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Story in mmorpgs

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

    In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

    I absolutely agree with you on this one.  If Bioware had done this at release (along with cutting out about 90% of the filler content) people would have gone nuts over SWTOR.   TSW is another game that would have been amazing as a single-player game with optional multiplayer.  The lure of subscription revenue has led publishers to a lot of bad decisions in recent years.

     

    I agree. These two games will be better .. not as MMOs. May be bioware will learn, if they are not sunk by this. I played TOR a little .. the biggest problem is two:

    - filler .. as you have pointed out .. it is frustrating to have to spend time on uninteresting stuff before i can get to the good story parts.

    - combat .. i dont understand why they have to follow the MMO convention of tab-targetting combat. That is just not Sith like .. i want to kill a bunch of warriors .. not 3 workers standing in an ancient ruin :(

     

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Onomas

    Problem is humans are less intelligent these days

    *stops reading*

    image

    Its not going to be worth reading with a premise like that.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Reklaw
     

    While I do enjoy them to a certain extend. I am still not sure why story should be placed in a MMORPG. Story atleast with current tech can not and will not mimick how story is done in a singleplayer game. If it's done that way then the MMORPG already turns more into a singleplayer game with co-op options, looking at you SWtOr even though you have me enjoying you, your definitly not on a MMORPG lvl I would have wished you where.

    That is the point. Do a SP game with co-op options. Then put end-game raids & pvp and you have a MMO.

    Why do that? Because you can reuse the class mechanics and get essentially two games (a SP leveling co-op game, and a raid/pvp endgame) out of one.

    In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

    Agree, because it feels like that for me said. They could have put more depth into it's story as that's normal practice in singleplayer games and even make the world more alive due to not having to worry about thousands of people running around on the same server. As a singleplayer co-op game and perhaps even half if not more then half the budget, they could have done so much more to and for the game.

     

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    A good story makes me care for the chars I'm playing / playing with.

    Other than SWTOR, I haven't had an MMO that gave me that.

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

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon

    Honestly, I have 0 interest in story with an mmorpg. If I have the option to skip over it, I do. If I don't, I afk til it's over or I just won't play that mmo. If I want to know what's happening with the lore in an mmorpg (which I never do), I could ask my husband, as he loves the lore in mmo's.

    I'm more interested in logging into an mmo, chatting with friends, family, and guildies, while we go adventuring.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    A good story makes you care, makes you invested, and entertains.

    This. the only reason I want to go back to WoW right now, is to see whats going on in the new awesome story that WoW has.

    Rift doesnt give me that kind of attachment to the lore. thats a problem. But SWTOR and GW2 do storytelling wrong. thats why attachment is never met. They need to learn how good story telling works in video games by looking at not just what single player games did, but how they did what they did to gain a fanbase.

    image

  • RossbossRossboss Runes of Magic, TXPosts: 240Member
    Yeah, it's really in the lore where games draw you in. Nobody likes getting to the one page in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book that gives you only one option of where to go next. Set stories are the ones where people beat the game and leave. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure is when people come back to see all of the endings.

    I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
    I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
    I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member
    Originally posted by Reklaw

    Unless story is really capable of effecting the ingame world to see for everyone in that ingame world, till that time I really see no us for story other then to be lore for those who like games to tell them what to do. Sorry I already play that in other genre's.

    So for me the only element that would make story fit in a MMORPG is when it effects the full ingame world and not just for you in your instance, and the next person to takes the quest/mission.

    I tend to think along these lines, as well. I have to admit that while I play and enjoy themepark games, I also love sandbox freedoms. So if I understand this correctly, the world is a story and you the player have freedom to do what you want within that context. For example, the world is going through a major upheaval (like World War 2) and you find yourself at the start of the game as a refugee in country X.

     

    What do you do? Do you join the partisans and fight against the invaders? Do you become a black marketeer and profit off of peoples needs by price gouging? Or are you simply supplying things to people that they would otherwise be unable to get? You have the chance to create your own story here. 

     

    There are so many possibilities -- you are a gunrunner getting weapons for gangsters or are you supplying weapons to freedom fighters? Which is it? How do you see  yourself? How do other players see and react to you?

