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Have Those Who Oppose Story Ever Thought

penandpaperpenandpaper Member UncommonPosts: 174

Just a quick observation (which I admit may not be true).  Perhaps, the elements of a strong story, even one that might be slightly linear, will add to other characteristics of an MMO, enabling it to be a more exciting experience.  Here are three examples:

One, the paths within the story may allow for players to enact their roleplaying side better.  This, in turn, turns the general chat within a game into a possible storytelling scenario.

Two, a story line makes for more compelling combat.  If you have any feeling for your opponent or the NPC he/she just killed, the fight has a tenseness about it, that does not exist from killing yet another orc.

Three, the story line helps shape your character (or the world if that's possible), allowing you to eventually create your own story. 

I realize the argument against story might be grounded in the basis of wanting to create your own - not have a stroy told to you.  But, in the present MMO's, how much of a story are you really creating?  You do not change the world, nor do you form bonds (at least I haven't) with NPC's.  Your influence on other characters, cities, and even little towns is diminutive.  Maybe story, will allow you to have an impact, one in which you feel you are creating or destroying something.  

I guess the question is: how many different paths do you want in order for you to feel that you're creating your own story?  What if I told you there are 250 different outcomes along this story line.  Would that be individualized enough?  What if there were 2,500?  25,000? 

I mean no offense by any of this.  I'm just having a hard time seeing the foundation of an argument like this.  If I'm missing something, please feel free to point it out.  I am willing to listen.

 

Comments

  • VrazuleVrazule Member Posts: 1,095

    The feeling I get from all of the complaints is that power gamers feel threatened by a game that doesn't make them priority number 1.  If they aren't priority number 1, then how could they possibly get the best loot and progression, allowing them to lord it over the peons and noobs.  Power gamers can't even remotely stomach the idea of equality.

    With PvE raiding, it has never been a question of being "good enough". I play games to have fun, not to be a simpering toady sitting through hour after hour of mind numbing boredom and fawning over a guild master in the hopes that he will condescend to reward me with shiny bits of loot. But in games where those people get the highest progression, anyone who doesn't do that will just be a moving target for them and I'll be damned if I'm going to pay money for the privilege. - Neanderthal

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138
    Originally posted by penandpaper


    Just a quick observation (which I admit may not be true).  Perhaps, the elements of a strong story, even one that might be slightly linear, will add to other characteristics of an MMO, enabling it to be a more exciting experience.  Here are three examples:
    One, the paths within the story may allow for players to enact their roleplaying side better.  This, in turn, turns the general chat within a game into a possible storytelling scenario.
    Two, a story line makes for more compelling combat.  If you have any feeling for your opponent or the NPC he/she just killed, the fight has a tenseness about it, that does not exist from killing yet another orc.
    Three, the story line helps shape your character (or the world if that's possible), allowing you to eventually create your own story. 
    I realize the argument against story might be grounded in the basis of wanting to create your own - not have a stroy told to you.  But, in the present MMO's, how much of a story are you really creating?  You do not change the world, nor do you form bonds (at least I haven't) with NPC's.  Your influence on other characters, cities, and even little towns is diminutive.  Maybe story, will allow you to have an impact, one in which you feel you are creating or destroying something.  
    I guess the question is: how many different paths do you want in order for you to feel that you're creating your own story?  What if I told you there are 250 different outcomes along this story line.  Would that be individualized enough?  What if there were 2,500?  25,000? 
    I mean no offense by any of this.  I'm just having a hard time seeing the foundation of an argument like this.  If I'm missing something, please feel free to point it out.  I am willing to listen.
     

    I don't think you're quite seeing the point (at least from my view anyway) here. First, I'm not one saying they need to drop "story". So let's get that out of the way. I'm not advocating they change the game as it's pretty much set. I'm just trying to answer the highlighted question and give the OP some light as to why some folks aren't happy with this direction.

    Now, to your question in the highlighted. As I see it, following 2 paths or following 25,000 paths, it doesn't matter. You are still following a pre-written path that someone else wrote up for you. They still are writing your story.

