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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Linear Game Play

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22 posts found
  Ahnog

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/05
Posts: 230

 
OP  11/14/12 10:32:28 AM#1

Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary.

Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories.

Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well).

Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.

Ahnog

Hokey religions are no replacement for a good blaster at your side.

http://www.ahnog.us

  VincerKaden

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/06
Posts: 460

11/14/12 10:37:14 AM#2

Well, I think that's why I was let down by story of SWTOR. Bioware kept pumping us with how the "story" aspect of the MMO genre had not been fully explored before. It seemed they were going to push into new territory with SWTOR.

But even by your own post, you note that WoW has linear storytelling already.

It doesn't seem like Bioware really pushed anything new into storytelling at all, except for the illusion of choice via the dialogue wheel.

  Popori

Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 333

11/14/12 10:40:45 AM#3

Nice opinions, the issue for me is that outside of these stories there is very little to do.  If you do not want to progress your story line, there is little reason to log in.  The stories are also very generic and not very inspired.

Mild BH spoiler:

  I mean, I can't count on either hand the number of times my Bounty Hunter was betrated by folks in his story, after the third time you just grow to expect it. "Oh, meet up at the party?  Damn, guess I gotta kill all the dudes from this planet," "Oh, meet such and such at the secret location?  Let me make sure I got supplies for the ambush."

 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10924

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/14/12 10:42:42 AM#4

Is this a surprise or something? It would have been nice to have branching story lines, but there was never any indication that such a thing would exist.

The story lines (imo) are the best aspect of SWToR. It's the only thing about the game worth playing through. Personally, I could have played the game with nothing but the story line content, and never mine the world quests. That's where SWToR fell flat. Pretty much everything outside of the character story lines.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2568

11/14/12 10:43:23 AM#5

Story was pushed to the forefront in this game in a way that had never been done in an MMORPG before.  This was actually the first MMORPG I played where I actually cared about the story.  For me, that is not a simple undertaking.  So it was a big deal for me.

I think a lot of people just got bored with it rather quickly and outside of story, the saw "WoW with lightsabers" (not a perception I hold, mind you).

 

"I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you." - Robin Williams

  FrodoFragins

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2776

11/14/12 10:45:54 AM#6
Originally posted by Ahnog

Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary.

Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories.

Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well).

Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.

It's not necessary at all.  They could have had each story have branches.  Rather than having a linear order of planets, the player could have chosen a path on one of two planets. 

 

Leveling alts of the same faction is abdurdedly linear and boring for 90% of the content which is non class story content.

  Whitebeards

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 750

11/14/12 10:47:21 AM#7

Every MMO which introduces end up as a linear gameplay. Two other examples TSW and GW2. So we already know it is necessary mechanic of story telling. SWTOR storytelling was fabulous, it is rest of the content which was lacking. 

It is quite possible to keep story telling path linear and also offer freedom to players when they are not following storyline.

  artemisentr4

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1441

11/14/12 11:02:15 AM#8
Originally posted by lizardbones

Is this a surprise or something? It would have been nice to have branching story lines, but there was never any indication that such a thing would exist.

The story lines (imo) are the best aspect of SWToR. It's the only thing about the game worth playing through. Personally, I could have played the game with nothing but the story line content, and never mine the world quests. That's where SWToR fell flat. Pretty much everything outside of the character story lines.

I agree, I still enjoy the stories. I would love to see a hard mode at level 50 that would allow you to run just the story quest after you finish the quests at 50. This would give you a chance to make different choices as well as have level 50 mobs through the entire quest line. Could be a fun way to increase companion affection as well.

 

Linear is required when you have level zones to the game. No way around it IMO except to have double the planets in SWTOR's case. Then the complaint would be that I made "x" choice and my friend made "y" choice and we can no longer play together because we are on different worlds at the same level.

 

 

“How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”
R.A.Salvatore

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

11/14/12 11:07:50 AM#9
I recall "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that figured out how to have non-linear, branching story lines in the 1970's and 1980's. It's not that tough a concept and shouldn't be that hard to execute unless like Bioware you had a shoe-string budget. Oh wait a minute.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10924

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/14/12 11:09:11 AM#10


Originally posted by FrodoFragins

Originally posted by Ahnog Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary. Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories. Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well). Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.
It's not necessary at all.  They could have had each story have branches.  Rather than having a linear order of planets, the player could have chosen a path on one of two planets. 

