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Originally posted by onetruth I'm not sure why MMO dev houses even bother with writers. I can't think of a single quest that I've done in an mmo over the last seven or eight years that wasn't a tired variation on kill X and deliver Y. The very nature of the games means that will you will be doing nothing but repetitive tasks, the same tasks everyone else is doing, until you cancel your sub.The majority of players don't even read the quests (yes I know a few do, I do myself, but it's rare).Also, for pre-existing IP's with a lot of canon, developers inevitably ignore or outright change much of what makes an IP's story unique (SWG, WAR, and STO all bear very little resemblance to their source material beyond aesthetics).The roleplayers that I know generally ignore the game lore because it's too confining for the character they want to play, and because the mechanics of every mmo force players into being mass murderers (which some roleplayers embrace but most end up roleplaying around and ignoring large parts of what they're doing in game).Current generation mmo's just don't have any room for story or good writing. It's wasted on the majority of the player base. Bioware may change this since they're focusing so heavily on narrative with TOR, but as of right now, writing in mmo's is kind of a joke. It's kind of like the articles in Playboy. Yeah it's there, but no one cares.
DDO has good writing. I don't feel like a mass murderer, I feel like I'm killing the baddies.
Also, the author of this article was spot on about Asheron's Call. It was awesome.
Originally posted by Kryogenic Originally posted by Yamota This:"Good luck trying to make a player feel like the main character of the story when there are dozens of other main characters of the story all standing around the same quest giver, merchant or respawn point."Is a perfect example which shows that todays MMO developers just dont get it. MMOs are not supposed to make every player feel like the main character of a story, that is what single player games do, MMOs are supposed to make the character feel part of a persistant world where, if you excel, may become the main character of a story.Observe the key words may and a story (not the story, since in a world there is no one story). I know WoW changed all that by turning MMOs into huge single player games but that is what is actually degenerating the genre and creating a horde of WoW clones that believes that if they follow WoWs model then they will suceed. You wont, there can only be one WoW and that is WoW.If you want to create an MMO with good retention then you need innovation. Eve is a perfect example of an MMORPG that is innovative, not a WoW clone and which is growing. All other themepark, WoW clones (including WAR) are shrinking in subs. Now why do you think that is?
Asheron's Call, old school Star War's Galaxy, and to a lesser degree Final Fantasy XI did awesome jobs making you feel like a character in a persistent world. No one seems to be even trying for this. I'll admit I haven't played Darkfall, but I've heard that the game has the elusive spark that many of us seem to be pining for.
I'm sick to death of the contemporary crap. I want a sandbox game, a true sandbox game. A game where non-combat classes are a significant part of the game world and combat mechanics. What was so wrong with the interconnectivity of the professions in SWG's original form? Can we please get some complex and engaging gameplay in this piece?
Would it be so damn bad for a developer to emulate Asheron Call's character progression and story presentation?
For the love of God, somebody give us a solid, well thought out, polished, and dynamic game to play in this mother humper.
I hate what the MMORPG genre has become. Will we ever see it turn around?
Hell yes brotha! Preach dat word!
Also, I'm going to respond to the fact that DDO is very fun now, not like the before times.
Its good to see that some of the players "get it", even if the devs continue to "not".
The game should make you feel that youve done something in the world.Really.Anything less is pointless.
*That the game sends you out to find and kill the mobs,sitting at their spawn locations, that will just respawn and be there forever despite how often you kill them is just inane.
*That the game sends you out to kill the "boss" who again is at his spawn location,just sitting there waiting for you to kill him,so he can spawn again for the next crowd, is inane.
*That the game thinks that rounding up 32 others is herioc,or that those 32 killing 1,2,3 or even 5 monters is herioc is just inane.
*That you never actually pay any penalty of worth,or face any risk of mention, and just respawn after each defeat til you win is inane.
Where are the losses and risks ?Where is the town being wiped off the map,when the monsters attack , and the players fail to protect it ?
Where is the true risk of harm to the character ?
Where is the expanding or retracting area,based on the characters actions ?
All the so called dev teams offer us, is more of the same old pointless same old.The war without the war.The war without risk or loss.The war without even the most modest of change in the world.
Convinced that shiney new graphics,shiney new trinkets,all wrapped in the same old crap will get our money and time.
But it wont.
Success is measured by accomplishment.In worlds where anyone can accomplish everything to be accomplished,and the accomplishment means next to nothing,there is no success.The games need penalties to make people weigh the risk and pass on some courses of action sometimes .
IE-The town is about to be overrun by lackwit mmo devs?Try to stop them and risk being turned into a zombie servant for them ... or pass and let this town fall ,losing the goods and services it provided.Perhaps your family lived there ?Perhaps you owned land or a business there ?Perhaps this town lost, makes the town you DO care about next in their path ....