    To me, creating my own story involves setups like SWG and UO. Both games provided the tools (i.e., combat skills, crafting skills, structure building, many different items to make that were social in nature and not just used to whack something over the head with) with which to create my own story. As an example, in SWG my main character was a doctor (before the NGE) that spent his time searching for top resources to make medical supplies to sell. He opened shops on 3 planets and sold items to both sides fighting the GCW. One of my friends ran a Cantina in our city. He held events every week and gave out prizes (some decorative for homes, others adventuring useful). Another person I met had formed a band. He hired out his band to play at player cantinas as well as for any other player events (parties, weddings, ceremonies, etc.)

    The devs provided a canvas for us to paint on, as opposed to providing one of those books where you read to a certain page and then pick option 1,2 or 3 and then turn to that page to continue the story.

     

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • dhayes68dhayes68 Member UncommonPosts: 1,388

    For me the difference between an mmorpg and a standalone rpg is the dynamic of the community in a persistant world. If a storyline is done in a way that it impedes or discourages community then I'm against it.

    Take AoC for example. Every player is THE hero of the mandatory storyline that all players (even alts) must particpate in. That is absolutely the expectation for a single player game, for an MMO however its actually counter to the game experience I'm looking for. (Also for a game marketed as 'mature' and placed in the hard gritty world of Conan, being told that I'm the 'one' and my coming was foretold in the stars was more than a little silly)

    Take LoTRO. Great game. Amazingly polished client. But the storyline is a set piece, which is counter to a game world being persistent.  Instead of the game starting at a given point and then proceeding from there every player who starts the game, no matter how long its been out starts from the same point in the storyline, i.e. the beginning. Again, expected in a standalone, counter what I want from an MMO.

    Not against story in an mmo, just that it should fit with the game dynamic of an mmo. Right now it seems like devs are forcing the standalone story dynamic into mmo games.

     

  • ariestearieste Member UncommonPosts: 3,309
    Originally posted by penandpaper


     But, in the present MMO's, how much of a story are you really creating?  You do not change the world, nor do you form bonds (at least I haven't) with NPC's.  Your influence on other characters, cities, and even little towns is diminutive.

     

    See, your own post has the answer to your question.  The things you mention above are exactly what has to change. 

    You need only look at MMOs like EVE, SWG, AO, SB and plenty of others that have had elements of this.

    Take a very basic mechanic.. you build a house, someone else builds a house beside you.  This immediately creates a possibility for story of your relationship with that person.   Now, if your house isn't used for anything by game mechanics, this story is irrelevant.  But, if there is a mechanic for your house or the particular area being often attacked, then your relationship with your neighbour has the potential to become a great story.  Multiply this by cities, alliances, etc.

    SWG did this best:

    One mechanic required crafters to have harvesters in wilderness.  This really doesn't create a lot of story on its own.

    One mechanic allowed crafters to succeed without any combat skills.  This doesn't create a lot of story on its own.

    One mechanic spawned mob camps randomly though the world.  Again, nothing on it's own.

    Now.. if a crafter with no combat skills had a mob camp spawn on his harvester, he now needed to have people with combat skills come help him.  Here is the story.. here are options depending on the sort of character you are:

    1. if you're a loner, you pick up and leave, move your harvesters.

    2. you realize that it's a dangerous world and begin to learn combat skills.

    3. you ask friends for help.

    4. you hire mercenaries.

    5.  you become part of a town for protection.

    etc.. etc..

    Just one example... EVE (which i only played for a short time) has sooooo many options, just drop by the forums and read the posts about alliances and stuff.  It didn't require any kind of massive branching story quests to create these amazing stories.  

    There are tons of other examples.  

    But you hit the nail on the head, it's the ability to have a permanent effect on the world and on NPCs that needs to be expanded.  What needs to be designed are better mechanics, because mechanics create unlimited posibilities for experiences.  Sure, you can script 1000 quests.  And you can give each of them 5 endings. And yes, it will be fun, but it wil be fun in a vacuum and without involving the world.  This is the domain of the single player game.  The MMORPG platform is about having a million people share an experience or play together in the same world, that should be the focus... sadly, it's not and WoW (with its success)  has proven that people don't really want it to be.  And (as per their own words) the makers of TOR want to be like WoW.

