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Storyline Has Been Put on The Back Shelf in MMOs

RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon

This is something I've continued to notice as I've played through both MMOs and PC games. MMOs always have seemed to lack something to me, some sort of spark, and I've finally figured it out. The storylines in MMOs usually, well to put it bluntly, suck. After playing through RPG titles for the PC and throughly enjoying their storylines and to go into the world of MMOs and realize that the story that most MMOs tell is terrible it's hard to get myself excited to continue playing (I do it though).

 

I don't understand why gameplay has to sacrifice a great story. I want to be surprised, not be one of those people who know everything that's going to happen in advance. Hopefully as MMOs continue to evolve (or devolve, whatever your perspective is) the story will be given more thought in each game.

Smile

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Comments

  • EnerzealEnerzeal WarringtonPosts: 326Member

    The secret world.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic.

     

    World of Warcraft might have terrible quests, but dig into the lore some, and enjoy its depth, because it is DEEP.

    Screw it why not lets throw LOTRO in there as well! Every bit of that game had pretty decent localized story.

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

    It the other way around, the game has been put on hold for the story. How many features have been obmitted over the years just so someone can be led around for 3 week long story? And its not even a personal story, everyone does the same. I like making my own story in a mmorpg that is well designed.

    Honestly you dont need quests or story to have a good successful mmorpg, if you are creative. I dont need a dev telling me where or when to do something, i can figure it out on my own.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Enerzeal

    The secret world.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic.

     

    World of Warcraft might have terrible quests, but dig into the lore some, and enjoy its depth, because it is DEEP.

    Screw it why not lets throw LOTRO in there as well! Every bit of that game had pretty decent localized story.

    I will agree with TSW and SWTOR (I don't like the games enough to play though, played both for about a month and quit). World of Warcraft and LOTRO though not so much. LOTRO was very predictable to me.

    Smile

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLPosts: 867Member Uncommon

    Hear hear!

    One of the most thoughtful posts I've found on this forum describes the process of storytelling in MMORPGs as ideally taking the shape of "wheels within wheels".  Another very thoughtful post I've read here stated that context was more important than pre-scripted story.  I tend to agree, but I also think story is important (one might say essential).

    As an example of what a backstory ought to be, check out VO's:

    http://www.vendetta-online.com/h/storyline.html

    It is cool, no?  Can you dig it?

    "To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
    Authored 110 missions in Vendetta Online
    Check it out on Steam

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    This is wrong, sandboxes have plenty of story. But normaly you make your own not have your path preplanned.

    Sandboxes have story, lore, quests, and much more. This is a BS statement. I prefer story, just one that i make up as i go along and im a sandbox junkie. So am i calling story filth? Just that you dont need it which is true.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    Actually as one who enjoys both themeparks and sandboxes your statement is false. Sandboxes are capable of having lore and great storylines too. A lot of is player created I admit, but it's still possible.

    Smile

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

    I did like the TSW storyline actualy, but it just went too fast. End game in less than a month :(

     

    I think if a mmo is going to make a story driven game they should go ahead and make their pre-planned story but give options and tools so you can change it, make your own, or have some type of deviation. The problem i have getting into the newer themeparks is the length of time it takes you. Its like beating a console rpg in a week, and then no replay value. We need to expand on this and open it up to allow you to make your path in the world.

    I play themeparks also, just the older ones with more freedom.

  • Raithe-NorRaithe-Nor Moscow, IDPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by Onomas

    This is wrong, sandboxes have plenty of story. But normaly you make your own not have your path preplanned.

    Sandboxes have story, lore, quests, and much more. This is a BS statement. I prefer story, just one that i make up as i go along and im a sandbox junkie. So am i calling story filth? Just that you dont need it which is true.

    Yep.

    The definition of a role-playing game, according to Wikipedia, is collaborative story authoring.  The introduction of developer-created storyline elements was just icing on the cake of player-driven storytelling.

    Even in "modern" MMOs the best stories are created through player interaction, and the developer-coded ones are generically blah.

  • AmjocoAmjoco Layton, UTPosts: 4,781Member Uncommon

    Being an old timer, I think the problem is the players. Every game that I have played recently, has a story and a reason to get you to the end. I think folks are in such a hurry to level cap, they just load up the quests without even reading them and blazing to complete them. 

    Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Amjoco

    Being an old timer, I think the problem is the players. Every game that I have played recently, has a story and a reason to get you to the end. I think folks are in such a hurry to level cap, they just load up the quests without even reading them and blazing to complete them. 

    See I do read the quests but they all usually suck. Always kill an x amount of mobs for a weird reason that really isn't believable and you know it's just making you do it for exp to continue your rise through the levels. My main point being is it has no meaning.

    Smile

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    This is wrong, sandboxes have plenty of story. But normaly you make your own not have your path preplanned.

    Sandboxes have story, lore, quests, and much more. This is a BS statement. I prefer story, just one that i make up as i go along and im a sandbox junkie. So am i calling story filth? Just that you dont need it which is true.

    Really? I have yet to see an even semi decent storyline in a sandbox game. As for creating it yourself, there is a reason why pretty much all of it is fanfic and you guys return to your day jobs.

