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Story Deserves More Credit

stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member

Observing the forums, It seems as if many of us are locked in a state of constant vacillation when searching for that perfect MMO. Yet, while there probably never was and never will be a game with the exact features we each desire, we often times are capable of settling. Considering such, I do believe that when searching for new games to play, we need to value a game's setting, its lore, its backstory far more. Quite evidently, a list of features is most useful in determining what kind of gameplay one may expect. However, my opinion is that none of it really matters if the game world, its characters, the conflicts, the stories are all dull and lackluster. I see many criticizing MMO's for focusing on story-related aspects, yet I honestly think these are greatly responsible for giving life to a game world.

There are currently quite a few MMO's labeled where developers simply do not put much effort into creating a rich game world, story-wise, placing all responsibility on the players instead. I do believe this is not the correct approach. In order to entice the players, to immerse them within the game world, developers need to first create a world that one may find interest in. That is a key aspect I believe many are forgetting about. I am no advocate for linearity, but story should not be jeopardized simply because a game has greater flexibility in terms of gameplay.

As a final note, I want you all to think of The Elder Scrolls series. I see a lot of players wanting the freedom found in those games to be adopted in MMO's, but I believe what makes the certain lack of restrictions so compelling is that The Elder Scrolls games present us with amazingly detailed, varied, and story-rich worlds.

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stealthbr

    Observing the forums, It seems as if many of us are locked in a state of constant vacillation when searching for that perfect MMO. Yet, while there probably never was and never will be a game with the exact features we each desire, we often times are capable of settling. Considering such, I do believe that when searching for new games to play, we need to value a game's setting, its lore, its backstory far more. Quite evidently, a list of features is most useful in determining what kind of gameplay one may expect. However, my opinion is that none of it really matters if the game world, its characters, the conflicts, the stories are all dull and lackluster. I see many criticizing MMO's for focusing on story-related aspects, yet I honestly think these are greatly responsible for giving life to a game world.

    There are currently quite a few MMO's labeled where developers simply do not put much effort into creating a rich game world, story-wise, placing all responsibility on the players instead. I do believe this is not the correct approach. In order to entice the players, to immerse them within the game world, developers need to first create a world that one may find interest in. That is a key aspect I believe many are forgetting about. I am no advocate for linearity, but story should not be jeopardized simply because a game has greater flexibility in terms of gameplay.

    As a final note, I want you all to think of The Elder Scrolls series. I see a lot of players wanting the freedom found in those games to be adopted in MMO's, but I believe what makes the certain lack of restrictions so compelling is that The Elder Scrolls games present us with amazingly detailed, varied, and story-rich worlds.

    UO worked well for many other people because there was history to draw from and an evolving game world to live in, but neither channeled nor scripted their story. For example, Star Wars is a rich background to draw from. SWG offers the background and lets players build their story. SWTOR is a linear experience built on that, restricting player story.

    For many here, the dev's post-release story is meaningless. Until such a time that the dev's story has any bearing on players - dynamic world, live events, branching story lines - the dev's story will always be meaningless to them. It is either irrelevant to their gameplay or restricts it.

    I don't think the posters here are forgetting anything. I think what they are looking for in an MMO either doesn't currently exist in a modern MMO or exists in ones they simply aren't too keen about for one reason ro another.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • 3-4thElf3-4thElf Elftown, MEPosts: 489Member

    Stories are good.

    They're even better when they're unique per player. MMORPGs should be more open and less scripted.

    The 'on rails' trend for the last decade has been dull, and it's time for it to die.

    a yo ho ho

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stealthbr

    Observing the forums, It seems as if many of us are locked in a state of constant vacillation when searching for that perfect MMO. Yet, while there probably never was and never will be a game with the exact features we each desire, we often times are capable of settling. Considering such, I do believe that when searching for new games to play, we need to value a game's setting, its lore, its backstory far more. Quite evidently, a list of features is most useful in determining what kind of gameplay one may expect. However, my opinion is that none of it really matters if the game world, its characters, the conflicts, the stories are all dull and lackluster. I see many criticizing MMO's for focusing on story-related aspects, yet I honestly think these are greatly responsible for giving life to a game world.

    There are currently quite a few MMO's labeled where developers simply do not put much effort into creating a rich game world, story-wise, placing all responsibility on the players instead. I do believe this is not the correct approach. In order to entice the players, to immerse them within the game world, developers need to first create a world that one may find interest in. That is a key aspect I believe many are forgetting about. I am no advocate for linearity, but story should not be jeopardized simply because a game has greater flexibility in terms of gameplay.