    But back to story, I like cool storylines and quests, but at the end of the day, they pretty much destory my immersion in the world because there really no reason that 600000000 other people killed the same dragon that i just did and received same reward, etc.   I'd much rather see a storyline event happen on a gamewide level (i.e. large scale attack) and your choices during that event (i.e. saving others / hiding / helping the attackers)  then dictate things in the future (NPCs you didn't defend dislike you, etc.).. this then leads to further interaction and factionalizing with the people that make similar choices and opens the door to further stories...

     

    "I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

    - Raph Koster

    Tried: AO,EQ,EQ2,DAoC,SWG,AA,SB,HZ,CoX,PS,GA,TR,IV,GnH,EVE, PP,DnL,WAR,MxO,SWG,FE,VG,AoC,DDO,LoTRO,Rift,TOR,Aion,Tera,TSW,GW2,DCUO,CO,STO
    Favourites: AO,SWG,EVE,TR,LoTRO,TSW,EQ2, Firefall
    Currently Playing: ESO

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712
    Originally posted by Khalathwyr
    ...As I see it, following 2 paths or following 25,000 paths, it doesn't matter. You are still following a pre-written path that someone else wrote up for you. They still are writing your story.
    Apply the same logic to "crafting" in SWG or UO. Did you personally model and texturemap the items you produced?
    Sure, you may of had some influence over the attributes those "crafted" items had (within a predetermined range set by the developers), or were even able to label them however you wished (within the limits of the UI & code of conduct). But were you really "crafting" anything? Or was it just an elaborate process for summoning pre-built art assets (which someone else genuinely crafted) into the game?
    To me, creating my own story involves setups like SWG and UO. Both games provided the tools (i.e., combat skills, crafting skills, structure building, many different items to make that were social in nature and not just used to whack something over the head with) with which to create my own story. As an example, in SWG my main character was a doctor (before the NGE) that spent his time searching for top resources to make medical supplies to sell. He opened shops on 3 planets and sold items to both sides fighting the GCW. One of my friends ran a Cantina in our city. He held events every week and gave out prizes (some decorative for homes, others adventuring useful). Another person I met had formed a band. He hired out his band to play at player cantinas as well as for any other player events (parties, weddings, ceremonies, etc.)
    I'm pretty sure we've had this discussion before, but what you've described sounds to me more like the process of acquisition, merchandising, and socializing... rather than story-telling.
    The devs provided a canvas for us to paint on, as opposed to providing one of those books where you read to a certain page and then pick option 1,2 or 3 and then turn to that page to continue the story.
    From my perspective, a more apropos metaphor would be the devs provided a stack of clip art, more than a few boundaries as to where and how it could be used, and then told us to "have at it; build a collage." 

     

     

  • econ24econ24 Member Posts: 45

    You "anti-story" people aren't, in my view, describing stories, you're describing social interactions.

    "There was once a doctor that collected trade goods to craft high end medical supplies that he later sold."

    "There once was a craftsman that had to ask for help killing a group of enemies camped next to his harvester because he had no combat skills of his own."

    Those aren't stories, lol.

    TOR isn't less of an MMO just because it isn't trying to be a life simulator.

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712
    Originally posted by dhayes68


    For me the difference between an mmorpg and a standalone rpg is the dynamic of the community in a persistant world. If a storyline is done in a way that it impedes or discourages community then I'm against it.

     

    How on god's green earth could storyline impede or discourage community? Honestly, and please don't take this as a personal attack, but every time I read a comment like that, this is what immediately comes to mind...

    "Please don't include polished and professionally designed content, as my mediocre and amateurish attempts to compete with it will be overshadowed."

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712
    Originally posted by econ24


    You "anti-story" people aren't, in my view, describing stories, you're describing social interactions.
    "There was once a doctor that collected trade goods to craft high end medical supplies that he later sold."
    "There once was a craftsman that had to ask for help killing a group of enemies camped next to his harvester because he had no combat skills of his own."
    Those aren't stories, lol.
    TOR isn't less of an MMO just because it isn't trying to be a life simulator.