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Amjoco

    Being an old timer, I think the problem is the players. Every game that I have played recently, has a story and a reason to get you to the end. I think folks are in such a hurry to level cap, they just load up the quests without even reading them and blazing to complete them. 

     

    After playing SWTOR I dod not think I can ever play game where I have to read quests... I am completely spoiled by VO.

    But yep, to enjoy a story you got to know why you kill these 10 mobs... SWTOR is one of few MMOs that it actually gives you a reason to do it.

    Edit: Under condition that you don't spacebar through mission LOL

    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

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon

    I'd consider AOC's Tortage as a well done storyline.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    This is wrong, sandboxes have plenty of story. But normaly you make your own not have your path preplanned.

    Sandboxes have story, lore, quests, and much more. This is a BS statement. I prefer story, just one that i make up as i go along and im a sandbox junkie. So am i calling story filth? Just that you dont need it which is true.

    Really? I have yet to see an even semi decent storyline in a sandbox game. As for creating it yourself, there is a reason why pretty much all of it is fanfic and you guys return to your day jobs.

    *Tellings | Lasting an average of 18 months, a Telling is akin to a chapter of a story, or tale, to be more applicable. Normal gameplay takes place during a Telling, with global foregame, midgame, and endgame events and goals created by the players and the game's developers, eGenesis. ATITD is currently on its sixth Telling.

    As one example, need more? Oh and no pvp in that game, another misconception about sandboxes.

    And did you notice the tale/story is generated by the players and the developers? Yeah exactly what i stated earlier. 

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    I'd consider AOC's Tortage as a well done storyline.

    I agree.  I reinstalled Conan a while ago so I could play through Tortage a couple times.  I don't last long after that but the following couple of zones are okay.  I would have loved it if there were pockets of those throughout the world.  The whole game doesn't have to be like that, but those would be fun like a graphic novel.

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    I'd consider AOC's Tortage as a well done storyline.

    I agree.  I reinstalled Conan a while ago so I could play through Tortage a couple times.  I don't last long after that but the following couple of zones are okay.  I would have loved it if there were pockets of those throughout the world.  The whole game doesn't have to be like that, but those would be fun like a graphic novel.

    Tortage was great... the difference in experience later on was shocking though... I did not get over level 25 after this LOL. But I agree about Tortage...

    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

  • Raithe-NorRaithe-Nor Moscow, IDPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    As for creating it yourself, there is a reason why pretty much all of it is fanfic and you guys return to your day jobs.

    So yesterday I was hunting and skinning flying snakes for Q2 greenleaf when an Alfar jumped me from behind.  I spawned a mount quickly and attempted to get away as I didn't really know how many friends he had or how dangerous the confrontation was, quaffing a potion to help restore some of the health lost in the ambush.  He chased me with his bow out, killing my mount, but by this time I realized he was alone and not that good of player.  Despite being at a disadvantage, I returned aggression.  He realized he isn't fighting as easy of a target as he probably intended to ambush, and decided to spawn his mount and fight from it (probably thinking he could escape if things went badly).

    I killed his mount, however, and proceeded to whittle his severely disproportionate (to his player skill) health down.  The mountless one-on-one battle lasted several minutes, with both of us utilizing a significant amount of resources and maxxing out stamina usage.  In the end, as I ran out of stamina, I attempted a final blow to bring him down and took him to a bare sliver of health, but his return blow put me down.

    Unfortuntely for him, our movements during combat had brought us into range of a black dragon, and with his health at a sliver he was one-shot from a ranged attack.  I released, gathered a few items and a new mount from my storage bank, and eventually made my way back to the location of the battle where I enjoyed getting my Q2 greenleaf back as well as the Alfar's pricey and barely-used equipment.

     

    Just an example of a story.  I still remember it, despite having played a hundred MMO quests (stories) since then.  I'm sorry, but there is simply no way to AVOID story creation when you play a sandbox game.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Raithe-Nor
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    As for creating it yourself, there is a reason why pretty much all of it is fanfic and you guys return to your day jobs.

    So yesterday I was hunting and skinning flying snakes for Q2 greenleaf when an Alfar jumped me from behind.  I spawned a mount quickly and attempted to get away as I didn't really know how many friends he had or how dangerous the confrontation was, quaffing a potion to help restore some of the health lost in the ambush.  He chased me with his bow out, killing my mount, but by this time I realized he was alone and not that good of player.  Despite being at a disadvantage, I returned aggression.  He realized he isn't fighting as easy of a target as he probably intended to ambush, and decided to spawn his mount and fight from it (probably thinking he could escape if things went badly).

    I killed his mount, however, and proceeded to whittle his severely disproportionate (to his player skill) health down.  The mountless one-on-one battle lasted several minutes, with both of us utilizing a significant amount of resources and maxxing out stamina usage.  In the end, as I ran out of stamina, I attempted a final blow to bring him down and took him to a bare sliver of health, but his return blow put me down.

