.

    I play mmorpg's to play in a virtual world , not a half single player game half pseudo multiplayer game.

    If I want to play a single player game with cutscene and constantly putting me in instances that have nothing to do with the environment then I'd buy that instead.

    Lore for the game world I'm all for , make it interesting for many (and even that I really don't rank in the top of importance to work on for devs).

     

    Combat-huge world-variety in mobs-mechanics working smoothly-constantly adding new areas etc etc should be what $$ should be spent on

    Personally I'm hoping TOR goes down hard , and TSW with it (great environment/quests , worst combat and animations I've seen in years) and the next round of mmorpg get back to EQ/DAOC/SWG/Vanilla WoW etc ,

    Where the budget is spent on gameplay , not watching mini movies in game of your character rendered in a cutscene.

  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member
    Originally posted by Divona

    I very much prefer personal story created by myself based on what I do in game rather than have it pen up by developer, and being hand holding me through to save the world from the burning fire, being the one hero, just like every other thousands players in the game.

    I see MMORPG to be different than other genre where the story is about lore and the history of the game world, where it will continue moving forward when I'm offline. World events are one off, and if I miss it, then I will be read about it or hear the story about the events from other players who participated in.

    Having static personal story disrupted the feel of the virtual world, but instead turn it into a game where there is the end point to reach.

    EVE Online does a pretty good job at create the on going world story based on the players action, and put them together into timeline. Even though, the main quests are static, but that is optional.

    Simply say, I prefer to play MMORPG because of the community and ongoing of the living virtual world than have my character become God and save the world from danger with the epic loots, until the next expansion come out so I can save the world once again, and again, and again.

    I agree with that. All I care is a world and his "lore". Just give me huge explorable world with lot's of dungeons and random things happening. Like event's that makes players to join and go defend a city from mobs or some bigg boss or something. :)

  • WellzyCWellzyC Stillwater, MNPosts: 557Member Uncommon

     

    Read my Signature....

     

     

    But with gw2  the personal story is optional and scales. I like the that A LOT!!  if no one is on in my guild.. i can go enjoy the storyline. If i want to ignore it, i can.

     

    Soloing should be a side feature, not the core of the game. thats what is ruining mmos. Too much focus on solo crap and linear story. Thats not what made mmos popular.

     

    Grouping and community come first. Solo content .. 2nd.

    The way mmo's were: Community, Exploration, Character Development, Conquest.

    The way mmo's are now : Cut-Scenes,Cut-Scenes, solo Questing, Cut-Scenes...


    www.CeaselessGuild.com

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    Yeah I think your story should be what you do with other players in the game. The narrative of your actions within the world has primacy, everything else should be designed only to augment.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member

    I generally feel MMO's and stories do not merge well together. Stories are fundamentaly incompatible with worlds. Worlds thrive more on lore.

    A world could have a history (i.e., the lore), but what happens in it at the present time is the players' actions. And they follow the various laws set up by the world (and, in turn, the lore). But to have a story within the world always felt weird to me. Killing the guy who everyone else has already killed just seems strange. What you are doing is very irrelevant in that case, so why do it at all?

    This isn't to say that the world should just be players. I'm a stronger believer in NPC interaction, because there are not going to be enough players to make the world function or fill various filler roles like workers and police and traders and what not, that's what you need NPC's for, fill the world up. Unfortuantely, this often requires Skyrim or Gothic-level AI, or you end up with a lot of staticness.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 952Member Uncommon

    TLDR; Content cost developers time and money, when the number of players that can use or experience the content is limited the cost of the content increases. By making the content repeatable and experienceable by all the return on investment is maximized. Content that is used once or not often is seen as a waste of investment. Every Branch in story is looked at as a loss in investment.


    Time and time again I read threads that say, "What I am looking for in an MMORPG is a Single Player Game." There are people who want mmo's to utilize single use quest and events. If a server has over it's lifetime of say 5 years 3,000 players only 1 player will get to accomplish that quest.


    Imagine that a Fantasy game, where a Evil Overlord (EOL) resides in a massive keep guarded by hundreds of minions both beast and humanoid. The quest has multiple starting NPCs because several NPCs in the world know of this threat and all want it eliminated. There is the veteran in the Tavern who was part of a previous attempt on the keep, he tells a Warrior Player Character about the EOL. The Warrior quickly shares the quest with 5 Guild mates and off they go. An Old Rogue in the Theives Guild offers to sell what he knows about EOL to a Young Shadow Walker Player Character. And so begins the quest of the Stealth class.