     

    You are making you own story at a more "human" level. To me that is more engaging. While you are doing your thing, larger forces are in motion. Armies are marching, politicians are cunning, dictators are dictating, etc. Of course, it wouldn't have to be World War 2, specifically for a sandbox. But it could be a major event/historical process/meta-story affecting the full ingame world and you create your own story within that context.

     

    I think LOTRO is a themepark game that is doing this in their own way. Games could be made from this themepark end of the spectrum or opened up into a more sandbox direction kind like the World War 2 idea I gave as an example.

     

    Basically, I'm not a fan of "canned stories" in an mmorpg. I don't like cut scenes in mmorpgs. I DON'T want to be the savior of the galaxy. Yes, I used all caps. I rarely do, but in that case, I stand by my decision. 

     

    I believe cutscenes are not "showing," though we are literally watching them. They are "telling" you a story, but not letting you have the freedom to make your own story. That makes the player an empty vessel to receive the story handed down by the developer. I believe that is more suitable to other genres than mmorpgs. As others have mentioned, there's nothing wrong with co-op games. 

     

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

    Agree, because it feels like that for me said. They could have put more depth into it's story as that's normal practice in singleplayer games and even make the world more alive due to not having to worry about thousands of people running around on the same server. As a singleplayer co-op game and perhaps even half if not more then half the budget, they could have done so much more to and for the game.

     

    The ironic thing is that bioware already knows how to make good SP games well.

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

    Developer stories in mmorpgs is like a roll of toilet paper, you keep pulling away at it until it finishes, then toss it out for a new one.

    They can not ever make enough content to keep up with the player base, and it starts to become a single ply roll of tp, if you know what i mean.

     

    image

  • WarmakerWarmaker San Diego, CAPosts: 2,231Member
    A good story provides a nice backdrop.  But for me with MMORPGs, it's all about "What can I do in that game?  What can I do in that world?"  Not much?  Then I move on.

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • ValentinaValentina Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,675Member Uncommon
    story is very important in a MMORPG, in a game that isn't focused on that sort of thing then no...But anything labeled MMORPG should have a very strong story element not only in the environments, and things that show the lore, but also in narrative. It makes you care, for all it's shortcomings...I cared more about my characters and was more invested then I have ever been in an MMO with SWTOR. GW2 gave a similar sense even if their storytelling wasn't as good, I still feel more connected than I ever have in any other MMO's I've ever played in my life. There's something to the storytelling thing, but it can't be all that drives the game, the game needs to become something more than stories and quests at some point...You can continue to add new ones of course and I think that would be important, but the game world itself has to be broad and expansive too.
  • birkenbirken Fort Covinton, NYPosts: 122Member
    Eq was my first love of mmorpg , PLayed awhile then i found Vanguard it the only other game that has the same feel people hate onn it cause it just to hard for them. They are so stuck on the walk u hand to hand games now. Eq2 i tried that game is so bad it not really what it should have been. Vanguard should have been eq2. I t is very sad to see people wanting to play game too raise to max lev not doing any of the content and complain about no content.  Vanguard it would take a year or more to finish all the game has to offer even then u will miss certain  places. There a stoy line but it is open where u make your own path.  I hope people wake up and go back to the old ways, I like to try and get lost and find stuff new or stop and  talk to a fellow playing on the path and chat alittle, Maybe find a waterfall way out in no where and fish for a little while, or maybe attack a mob u cant beat but tell story about it. I camped a mob for 4 hours in Vanguard for it to spawn and had fun talking about it with random people that walked bye. I hope and have faith people will see the light and enjoy the game to the fullest and not what the end is.
  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member
    Originally posted by birken
    Eq was my first love of mmorpg , PLayed awhile then i found Vanguard it the only other game that has the same feel people hate onn it cause it just to hard for them. They are so stuck on the walk u hand to hand games now. Eq2 i tried that game is so bad it not really what it should have been. Vanguard should have been eq2. I t is very sad to see people wanting to play game too raise to max lev not doing any of the content and complain about no content.  Vanguard it would take a year or more to finish all the game has to offer even then u will miss certain  places. There a stoy line but it is open where u make your own path.  I hope people wake up and go back to the old ways, I like to try and get lost and find stuff new or stop and  talk to a fellow playing on the path and chat alittle, Maybe find a waterfall way out in no where and fish for a little while, or maybe attack a mob u cant beat but tell story about it. I camped a mob for 4 hours in Vanguard for it to spawn and had fun talking about it with random people that walked bye. I hope and have faith people will see the light and enjoy the game to the fullest and not what the end is.