    As a final note, I want you all to think of The Elder Scrolls series. I see a lot of players wanting the freedom found in those games to be adopted in MMO's, but I believe what makes the certain lack of restrictions so compelling is that The Elder Scrolls games present us with amazingly detailed, varied, and story-rich worlds.

    i disagree with you.  what i like about ES is that i can create my own story.  i think recent mmo's are too focused on story.  i'll take a world and the tools needed to create my own epic story over being force-fed lore and story created by the game devs anyday.  less emphasis on story and more on the freedom to create my own is what i would rather see.

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    More gameplay, more features, larger world, player created story line, pretty simple. Problem is people stopped being creative and want it handed to them. The devs make that happen but can only get their story so far, because their creative skills lack. Then you wait around months for an update or expansion and have it beat within 3 days because its so god aweful easy. This is what is hurting the industry. Large world, story line, doesnt matter. Players in general have changed and thats whats hurting.

    How can you have a true story when your mmo only has 3 cities? How can you have a story if you never explored your world? How can you ahve a story if you never took aprt in its features because there arent any? Sitting up with my grandfather and hearing stories of WW2 and the Korean conflict, those are stories. He didnt sit there and tell me he took 3 steps entered a dungeon, killed it in 3 minutes, and took 3 more steps forward to another dugeon<---------todays mmo's.

    You need all aspects of a mmorpg to make a story, even if you dont use them, its better to have and not need than not to have and need.

    Today's mmos are jsut so easy, so relaxing, no brain thought is required, crafting and business aspect is gone, no social hubs, grouping not required..............and people wonder why their mmo's suck? You took all that made a mmo a mmo, and turned it into a console rpg lol. Even console rpg's offer more content than modern age mmorpg's, how sad is that?

     

  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member
    I don't believe the extreme approach games are taking when dealing with story is the correct one. I am not a fan of the linearity found in an entirely scripted experience like what SWTOR offers, but neither am I fond of the lack of context, the lack of interesting NPC's, the lack of real conflicts, the lack of rich dialogue found in many sandboxes. I believe games should strive for a balance, allow the player to forge his own path, but present to him a world filled with compelling characteristics.
  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stealthbr
    I don't believe the extreme approach games are taking when dealing with story is the correct one. I am not a fan of the linearity found in an entirely scripted experience like what SWTOR offers, but neither am I fond of the lack of context, the lack of interesting NPC's, the lack of real conflicts, the lack of rich dialogue found in many sandboxes. I believe games should strive for a balance, allow the player to forge his own path, but present to him a world filled with compelling characteristics.

    i think the developers creating story can't deliver that.  it leads to instancing and phasing.  it takes away from a players ability to create their own story.  becuase every player will have the same story.  if i want a game that has a story i will play a single player game.  i don't want a linear story in my mmo's.  give me a vague premise as to why my character exists and why he is in the world,  then give me the tools to figure out the details and i will be happy. 

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon

    Stories are great. I actually enjoy story heavy MMO like SWTOR more than any MMO before. The problem with MMOs heavy with stories though is that when you hit max level - the story ends and leaves you... well missing it a lot... you want more.. more... more. So the problem is content. There will be never enough story to satisfy all players... and when the story ends... we all know how it goes.  There has to be additional stuff to do in between content updates for story based MMOs to succeed.

     

     

     

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sevenstar61

    Stories are great. I actually enjoy story heavy MMO like SWTOR more than any MMO before. The problem with MMOs heavy with stories though is that when you hit max level - the story ends and leaves you... well missing it a lot... you want more.. more... more. So the problem is content. There will be never enough story to satisfy all players... and when the story ends... we all know how it goes.  There has to be additional stuff to do in between content updates for story based MMOs to succeed.

     

     

     

    Thats why i like large......huge worlds with all kinds of features (sandbox), so i can make my own story and take my time doing so. Story is great, but whats better............someone telling you how your story starts and ends, or you making your own path and changing it up as you see fit?

    Problem is our gamers lost their creativity because they have been hand fed for so long. Time to put creativity back into the equation.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Originally posted by 3-4thElf

    Stories are good.

    They're even better when they're unique per player. MMORPGs should be more open and less scripted.

    The 'on rails' trend for the last decade has been dull, and it's time for it to die.

    image

  • Neo_LibertyNeo_Liberty Lufkin, TXPosts: 429Member Uncommon

    It sounds like to me.. that everyone who is against story lines are just saying.. i wanna do what I want to do.. Storylines don't necessarily have to detract from that ability... why does it matter if everyone has the same story if you are not forced to do it... especially for the ppl who say they don't want a dev created story.. .just don't do the quests.. and let the ppl who want to do the quests do them.. No one forces you to partake in questing..