    Lets say when the quest goes live at 11 A.M. EST, 65 of the 88 players logged in out of the 1,237 players who have characters on the server on this date get and decide to do the quest. In small groups they make their way to the Keep of the EOL. This is an Open World game, with no instances. As all 65 players approach the Keep, the game realizing they are all on the same quest in the quest / Keep area auto invites them to a single massive raid group. The group is not forced because you have to accept to join it. Let's assume that a 54 player raid forms and 11 players go it solo.


    As the peloton progress into the Keep, doors are closed, and bridges are burned. This cuts off anyone who revives back at the start of the Keep. No one is watching the backs of the solo players and 5 revive and are cut off from the quest. The raid losses 3 players this way before it learns to wait on Rez's after the fight dies down. Now a document is found it explains that the way is split into three paths, A, B, & C. Each path ends in a lock that will open the door for the next path but close the door for the current path. So A opens B but closes off A and Trapping those sent into A.


    This game has a class with an ability to summon other players at the cost of a token. But the raid only has 2 players of this class and only 7 tokens. It is decided that the raid will divide into three groups, the C group will have the two summoners and they will summon the 7 agreed upon members from the other two groups at the final door. The 6 solo players stick to group C want to move forward on their own. Group A opens path B and closes path A. Group B opens path C and closes path B. Group C closed path C and opens the final path. Surprisedly this door opens to Group A. The summoners and solo players are cut off from continuing and the remaining must fast travel to their last bind point.


    The 17 player characters in group A move forward into the keep. The group now has 5 Healers down from the 17 that started. The rest of the raid is made up of 3 Tank spec's and 9 DPS spec'ed. Long story short, the remaining players defeated the EOL boss who drops a Tank chest piece, All 17 players get the achievement for defeating the EOL. But now the EOL is gone from the world, and the three paths are closed for ever. The first 10 levels of the keep are still open and repeatable. The remains of the original elite minion forces still remain, but now have lower stats and drop lesser quality gear.


    The result is a permanent effect on the game world but only a fraction of the games total and eventual population ever gets to experience the content. The return on investment for the development of the content is very low. Maybe 5 players are ever repeatedly there for the new content to experience or achieve the content. Everyone else gets nothing or gets to experience the lesser repeatable content. The game gets the reputation of being a niche game, if you don't take time off from work or school to get the content when it goes live you will lose out on it.


    Maybe these problems could be fixed by making it a yearly one week event with the return of the EOL or his next incarnation.
     

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Irus

    I generally feel MMO's and stories do not merge well together. Stories are fundamentaly incompatible with worlds. Worlds thrive more on lore.

    Then the solution is simple. Get rid of the world. Most players like solo-ing or small group anyway. You can easily do instanced stories.

    Many MMOs are like that already.

  • AticusWellesAticusWelles Beverly hills, CAPosts: 152Member
    An MMORPG without a persistant virtual world is reduced to a online co-op RPG/dungeon crawler.

    That genre already exists, no reason to bastardize the MMORPG to do something that's already being done.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by AticusWelles
    An MMORPG without a persistant virtual world is reduced to a online co-op RPG/dungeon crawler.

    That genre already exists, no reason to bastardize the MMORPG to do something that's already being done.

    And MMO is going in that direction anyway with solo-friendly gameplay, phasing, instances, LFD/LFR tools.

    There is actually a good reason to go that direction. People like it. They want this kind of co-op RPG gameplay with AH type trading.

    You can call this whatever you want, but that is where i see the genre is going. Not unlike the old "graphical adventure games" become today's "action adventure" games.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Then the solution is simple. Get rid of the world. Most players like solo-ing or small group anyway. You can easily do instanced stories.

    The world is the entire point though.  Story is just a placeholder for not having a working simulation.

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Then the solution is simple. Get rid of the world. Most players like solo-ing or small group anyway. You can easily do instanced stories.

    Many MMOs are like that already.

    Well, yes, you can do one or the other.

    You can concentrate on the world, and remove all the instancing.

    Or you can concentrate on the lobby, and remove the world.

    Most MMO's basically mix the two together, usually with the world as an afterthought. Although I prefer the world.

    "players like soloing or small group anyway" - these players prefer the world. I'm not sure what your point is. I personally didn't like GW1 at all.

    Instances are, in fact, designed for the guilders, mass-groupers where you need 40 people to get anything done. The soloers are who play in the world.

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    And MMO is going in that direction anyway with solo-friendly gameplay, phasing, instances, LFD/LFR tools.

    You're not making any sense.

    Soloers don't care for instances... lol

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