    I started playing VG about a week ago and I've been having a lot of fun. Yesterday, I was riding a long distance to go find someone in a city I hadn't been to yet (another way they tell story in VG). For example, some NPC will say "I heard there is someone named __ in __ who is looking for __." So you go out to the place you haven't been before. It's not just another quest hub. When you get there, you have to find this person. Then they might request something from you and you might need to find some other people and get some other stuff. I think that's a cool way to bring story and exploration together.

     

    For example, on that ride I started with, I was going along the bank of a waterway and I met this Djinni who was shackled on the shoreline in the middle of nowhere. He needed my help to free him from the spirit captors guarding his bottle at the bottom of the river. After I helped him he gave me some coin and a strange orb (quest item) that I haven't figured out what do with yet. I like little suprises and mysteries like that when I'm out exploring. And I've only just scratched the surface of the area near where I started. The world is pretty big.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon

    The problem is in the method of telling the story.  

    In a tabletop game, you are given certain situations, but the players determine how the story will play out based on their actions.  In many, many computer games (including single player games) the authors have created The One True Story that players must decide to participate in, or not.  Basically, the only decision we are making is whether or not to follow the script.  

    But real storytelling was done well in games like Myst, where the story is present, but hidden, waiting to be discovered.   We can figure out a clue here, and then go over to the other world and find another piece, until finally the entire puzzle is assembled.  

    Too often, we get a huge dose of cut scene or a wall of text explaining to us what the story is (a chunk of exposition, which any writing instructor will tell you is bad form -- show, don't tell).  Thus, the feeling of being "on rails."  We need more stories waiting to be uncovered in bits and pieces and then acted upon with our own free will.  We need to be dropped into the story, discover what is going on, then act upon it.

  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member
    Originally posted by Ortwig

     We need more stories waiting to be uncovered in bits and pieces and then acted upon with our own free will.  We need to be dropped into the story, discover what is going on, then act upon it.

    I agree with this completely. 

     

    Of course, this may just apply to certain subsets of players (including me). However, a lot of people still love the cut scenes and all that goes with it. I like those, too. Just not in my mmorpg.

     

     

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE
    Originally posted by Ortwig

     We need more stories waiting to be uncovered in bits and pieces and then acted upon with our own free will.  We need to be dropped into the story, discover what is going on, then act upon it.

    I agree with this completely. 

    Of course, this may just apply to certain subsets of players (including me). However, a lot of people still love the cut scenes and all that goes with it. I like those, too. Just not in my mmorpg.

    I actually don't even mind a cutscene or a bit of text here or there either -- it's all in how it is presented.  Heck, even Myst had little cut scenes with the two brothers when you figured out how to read the books they were trapped in.  But those were still just pieces of the story, not the whole deal.  If devs can think of the cut scene or text as one piece of the puzzle, then it's all good -- just don't make it an all-encompassing Expository with a simple yes/no decision.

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLPosts: 867Member Uncommon
    I guess it depends on what you are saying yes/no to.  We often make yes/no decisions in real life, although these decisions are often related to many other things.  Should I take that new job that pays more but is a longer commute?  Do I tell my close relative about a new project I am involved in?  Often times one has to make a host of these yes/no decisions in rapid succession that creates a cascading effect, but it's often really simpler than it appears.

    "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

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Phaserlight
    I guess it depends on what you are saying yes/no to.  We often make yes/no decisions in real life, although these decisions are often related to many other things.  Should I take that new job that pays more but is a longer commute?  Do I tell my close relative about a new project I am involved in?  Often times one has to make a host of these yes/no decisions in rapid succession that creates a cascading effect, but it's often really simpler than it appears.