    Unfortuntely for him, our movements during combat had brought us into range of a black dragon, and with his health at a sliver he was one-shot from a ranged attack.  I released, gathered a few items and a new mount from my storage bank, and eventually made my way back to the location of the battle where I enjoyed getting my Q2 greenleaf back as well as the Alfar's pricey and barely-used equipment.

     

    Just an example of a story.  I still remember it, despite having played a hundred MMO quests (stories) since then.  I'm sorry, but there is simply no way to AVOID story creation when you play a sandbox game.

    Unless you are not creative or just try to play a sandbox like a themepark ;)

    Other than that, i have had better stories from my older sandbox games than 75% of these newer game stories.

     

    Do think archeage will have both for everyone, quests early on and sandbox for end-game. May work out well for everyone.

  • aleosaleos na, INPosts: 1,863Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Razeekster

    This is something I've continued to notice as I've played through both MMOs and PC games. MMOs always have seemed to lack something to me, some sort of spark, and I've finally figured it out. The storylines in MMOs usually, well to put it bluntly, suck. After playing through RPG titles for the PC and throughly enjoying their storylines and to go into the world of MMOs and realize that the story that most MMOs tell is terrible it's hard to get myself excited to continue playing (I do it though).

     

    I don't understand why gameplay has to sacrifice a great story. I want to be surprised, not be one of those people who know everything that's going to happen in advance. Hopefully as MMOs continue to evolve (or devolve, whatever your perspective is) the story will be given more thought in each game.

    whats a second playthrough like for you?

     

     

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Originally posted by jimdandy26

    OP, prepare to be inundated by the sandbox natives as story is a filthy word tied to themeparks.

     

    Edit: Too late. :(

    This is wrong, sandboxes have plenty of story. But normaly you make your own not have your path preplanned.

    Sandboxes have story, lore, quests, and much more. This is a BS statement. I prefer story, just one that i make up as i go along and im a sandbox junkie. So am i calling story filth? Just that you dont need it which is true.

    Really? I have yet to see an even semi decent storyline in a sandbox game. As for creating it yourself, there is a reason why pretty much all of it is fanfic and you guys return to your day jobs.

    If you are insuating that player storyline sucks than I have to disagree with you 100%. Some of the best stories that I have seen have come from players. A great example is DA (Darkages). Most of the lore is player created and I have a hard time at times getting all caught up on it because the politics and religion is complicated and very well built. And guess what? It's all by players.

    Smile

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member

    I agree with the OP.

    This is happening because everyone is so focused on making sure other details are included in the games. Lets look at GW2. We wanted wpvp. We got realm wpvp, with realm wpvp how can we have storylines that create a puprpose beyond realm pride? It's not like it's orcs vs humans and the story defines the conflict.

    It's quite simply the purpose of realm pvp is for realm pride. So now we get a thread like this one that wants to know what happened to story?

    In the GW2 example humans fighting humans and norn fighting norn and char fighting char, yes it takes away from the story, almost enough for you to step back again and ask....

    WHY ARE WE FIGHTING AGAIN?

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aleos
    Originally posted by Razeekster

    This is something I've continued to notice as I've played through both MMOs and PC games. MMOs always have seemed to lack something to me, some sort of spark, and I've finally figured it out. The storylines in MMOs usually, well to put it bluntly, suck. After playing through RPG titles for the PC and throughly enjoying their storylines and to go into the world of MMOs and realize that the story that most MMOs tell is terrible it's hard to get myself excited to continue playing (I do it though).

     

    I don't understand why gameplay has to sacrifice a great story. I want to be surprised, not be one of those people who know everything that's going to happen in advance. Hopefully as MMOs continue to evolve (or devolve, whatever your perspective is) the story will be given more thought in each game.

    whats a second playthrough like for you?

     

     

    That's why I don't usually have a second playthrough. Usually the first time is bad enough.

    Smile

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,721Member Uncommon

    Agreed, AoC is great, but I'm a Howard fan as well, so biased :)  I think both the main story (all the way to the Onyx chamber) and the world quests (sometimes with references to the books) are awesome - but you have to actually talk with the npc's to fully enjoy that, not just playing the minimap and the quest tracker.

    TSW is the same (not a surprise, Ragnar rocks), great main storyline with well-detailed npc's and really good side-missions.

    To be honest I'm still a bit angry at TOR but the storylines are really good, especially the Sith ones. (light sided SI ftw :) )

    Razeekster "LOTRO was very predictable to me." maybe because it follows the books? :) It still has a decent writing though, and the sideway stories are awesome (like Amarthiel or the Narsil reforging)

    And I don't wanna miss STO from here, it has great Seasons, and there are amazing story archs in the Foundry as well...

     

    So I think if you look by the numbers, maybe you're right, there are truckload of mmo's on the rails without any story or just copy-pasted from a pulp. But luckily there are still some story-heavy games as well, of course a good lore to back them up is a big help...

  • CrynswindCrynswind buenos airesPosts: 290Member

    Lol, who the hell cares about story in an MMO?

     

    Only the people who play MMOs like console games, play for a couple of weeks and then move on.

     

    Linear single player storylines in MMOs are a waste of resources, it's useless for long term retention.

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