Continuing with my question everything theme, lets question MMORPG intros. What we are used to seeing is some sort of cut scene, some sort of “we’re relying on you, the heroest of heroes, the hero other heroes look up to”. Then the game loads, your standing in a starter zone, and you walk 5 feet to the quest giver (they reminds you the world is on your broad heroesque shoulders), snag it, then kill 5 rats-like only a hero can.
I haven’t seen much of an improvement on that in the last 10 years. It’s your first ingame impression after character creation and you just made yourself look typical. So, what can we do different?
Maybe we take a Skyrim like approach. A cut scene of your character at a Tavern, or walking down a dark alley. You are jumped by 3 cloaked figures with an opposing relm’s symbol on their chest, screen goes black, you wake up in the middle of nowhere, literally out in the middle of the wilderness and go, play, survive, get back to your main city.
Another bump on the head approach here. You awaken, dazed, screen slowly comes into focus. You're in a fighting arena/pit/circle (scale and type depending on race). You have a weapon and a NPC is coming toward you. Kill the NPC and you are freed and moved into the city to start the game. Die and you repeat until you win. It’s a tutorial like intro so you're probably not going to die.
Crafter, we can’t forget about our crafters now can we? They can’t fight in a pit, but maybe they can craft an item to help them escape, craft a trap to KO a NPC, take it’s keys and get out, make something to bring a wall down, or even awaken in a cave, mining pick in hand?
Wanna play with the Veil and drive up some relm hate? You load into the game and you're on trial, in one of the opposing relm’s capital cities! You were caught spying or maybe you were captured on the battlefield. You are sentenced to banishment to the desert Moses style, paraded through the streets, spat on, cursed, whipped, assaulted then finally thrown out of the gates, death is not a question, you will not live long, this is known. You run out of food and water and “die” into the veil. Find your way through it and end up at your relm city, beaten battered and bruised but alive!
Maybe you’re sentenced to death. You stand in a line with your realm mates and watch as a shooting squad slamms arrows into you and your friends. You load into the veil but are horrified when you realize you are reliving the capture and murder of your friends and family! You stumble through the veil witnessing the carnage that the other realms have brought to your people, you emerge, dazed, battered, bleeding, but back at your Relm city.
Drive up realm pride right from the start!
Maybe it’s just a dreamy intro, well animated (something like the 5 minute short Star Wars Clone Wars from several years ago). As the history of the veil ripping, your people suffering, your leader emerging, the wars starting, flash by you the dream gets darker and darker until a dragon kills you, you enter the veil, and feel strangely calm until you realize your soul is getting away from you. You start to chase it down but never quite catch it, finally you fall down pit too deep to exist in the real world. When you hit bottom you're on a pile of skulls, your people’s! This is the fate that awaits them if you don’t stop the other realms! Your character awakens in a bed in a tent/barracks/street/etc. You’ve seen the history, seen what the other realms have done to yours, seen the future if you don’t join the war effort, it’s time to make the other realms feel the fear you just did!
So here is a twist. We want new players to get some XP in a safer place before they are thrown to the wolves right? So maybe for the first 5 lvls (or whatever CSE decides on as the amount of lvling needed before leaving the BG to the main world) everyone is the same faction. You're in "training". You go to the BG, pick a temporary side, and fight it out. When not in the BG you're all running around together. You all start at the same place, kinda like a mists from GW2 but it's your Veil Journey or something. Then once you get enough XP you go on a "vision quest" and conclude by picking one of the 3 relms. You're "born" into the main world and you go on with the game from there. I like the idea of possibly having to fight people you played with prior. “We used to be friends but now you went TDD so I have to kill you sry bro”
This last one is probably my personal favorite. We see the video intro about the past, and about the hell the other relms have brought down against yours, and bam you load into the game, you're in a trench on a 3 way battlefield (its the starter open world battlefield). You spawn in, see other people in trenches not too far from you, go fight kill XP! No tutorial. Literally being thrown on the battlefield and forced to survive right from the first experience of the game.
All of my concepts have a dark tone, well, personally I feel like war is dark, it’s gritty, it’s sad, and it’s horrifying. It also brings people together like nothing else. I wanted to convey the dire situation, show us what our people have been through, and give us motivation to fight right from the beginning. If I had to put it in a sentence it would be, this is your history, this is why you should hate these guys so go kill them.
So those are a few ideas from a guy with a computer (and frankly I think they are too safe and not nearly outside the box enough), I bet you have a computer, what are some of your ideas?