     

    More to the point, TOR needn't be less of an MMO nor less of a "life simulator" just for including professionally crafted storytelling. None of the above are mutually exclusive.

  • dhayes68dhayes68 Member UncommonPosts: 1,388
    Originally posted by hanshotfirst

    Originally posted by dhayes68


    For me the difference between an mmorpg and a standalone rpg is the dynamic of the community in a persistant world. If a storyline is done in a way that it impedes or discourages community then I'm against it.

     How on god's green earth could storyline impede or discourage community? Honestly, and please don't take this as a personal attack, but every time I read a comment like that, this is what immediately comes to mind...

    "Please don't include polished and professionally designed content, as my mediocre and amateurish attempts to compete with it will be overshadowed."

     

    Really? Did you read all of my post? I thought I'd explained it. Also to be clear I wasn't saying all storyline impedes community. I'm specifically referring to the types of storylines I've experienced that I thought impeded the development of a vibrant and robust game community.

    Anyway, here's your explanation as to how it can be:

     A mandatory participation storyline that determines who your character is and where they came from (as in AoC) impedes or discourages MMO community because the players aren't allowed to determine basic things about their characters without disregarding the storyline. 

    Also a storyline that takes place within a closed time period that just cycles over and over for each player (as in LoTRO) is also limiting in the sense that the comminity is never allowed to evolve. Each character starts the game at the same date in the story even if a player starts a year after game launch. Its the equivilent of the playerbase being on a treadmill.

    Now again, I used the words impede and discourage. I didn't say its no community is possible. Just that the kind of community I look for in an MMO is less restrained by the stroyline.

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712
    Originally posted by dhayes68
    Really? Did you read all of my post? Yes. And though I'm certain it was sincere, in my opinion it didn't support your premise. I thought I'd explained it. Also to be clear I wasn't saying all storyline impedes community. I'm specifically referring to the types of storylines I've experienced that I thought impeded the development of a vibrant and robust game community.
    Anyway, here's your explanation as to how it can be:
     A mandatory participation storyline that determines who your character is and where they came from (as in AoC) impedes or discourages MMO community because the players aren't allowed to determine basic things about their characters without disregarding the storyline. 
    Perhaps AoC has radically changed since the year I spent in closed beta, but as I recall the only "mandatory" storyline participation involved a bit of narration immediately after character creation, one quest to get into Tortage, and another to get out. All in all, about 10-15 minutes of content, easily zipped through within the first 6-8 hours of gameplay. The rest could readily bypassed (or disregarded, if you prefer).
    I'd say you're making mountains out of molehills, but that would be an understatement.
    Also a storyline that takes place within a closed time period that just cycles over and over for each player (as in LoTRO) is also limiting in the sense that the comminity is never allowed to evolve. Each character starts the game at the same date in the story even if a player starts a year after game launch. Its the equivilent of the playerbase being on a treadmill.
    Any game in the genre (past, present and future) could be likened to a treadmill. Regardless, I still fail to see how this is "limiting" the community. Limiting your own personal suspension of disbelief perhaps, but that's another subject in itself.
    Now again, I used the words impede and discourage. I didn't say its no community is possible. Just that the kind of community I look for in an MMO is less restrained by the stroyline.

     

     

  • RakujiRakuji Member UncommonPosts: 144

    Well, I for one Welcome with open arms the storyline.

    Reasons -

    1. I get tired of that boring grind doing zombinizing quests that i don't even have to read because of Quest Helper, or the Big Yellow spot on the map with red writing over it saying HERE I AM!

    2. I have been playing MMOs since EQ. and after the Epic'ness that "was" Everquest. All other games, excluding SWG which had a nice roleplay enviorment, were pretty much the same.  And after all was said and done. Max level and got the nice ba gear. They just become boring because i finished.

    3. I am sick of having to do the same crap over and over and over because I want to level an alt. lol

    I mean, arn't you guys tired of having to do the same stuff over and over?