     

    If a sandbox has everything you want in it.. plus a great storyline.. there is no reason why everyone shouldn't be happy... It sounds like a lot of ppl here have that exclusive mindset.. " I don't want you to do something different from me or what i like. I'm playing this game too and it must cater exclusively to me."

    image
  • ragz45ragz45 rochester hills, MIPosts: 686Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stealthbr
    I don't believe the extreme approach games are taking when dealing with story is the correct one. I am not a fan of the linearity found in an entirely scripted experience like what SWTOR offers, but neither am I fond of the lack of context, the lack of interesting NPC's, the lack of real conflicts, the lack of rich dialogue found in many sandboxes. I believe games should strive for a balance, allow the player to forge his own path, but present to him a world filled with compelling characteristics.

    Sounds like you needed to play EQ1 or AC.  Only two games I've ever seen that had what your asking for.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Neo_Liberty

    It sounds like to me.. that everyone who is against story lines are just saying.. i wanna do what I want to do.. Storylines don't necessarily have to detract from that ability... why does it matter if everyone has the same story if you are not forced to do it... especially for the ppl who say they don't want a dev created story.. .just don't do the quests.. and let the ppl who want to do the quests do them.. No one forces you to partake in questing..

     "just don't do the quests" seems like an odd suggestion when most story-driven MMORPGs use quests as the primary if not only feasible path of progression. Do you have an example of MMORPGs that are story driven but allow you to create your own story?

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    I love good stories in MMOs, what I hate is dumb questing and endless kill X quests.

    The stories are struggling, look at SWTOR, how often has a desperate soldier found a reason to send us on a genocide quest to kill 25 of X and 10 of Y, and click on 5 objects on the way?

    there is the problem.

    The only MMO which has surpassed this atm is Secret World, and I hope to see similiar intelligently designed missions, puzzles, variety in TESO as well.

    Actually SWTOR had one quest to remember and that was the latest "Get the HK51" quest line. The puzzle elements on the Theoritica were great an tied in great with the story, also the planet spanning hunt/scanning for HK parts was fun.

    So my priority list would be:

    Mission Design > Non linear game play > Story > all the rest

    Secrets of Dragon?s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

    Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
    .


    .
    The Return of ELITE !
    image

  • Neo_LibertyNeo_Liberty Lufkin, TXPosts: 429Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Neo_Liberty

    It sounds like to me.. that everyone who is against story lines are just saying.. i wanna do what I want to do.. Storylines don't necessarily have to detract from that ability... why does it matter if everyone has the same story if you are not forced to do it... especially for the ppl who say they don't want a dev created story.. .just don't do the quests.. and let the ppl who want to do the quests do them.. No one forces you to partake in questing..

     "just don't do the quests" seems like an odd suggestion when most story-driven MMORPGs use quests as the primary if not only feasible path of progression. Do you have an example of MMORPGs that are story driven but allow you to create your own story?

    I wasn't saying that it exists presently.. the statement is a reference to those who say that storylines are bad..

    storylines aren't inherently bad.. being forced to them as the only source of progression is the problem. I agree with the OP. having story and a driving purpose/guide for the game that gives it perspective and logic.. is a must.

    image
  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member
     

    Let me illustrate my point further. Consider we are talking about a sandbox with a large, seamless, and open world here. I do not believe players alone can make an MMO world feel populated and alive indefinitely because of a few reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, most MMO players would probably play the adventurer type, not the average citizen type. Then, there are limits to what a server can handle. There's also the issue with areas becoming obsolete or some areas becoming more rewarding. Finally, players don't usually hang around one place for long periods of time. Eventually we get entire regions filled with ghost towns. That is why I believe it is critical for games of this type to include NPC's so that it feels alive, populated, and real. Yet, to only include NPC's is not enough. For NPC's to actually convince players that they are part of the world, they need to actually do things. This is where story (and a bit of animation) comes in.

    Take a look at Skyrim. Even the bartender has something interesting to say, and when you talk to him, you actually believe he's a real bartender. Story doesn't necessarily have to accompany a quest. You should be able to have a simple conversation with a bartender, maybe learn a bit about his life, get word on a few rumors. In the case of some MMO's, he wouldn't even be there. In others, he would stand at the same spot for all eternity, and interacting with him would only open a vendor window. I believe MMO's need to go further, and just like in a lot of singleplayer games, introduce characters, places, and conflicts that allows the players to form an emotional bond with the game world.

