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the Lonely Alter

I don't play "games", I play MMORPGs! This is where I talk about them!

Author: Tierless

#17 Question Everything: Game Intro

Posted by Tierless Thursday May 9 2013 at 9:49AM
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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?


BowbowDAoC writes:

good read. Your favorite although has one flaw i think, since we start with at least a race, and each race is unique to each realm, so techincally you couldnt be able to just "switch side", and it would be hard to choose your race AFTER too, since its the basic for all character creation.

i see a small island (not instanced, just isolated, but in the end even having this instanced wouldnt change a thing), and you are sent there after character creation to accomplish your first mission.

(each of the realm would have a different one; i.e. Arthurians are sent there to gather some ressources and safely bring it to the mainland...VIkings are there to steal those ressources from whoever controls the mine, TDDs to search some dragon's remains or ancient "hibernia" building for a missing piece of their history (of course the place they have to dig is like right near the mine entrance).

So in no time you would be engaged in battles, you would learn how to "farm" for ressources.

When all 3 realms have accomplished what they were sent there for, they realised that their ship has been burned, destroyed, etc. and the now have to build some small boats to get back on the main land (crafters would then learn how to use the crafting system).

once it is done, all players board their realm ships, and head back to the main land, where they are greeted by a high NPC general (hell maybe even the realm kings themselves) where they are congratulated, rewarded, and they receive a freaking awesome speech about realm pride, how the 2 other realms needs to be annihilated, etc.

the speech could also include an explanation of all the classes and races from the other realms, to help the "new recruits" to learn about their ennemies.

SO you'd have a nice little tutorial that would be totally immersive, and the icing on the cake with the realm pride speech, pump everyone up, make them HATE the other realms headstart would be awesome.

i have a blog in the works about basically the same topic, just felt like sharing part of it here and now with you Time !


Thu May 09 2013 10:14AM Report
Tierless writes:

Good concept BowBow. I like that, survivor island style and it teaches everyone all of the aspect of the game, good stuff. 

With my concept, your point is well taken, I thought about it some more. So in this "purgatory" I'll call it, everyone is the same race, you dont even get to create a character yet. You logged in and clicked new character and you load onto the battlefield, pick a side and fight. Everyone here looks the same, almost an odd generic being, something alien but familiar. Once you do the tasks, finish the tutorial, and do some fighting you hit up that journey quest. At the end of the quest you are zapped with the power of the veil transforming you into...this is where you pick your relm, your character, class, etc. When your done you are infused with the power of the veil again but more of it, things get crazy, you get sent down a worm hole thing and are born into the CU world. 

Thats probably way way too much. Id be happy just skipping the purgatory pvp concept and simply using the veil power worm hole birth idea as the game intro. Maybe the worm hole slaps you down onto that island concept you came up with?

I love me some brainstorming! Thanks again for the comment.

Thu May 09 2013 11:11AM Report
BowbowDAoC writes:

The problem with the Veil part (where we kind of using it to get into character creation) is that Veil isn't our friend, its there, but we all hate it, and it hates us :)

regarding the generic look of everyone in the "purgatory", its one more "race" for CSE to design etc. not sure if its a good idea to give them extra work to the 3D artist for something that could be easily be avoided :)

The part that i'm still hesitant on how to make it in the tutorial is the Damn Veil lol, i dont know enough about it yet so i'll wait until we know a bit more

Thu May 09 2013 11:49AM Report
Tierless writes: Good points. I agree, it's probably too much. I would rather they put resources to the endgame we repeat than the beginning content we all do once. I was just trying to see how far outside the norm I could push it, and frankly, it wasn't pushed enough imho. Maybe I've been institutionalized by all the MMOs I've played, stuck in my MMO box now hehe. Thu May 09 2013 3:07PM Report
BowbowDAoC writes:

thinking outside the box isnt required for all aspects of a game hehe, some parts, i.e. a Tutorial, it has to be interesting, reflects what happens in the game, but you cannot get TOO far outside the box.

In that little time new players are in the tutorial, it is where they get their 1st impression of the game, players have to be hooked headstart, see the possibilities, without feeling too lost or confused.

baby steps :) and the first walk is the toughest of them all, we have to ben gentle :D

Thu May 09 2013 4:07PM Report writes:
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