    Kick to the Face.

  • dhayes68dhayes68 Member UncommonPosts: 1,388
    Originally posted by hanshotfirst

    Originally posted by dhayes68
    Really? Did you read all of my post? Yes. And though I'm certain it was sincere, in my opinion it didn't support your premise. I thought I'd explained it. Also to be clear I wasn't saying all storyline impedes community. I'm specifically referring to the types of storylines I've experienced that I thought impeded the development of a vibrant and robust game community.
    Anyway, here's your explanation as to how it can be:
     A mandatory participation storyline that determines who your character is and where they came from (as in AoC) impedes or discourages MMO community because the players aren't allowed to determine basic things about their characters without disregarding the storyline. 
    Perhaps AoC has radically changed since the year I spent in closed beta, but as I recall the only "mandatory" storyline participation involved a bit of narration immediately after character creation, one quest to get into Tortage, and another to get out. All in all, about 10-15 minutes of content, easily zipped through within the first 6-8 hours of gameplay. The rest could readily bypassed (or disregarded, if you prefer).
    I'd say you're making mountains out of molehills, but that would be an understatement.
    Also a storyline that takes place within a closed time period that just cycles over and over for each player (as in LoTRO) is also limiting in the sense that the comminity is never allowed to evolve. Each character starts the game at the same date in the story even if a player starts a year after game launch. Its the equivilent of the playerbase being on a treadmill.
    Any game in the genre (past, present and future) could be likened to a treadmill. Regardless, I still fail to see how this is "limiting" the community. Limiting your own personal suspension of disbelief perhaps, but that's another subject in itself.
    Now again, I used the words impede and discourage. I didn't say its no community is possible. Just that the kind of community I look for in an MMO is less restrained by the stroyline.

     

     

     

    As far as AoC goes, the main storyline for every single character (including alts) starts the same way. It also lasts for 15 to 20 levels. Every single player in AoC washed ashore from a slaveship shipwreck with amnesia. Not even a choice of different starting areas. But no need to nitpick the details of AoC, the point is a mandatory storyline that defines your char for you is counter to the MMO experience as  I expect it to be. 

    As far as the timeframe thing goes, its limiting because the storyline rules all. There is no progression, just a playing out a plot line that just about everone is familiar with anyway.

    My point is that mmo's and standalone's are two different types of games, right? The dynamics for the games should be different. I'm not saying there should be no storyline, just that in an mmo there should be an mmo storyline. i.e. open eneded, evolving and recognizing the fact that since its an Mmo, should provide many roles for players to fill instead of just the one, i.e. "the hero".

    Ok, so those things don't bother you BUT if we're both in a game community, and it bothers me, than it does affect the community.

  • NetzokoNetzoko Member Posts: 1,271

    It's not that people -hate- story, its the fact that they don't think it should be the #1 point of the game.

    -------------------------
    image

  • penandpaperpenandpaper Member UncommonPosts: 174
    Originally posted by Khalathwyr

    Originally posted by penandpaper


    Just a quick observation (which I admit may not be true).  Perhaps, the elements of a strong story, even one that might be slightly linear, will add to other characteristics of an MMO, enabling it to be a more exciting experience.  Here are three examples:
    One, the paths within the story may allow for players to enact their roleplaying side better.  This, in turn, turns the general chat within a game into a possible storytelling scenario.
    Two, a story line makes for more compelling combat.  If you have any feeling for your opponent or the NPC he/she just killed, the fight has a tenseness about it, that does not exist from killing yet another orc.
    Three, the story line helps shape your character (or the world if that's possible), allowing you to eventually create your own story. 
    I realize the argument against story might be grounded in the basis of wanting to create your own - not have a stroy told to you.  But, in the present MMO's, how much of a story are you really creating?  You do not change the world, nor do you form bonds (at least I haven't) with NPC's.  Your influence on other characters, cities, and even little towns is diminutive.  Maybe story, will allow you to have an impact, one in which you feel you are creating or destroying something.  
    I guess the question is: how many different paths do you want in order for you to feel that you're creating your own story?  What if I told you there are 250 different outcomes along this story line.  Would that be individualized enough?  What if there were 2,500?  25,000? 
    I mean no offense by any of this.  I'm just having a hard time seeing the foundation of an argument like this.  If I'm missing something, please feel free to point it out.  I am willing to listen.
     