    Also, just adding NPC's in general goes a long way to making an area richer and more immersive. Take a look at the cities in Assassin's Creed. Most NPC's aren't interactable, but they all move around, talk, etc. as if they actually live there.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stealthbr

    Let me illustrate my point further. Consider we are talking about a sandbox with a large, seamless, and open world here. I do not believe players alone can make an MMO world feel populated and alive indefinitely because of a few reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, most MMO players would probably play the adventurer type, not the average citizen type. Then, there are limits to what a server can handle. There's also the issue with areas becoming obsolete or some areas becoming more rewarding. Finally, players don't usually hang around one place for long periods of time. Eventually we get entire regions filled with ghost towns. That is why I believe it is critical for games of this type to include NPC's so that it feels alive, populated, and real. Yet, to only include NPC's is not enough. For NPC's to actually convince players that they are part of the world, they need to actually do things. This is where story (and a bit of animation) comes in.

    Take a look at Skyrim. Even the bartender has something interesting to say, and when you talk to him, you actually believe he's a real bartender. Story doesn't necessarily have to accompany a quest. You should be able to have a simple conversation with a bartender, maybe learn a bit about his life, get word on a few rumors. In the case of some MMO's, he wouldn't even be there. In others, he would stand at the same spot for all eternity, and interacting with him would only open a vendor window. I believe MMO's need to go further, and just like in a lot of singleplayer games, introduce characters, places, and conflicts that allows the players to form an emotional bond with the game world.

    Also, just adding NPC's in general goes a long way to making an area richer and more immersive. Take a look at the cities in Assassin's Creed. Most NPC's aren't interactable, but they all move around, talk, etc. as if they actually live there.

    You'd probably like Asheron's Call.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • stygianapothstygianapoth Oakwood, GAPosts: 183Member Common

    wall o text. please learn to paragraph.

    story doesn't matter, gameplay does.

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    I play games (including MMOs) for the story.

    Give me a really compelling story / char and I'll pay w/e to play it.

    SWTOR is a perfect example where the SW setting with BW writing just sucked me dry for 8 months.

    I don't care if it is MMO or not, story is what holds RPG together for me.

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    But why would you want someone else to write your story? Instead of making your own? It would be rather nice if your Bio for your character would add to itself as you play along. Certain quests, deeds, exploration areas, making of things, and overall journey be added to your bio and thus have a real story to tell and share. Dont get why so many want to be led around and told what to do in a game they pay for :/
  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Originally posted by Onomas
    But why would you want someone else to write your story? Instead of making your own? It would be rather nice if your Bio for your character would add to itself as you play along. Certain quests, deeds, exploration areas, making of things, and overall journey be added to your bio and thus have a real story to tell and share. Dont get why so many want to be led around and told what to do in a game they pay for :/

    So essentially, why read a book when you can write your own?

    Umm.. I dunno, cause I can't write as nearly as good as a professional writer?

    I mean really? You don't get that?  o_O

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    Think you missed the point of my statement. But all is good, not everyone can be creative.

  • Neo_LibertyNeo_Liberty Lufkin, TXPosts: 429Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas
    But why would you want someone else to write your story? Instead of making your own? It would be rather nice if your Bio for your character would add to itself as you play along. Certain quests, deeds, exploration areas, making of things, and overall journey be added to your bio and thus have a real story to tell and share. Dont get why so many want to be led around and told what to do in a game they pay for :/

    because its an actual story and not roleplay.... not everyone has a good imagination.. sure doing the things you suggest are adventures... but I wouldn't call them stories...

    image
  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member
    Originally posted by Onomas
    But why would you want someone else to write your story? Instead of making your own? It would be rather nice if your Bio for your character would add to itself as you play along. Certain quests, deeds, exploration areas, making of things, and overall journey be added to your bio and thus have a real story to tell and share. Dont get why so many want to be led around and told what to do in a game they pay for :/

    I don't know if this is a response to one of my posts, but I'll answer it according to my perspective. It's not that I want someone else to write my character's story, I want developers to write stories for things in the game world. Write a story about the town's blacksmith, write a story about an abandoned castle, write a story about the ongoing war between elves and humans, write a story about a deceased ruler, etc. When you can enter a game world and learn of its origins, its problems, it people you become so much more attached to it, but that does not impede you from forging your own path.

  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    You'd probably like Asheron's Call.

    Never tried it, but those graphics make it quite hard for me to give it a shot lol.

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

     "just don't do the quests" seems like an odd suggestion when most story-driven MMORPGs use quests as the primary if not only feasible path of progression. Do you have an example of MMORPGs that are story driven but allow you to create your own story?

    STO digital foundry.

    Personally i think professional produced stories is 100x more entertaining than user produces stories. 99.9999% of the user produced stuff is crap.

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