Perhaps even success will have a cost, leaving you sick and injured,unable to charge out onto the next field of battle for a real week or more .Time the character can spend limping around town supervising its rebuilding, new fortifications,new business contracts,new political appointments,studying the battle or the foe,learning new skills,recruiting new merchants for the area,interrogating captured foes,etc...
MMO's should be feature rich.And players should NOT feel like they are gonna spend the night "doing the same old,yet agian"
Graphics have moved way beyond text and/or stick figures,but gameplay is still stuck at the equivilant.
Originally posted by wisesquirrel An MMO is not supposed to make a player feel special just because he is playing, they should honestly be treated like dirt, scum, peasants, garbage.Now if a few players decide to join forces and make a difference, these will gain higher reputations around regions and gain more benefits.An MMO is a game world that revolves around the players in general, not you, you, you and you. No one is a legendary hero, there ,may be many minor heroes around the regions if they get up and try and do the impossible missions, make the player actually feel special by making him do a task that is difficult to accomplish and that not everybody will do.
I agree. Players do need to feel like the start out as a peasant then become the hero and recognized for difficult feats not simply because thats what happens in level 1-10 but by what they choose to do. Hell, you should be able to become a villain, just the same.
What is the point of a persistant non-changing world? more AC type story driven content, please!
Writing quests for Warhammer Online seems like a thankless job. The quest rewards there are as rewarding as getting slapped in the face and being asked "Why are you PvEing in this game?".
You want MMO immersion? Try branching quest paths based on player choice.
I can't understand why do people even bother with story-telling in MMO games.
Hard for me to imagine how anyone can feel "immersed" when there's a horde of "epic heroes" all lining-up to defeat "the one true evil" on their left and another horde of "epic heroes" who have just defeated "the one true evil" on their right all wielding "the artefact of extreme coolness" that you have just been promised for this "impossible task only you and your group can do". And then there's another group of adventurers gathering to raid "the one true evil" because it occasionally drops a nice pair of shoes...
Originally posted by Yamota This:"Good luck trying to make a player feel like the main character of the story when there are dozens of other main characters of the story all standing around the same quest giver, merchant or respawn point."Is a perfect example which shows that todays MMO developers just dont get it. MMOs are not supposed to make every player feel like the main character of a story, that is what single player games do, MMOs are supposed to make the character feel part of a persistant world where, if you excel, may become the main character of a story.Observe the key words may and a story (not the story, since in a world there is no one story).
Yes, THIS. A thousand times this. I do NOT want to be The Heroine of the Story, unless I do something truly, awesomely heroic. I want my deeds to eventually add up to something... some notoriety, fame, renown... something I build through my actions, amongst both PCs and NPCs, though I'll be building up said recognition in different ways.
The person I am quoting Bartles as a KAES who appears to like EVE, whereas I'm an ESAK who despises EVE, so we're definitely not cut from the same gamer cloth. It still makes me grin, though, seeing that we can still agree on this.
[quote]What writer could ask for more than that?[/quote]
To actually be a good writer?
The whole 'war' and 'saving the world' (in any form) is old, boring, and repetitive. Single characters shouldn't be special either, everyone shouldn't be the hero. It's pointless and at this point mmos just feel more like a pathetic port from single-player console games, where everything is simple and players are teh[sic] hero.
The whole hero concept story for mmos is stupidly sad. Any player who goes around reading those story lines and look to see side will see someone with shinier armor, more levels and more skills and facepalm to the story the npc is trying to get through as there is someone better for the job standing just next to him and that someone wont do it because he wont get xp.
Fail story, fail mechanics.
Good article. WAR's quest were pretty good, but alas that wasnt WAR's issue which I dont need to revamp here. Writing for MMO's today has been imo lackluster. Its not always the writers fault as the developers give mostly the same things rehashed over and over. I hope someone does something different soon.
(BBBBBBBBWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH raises plunger in salute to MMO writers and what they have to put up with.)
All my opinions are just that..opinions. If you like my opinions..coolness.If you dont like my opinion....I really dont care.Playing: ESO, WOT, Smite, and Marvel Heroes
Loved the way he compared the customer base to an impossibly large nursery haha!
And though I agree with what was said about conceit, I honestly wish there was an MMO that could find it's way around that ... but I guess going at it any other way would involve either a large amount of auto-generated quests or an uncannily large constant inflow of content ... meh!
Either way it was an inspiring read. I only wish working as an MMO writer didn't feel nearly as impossible as it does
Great read, thank you. AC truly did tell a compelling story.
AC2 was a great disappointment, wish they would have just made AC "better".