    I don't think you're quite seeing the point (at least from my view anyway) here. First, I'm not one saying they need to drop "story". So let's get that out of the way. I'm not advocating they change the game as it's pretty much set. I'm just trying to answer the highlighted question and give the OP some light as to why some folks aren't happy with this direction.

    Now, to your question in the highlighted. As I see it, following 2 paths or following 25,000 paths, it doesn't matter. You are still following a pre-written path that someone else wrote up for you. They still are writing your story.

    To me, creating my own story involves setups like SWG and UO. Both games provided the tools (i.e., combat skills, crafting skills, structure building, many different items to make that were social in nature and not just used to whack something over the head with) with which to create my own story. As an example, in SWG my main character was a doctor (before the NGE) that spent his time searching for top resources to make medical supplies to sell. He opened shops on 3 planets and sold items to both sides fighting the GCW. One of my friends ran a Cantina in our city. He held events every week and gave out prizes (some decorative for homes, others adventuring useful). Another person I met had formed a band. He hired out his band to play at player cantinas as well as for any other player events (parties, weddings, ceremonies, etc.)

    The devs provided a canvas for us to paint on, as opposed to providing one of those books where you read to a certain page and then pick option 1,2 or 3 and then turn to that page to continue the story.

     

    I guess I'm at a disadvantage then, because I have played neither game.  The games I have played (EQ, PotBS, EQ2, LotR, AoC, Vanguard and Warhammer) have never invovled a story with depth.  Don't get me wrong, I liked all those games, however I am a casual gamer and have never achieved a level 35 character.  I am also more of a solo player, therefore the instances you provide I have not experienced.  Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me.

    I do have a however though.  The examples you provide seem as if they would be enhanced by a deep story interwoven with them, not hampered.  Again, just a thought. 

     

  • lttexxanlttexxan Member UncommonPosts: 429

    I am opposed to stories that de-volve into "chick flicks". So help me god if Sandra Bullock is voice acted into this game I'm gonna throw my computer out of my 69th story penthouse bachlor pad.

    It's better to lurk in forums and be thought a fool...than to endlessly "Quote" and remove all doubts.

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712
    Originally posted by Netzoko


    It's not that people -hate- story, its the fact that they don't think it should be the #1 point of the game.

     

    Fact: you're either unwilling or incapable of discerning a distinction between the objective and the subjective.

  • agthompsonagthompson Member Posts: 99

    Hey guys, I have read most of what people's thoughts are when the idea of story comes up.  Linked quests form a story in WoW.  Seems to be doing well.  In UO, your life interactions I guess would be your story.  In SW:TOR, you can do the story or don't...  it is and online world,  grab your Jedi and grind in a cave on said planet while you gank... this game is going to have all the aspects of a MMORPG.  With an added SUPER quest mode.  And I am game to see how it plays out, then endgame it up.. as a real MMORPG would be.  My True "story" in going to be around my guild, guildhall, endgame raids... and random interactions.  But I'll tell ya what, I am going to enjoy the hell out of Bioware's story addition in SW:TOR. 

     

    So guys, don't worry, this will be a super great solo-muli-player game... do whatever you want as any good MMORPG does.  Have a nice day guys.

     

    ~Agthompson

    Host of the Only Un-Official Star Wars The Old Republic Vodcast - www.youtube.com/user/uswtorv

  • NetzokoNetzoko Member Posts: 1,271
    Originally posted by hanshotfirst

    Originally posted by Netzoko


    It's not that people -hate- story, its the fact that they don't think it should be the #1 point of the game.

     

    Fact: you're either unwilling or incapable of discerning a distinction between the objective and the subjective.

     

    Citation for that supposed fact?

    You come off quite hypocritical.