    A yes/no decision that is not a simple "proceed with the script" decision then, with no other story possibilities than that.  I think we think of stories too easily as these linear, monolithic, binary proceed/do-not-proceed things, when they should, at least in an RPG environment, be situations that can be discovered and tackled in whichever way you see fit.  There are a million ways to rescue the princess once you figure out that the princess needs rescuing.  

    Take a long hard look at Myst to see how a story can be fragmented into pieces, with the players putting 2 and 2 together to figure out how to proceed.  There IS a story, but there is no One True Way to proceed.

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLPosts: 867Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ortwig
    Originally posted by Phaserlight
    I guess it depends on what you are saying yes/no to.  We often make yes/no decisions in real life, although these decisions are often related to many other things.  Should I take that new job that pays more but is a longer commute?  Do I tell my close relative about a new project I am involved in?  Often times one has to make a host of these yes/no decisions in rapid succession that creates a cascading effect, but it's often really simpler than it appears.

    A yes/no decision that is not a simple "proceed with the script" decision then, with no other story possibilities than that.  I think we think of stories too easily as these linear, monolithic, binary proceed/do-not-proceed things, when they should, at least in an RPG environment, be situations that can be discovered and tackled in whichever way you see fit.  There are a million ways to rescue the princess once you figure out that the princess needs rescuing.  

    Take a long hard look at Myst to see how a story can be fragmented into pieces, with the players putting 2 and 2 together to figure out how to proceed.  There IS a story, but there is no One True Way to proceed.

    I agree.  I also played through Myst, and really enjoyed 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

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

     We need more stories waiting to be uncovered in bits and pieces and then acted upon with our own free will.  We need to be dropped into the story, discover what is going on, then act upon it.

    I agree with this completely. 

     

    Of course, this may just apply to certain subsets of players (including me). However, a lot of people still love the cut scenes and all that goes with it. I like those, too. Just not in my mmorpg.

     

     

    Just don't view MMOs as a special genre and you will be fine. If a cutscene is good, and move the story along, i don't care less if it is a SP game, or a MMO .. it is still a good cut scene.

     

  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member

    Okay, then, I won't be stubborn. You guys persuaded me that cut scenes are okay in mmorpgs. I just don't want them to be the backbone of a story rail that I must follow. 

     

  • FelixMajorFelixMajor London, ONPosts: 576Member
    Originally posted by PWN_FACE
    Originally posted by Ortwig

     We need more stories waiting to be uncovered in bits and pieces and then acted upon with our own free will.  We need to be dropped into the story, discover what is going on, then act upon it.

    I agree with this completely. 

     

    Of course, this may just apply to certain subsets of players (including me). However, a lot of people still love the cut scenes and all that goes with it. I like those, too. Just not in my mmorpg.

     

     

    I agree 100%.  Storytelling is an art in itself and it needs to be revived.

    Originally posted by Arskaaa
    "when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon

    I guess I'm wondering when we started believing that the quest-errand became the best way of telling a story in an MMO.  Why can't the stor(ies) be imbued in the world without all the markers and pointers?  Every person or object in the world could possibly lead to something interesting, and better, it can be completely non-linear.  Simply bake the story into ALL the NPCs and objects and let us come across them serendipitously.  If I have to talk to all the locals to see what's going on, then I can make my own decision about what to do, without any packaged "quest."  Maybe if I put 2+2 together and figure something out, then do it, I can be rewarded with something for acting intelligently.  

    Hell, what if NPCs were unreliable and occasionally told me fibs in order to get what they want?  What if I could get back at them in some other way once I know what the real story is -- there's a lot more room for interesting and DIFFERENT ways of playing these things out.

  • drivendawndrivendawn montgomery, ALPosts: 1,242Member Uncommon
    I played FFXI for 6 years and while always having to be in a party and 24 hour NM spawns could be a pain, I loved it. The lore was good and I'm glad it was there but the mission baced story lines are what was awsome. The in game cutscenes while simple and not voice acted were very good. I played DnD when I was younger, made some decent stories however me nor my friends ever had bad ass story telling skills like R.A. Salvatore or Robert Jordan. I am not saying XI's were as good but alot closer than ours. So yes if done right I love story in an mmorpg.
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