    -------------------------
    image

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138
    Originally posted by hanshotfirst

    Originally posted by Khalathwyr
    ...As I see it, following 2 paths or following 25,000 paths, it doesn't matter. You are still following a pre-written path that someone else wrote up for you. They still are writing your story.
    Apply the same logic to "crafting" in SWG or UO. Did you personally model and texturemap the items you produced?
    Sure, you may of had some influence over the attributes those "crafted" items had (within a predetermined range set by the developers), or were even able to label them however you wished (within the limits of the UI & code of conduct). But were you really "crafting" anything? Or was it just an elaborate process for summoning pre-built art assets (which someone else genuinely crafted) into the game?
    Pretty obvious I didn't texturemap or model those items, though it would have been neat to have had the opportunity. Either way, that example goes beyond a certain threshold of exaggeration when it comes to the type of gameplay and offering as much depth as possible keeping it in the confines of things for players to do as opposed to having the players make the game.
    To me, creating my own story involves setups like SWG and UO. Both games provided the tools (i.e., combat skills, crafting skills, structure building, many different items to make that were social in nature and not just used to whack something over the head with) with which to create my own story. As an example, in SWG my main character was a doctor (before the NGE) that spent his time searching for top resources to make medical supplies to sell. He opened shops on 3 planets and sold items to both sides fighting the GCW. One of my friends ran a Cantina in our city. He held events every week and gave out prizes (some decorative for homes, others adventuring useful). Another person I met had formed a band. He hired out his band to play at player cantinas as well as for any other player events (parties, weddings, ceremonies, etc.)
    I'm pretty sure we've had this discussion before, but what you've described sounds to me more like the process of acquisition, merchandising, and socializing... rather than story-telling.
    We probably have. In my view the acts of acquiring, mechandizing and socializing, more specifically in how you accomplish those feats...the how being left up to the player and having the means to do it in a way they think up and manifest is story-telling. They (the player) are creating the route or method as opposed to selecting choices 1,2,or 3 from a dialog tree. Players may often find a method that would translate to options 4,5,6, ad infinum.
    The devs provided a canvas for us to paint on, as opposed to providing one of those books where you read to a certain page and then pick option 1,2 or 3 and then turn to that page to continue the story.
    From my perspective, a more apropos metaphor would be the devs provided a stack of clip art, more than a few boundaries as to where and how it could be used, and then told us to "have at it; build a collage." 
    And I make no attempt to invalidate your perspective. I'd much rather have a set of careful loose boundaries that are manicured for integrity and that allow me to make a collage than to have a semi-rigid, form filled machination that offers only a few options to be tweaked/manipulated at certain intervals.

     

     

     

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138
    Originally posted by penandpaper

    Originally posted by Khalathwyr

    Originally posted by penandpaper


    Just a quick observation (which I admit may not be true).  Perhaps, the elements of a strong story, even one that might be slightly linear, will add to other characteristics of an MMO, enabling it to be a more exciting experience.  Here are three examples:
    One, the paths within the story may allow for players to enact their roleplaying side better.  This, in turn, turns the general chat within a game into a possible storytelling scenario.
    Two, a story line makes for more compelling combat.  If you have any feeling for your opponent or the NPC he/she just killed, the fight has a tenseness about it, that does not exist from killing yet another orc.
    Three, the story line helps shape your character (or the world if that's possible), allowing you to eventually create your own story. 
    I realize the argument against story might be grounded in the basis of wanting to create your own - not have a stroy told to you.  But, in the present MMO's, how much of a story are you really creating?  You do not change the world, nor do you form bonds (at least I haven't) with NPC's.  Your influence on other characters, cities, and even little towns is diminutive.  Maybe story, will allow you to have an impact, one in which you feel you are creating or destroying something.  
    I guess the question is: how many different paths do you want in order for you to feel that you're creating your own story?  What if I told you there are 250 different outcomes along this story line.  Would that be individualized enough?  What if there were 2,500?  25,000? 
    I mean no offense by any of this.  I'm just having a hard time seeing the foundation of an argument like this.  If I'm missing something, please feel free to point it out.  I am willing to listen.
     

    I don't think you're quite seeing the point (at least from my view anyway) here. First, I'm not one saying they need to drop "story". So let's get that out of the way. I'm not advocating they change the game as it's pretty much set. I'm just trying to answer the highlighted question and give the OP some light as to why some folks aren't happy with this direction.

    Now, to your question in the highlighted. As I see it, following 2 paths or following 25,000 paths, it doesn't matter. You are still following a pre-written path that someone else wrote up for you. They still are writing your story.

    To me, creating my own story involves setups like SWG and UO. Both games provided the tools (i.e., combat skills, crafting skills, structure building, many different items to make that were social in nature and not just used to whack something over the head with) with which to create my own story. As an example, in SWG my main character was a doctor (before the NGE) that spent his time searching for top resources to make medical supplies to sell. He opened shops on 3 planets and sold items to both sides fighting the GCW. One of my friends ran a Cantina in our city. He held events every week and gave out prizes (some decorative for homes, others adventuring useful). Another person I met had formed a band. He hired out his band to play at player cantinas as well as for any other player events (parties, weddings, ceremonies, etc.)

    The devs provided a canvas for us to paint on, as opposed to providing one of those books where you read to a certain page and then pick option 1,2 or 3 and then turn to that page to continue the story.

     

    I guess I'm at a disadvantage then, because I have played neither game.  The games I have played (EQ, PotBS, EQ2, LotR, AoC, Vanguard and Warhammer) have never invovled a story with depth.  Don't get me wrong, I liked all those games, however I am a casual gamer and have never achieved a level 35 character.  I am also more of a solo player, therefore the instances you provide I have not experienced.  Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me.

    I do have a however though.  The examples you provide seem as if they would be enhanced by a deep story interwoven with them, not hampered.  Again, just a thought. 

     

    My pleasure. I know I don't speak for everyone, yet I know I'm not the only one who shares my thoughts. If it gave some insight on a point of view, then I am glad.

    As to your however, I can 100% say that I agree with you. The one thing that frustrates me the most is that developers, or their CEOs and shareholders for sure, just don't get that. The first company to offer a polished game with depth at all those positions will, I think, enjoy a large customer base that sticks around for a significant amount of time. As it stands, they can only manage to attempt one or the other. And they don't always do that well.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • Death1942Death1942 Member UncommonPosts: 2,587

    i prefer to make my own story but i am willing to follow a dev made one (so long as its not stupid/boring).

     

    I'm not pissed off about the story, i'm pissed off that they are focussing so much on it as opposed to gameplay stuff which tbh, takes number 1 priority in my mind.

     

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • TerranahTerranah Member UncommonPosts: 3,575

    The less things are spelled out, the more a person's mind works imaginatively to fill in the blanks.  Atleast, that is how my brain works.  Not everyone's is the same though...

  • dhayes68dhayes68 Member UncommonPosts: 1,388
    Originally posted by Death1942


    i prefer to make my own story but i am willing to follow a dev made one (so long as its not stupid/boring).
     
    I'm not pissed off about the story, i'm pissed off that they are focussing so much on it as opposed to gameplay stuff which tbh, takes number 1 priority in my mind.
     

     

    I agree but would add, that what I particularly dislike is if following the storyline is mandatory, or the central focus of the game that everything revolves around.

    As I've said, the mandatory, main focus storyline is appropriate for singleplayer games. MMO's should have MMO appropriate storylines.

  • agthompsonagthompson Member Posts: 99
    Originally posted by Death1942


    I'm not pissed off about the story, i'm pissed off that they are focussing so much on it as opposed to gameplay stuff which tbh, takes number 1 priority in my mind.
     



     

     

    How do you know that?  You don't, so you are pissed about your own mind set of a game not delivering to your direction.  Speculation.  I am sure there number one focus is gameplay, they are attempting to enter something new... so the opening focus is on that aspect.

     

    Tell me where they said gameplay is going to take second to story?

    Host of the Only Un-Official Star Wars The Old Republic Vodcast - www.youtube.com/user/uswtorv

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