 

Leveling alts of the same faction is abdurdedly linear and boring for 90% of the content which is non class story content.




That would have been really cool. For instance, you have an overall goal on each planet (free the slave droids, whatever), but you have a couple different choices of how to achieve that goal. You could kill the slavers, or help supply the insurgents or something. The problem is that stuff is simple in theory, but it would have very quickly increased the already ridiculous development costs of the game. Still, it would have been really cool

** edit **
There are other issues too, pointed out by some posters above. If I choose path A, and my friend chooses path B, now we have to figure out how to do some quests together without messing everything up.

I'm sure there are other reasons too, probably all related to money and having multiple players.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/14/12 11:22:52 AM#11

Of course Swtor heavy-focus on story-line require linearity.   Multi-branching this story-line  would require insane amount of money, would not eliminate linearity completly and imho in mmorpg would be very hard to achieve without heavy phasing and possibly even more instancing that Swtor already have.

 

STILL you missing the point OP.  People who complain(ed) about Swtor's linearity do realize that it was necessary because heavy-story focus and that making Swtor (or any mmorpg) less linear would also mean that it will be LESS story focused.

 

When I do personally have to choose in mmorpg between:

a) heavy-story focus, cutscenes, phasing, linearity, one big unfolding connected story

and

b) less linear gameplay,  no or few cutscenes, no phasing, smaller separate stories here and there.

 

I choose option b. 

That's also why you think that big linear stories with zone phasing in WoW is 'better' and why I think it is 'worse'. Because we like diffrent things.

 

If I want cutsceanes heavy, story heavy gameplay  I play games like The Witcher 2, where story is multibranched and where decision matters and where because of it's being single player developers can deliver those things.  

I really don't play mmorpg's to have linear story-heavy experience just with other players.

 

 

  Mardukk

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1445

11/14/12 11:32:42 AM#12

I suppose it was ok for one run through, but I'll be damned if I'm going to run an alt through the same exact linear zones and quests.  It also totally destroys the feeling of a virtual world to have linear story line only zones.

 

I thought the way GW2 did the story was fine (although I felt the stories themselves were better in SWTOR).  They didn't design the zones only around being linear.  Hell I have skipped most of the personal story on most of my alts in GW2 and feel that I haven't missed a thing.

  theAsna

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 303

11/14/12 11:47:03 AM#13
Originally posted by Ahnog

Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary.

Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories.

Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well).

Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.

 

A story in a book is linear. You read what the author wrote. A reader can drift off imagining what would or what could have happened if a protagonist did or said different things. In the end you follow what the author wrote down.

 

In a computer game things can be done less linear. Take into account that a player might choose path A or path B or path C or ... .... . Now the gamne can be made in a way to react to the player's actions. In a single player game that will be easiest to implement. Player makes a certain choice -> the game world (or a fraction of the game world or just some NPCs) is going to change accordingly.

In an MMO this doesn't work thus easily. If you change the game world according to a player's actions then you'd end up with lots of phasing -> most players would end up in their own unique phase. Having only one game world and have players' action affect this one game world wouldn't work either. You have to keep in mind that players play differently and with different play speeds. If player A solved a certain quest and the game world had changed what would there be for player B to do if he/she played the same conttent some weeks later? The standard way is that quests work simply according to some fire and forget mechanism (speak to quest giver -> solve quest -> report back to quest giver). Once you are done with a quest you can't speak anymore with the quest giver. The environement looks the same. The quest givers told your character that by finishing the quest somethin has changed, but the players don't see much of an impact (i.e. if the player had to rout some bandits in the area and the area remains ridden with bandits nonetheless).

This just creates a feeling that the game world is sterile / static.

 

All this wouldn't be much of an issue. But the game world was tailored strongly around the story element. You start on planet A. After you do the first quests and your class quests you will be sent to the faction's capital. You do some quests here and then eventually get your own spacecraft. Now you can freely travel to other planets. Doing each of the stories once or twice is OK. But no matter which class you play you'll more or less visit the same planets in almost the same order. There would have been no need for such railroading in the first place. Why not allow players to immediately visit the whole galaxy. Keep in mind that if you do the regular questing, then add some PvP sessions and some flashpoints into your daily routine then you'll easily outlevel and outgear the planets which you still need to visit to advance your class story. Maybe you don't want to do all those class quests with your 10th character. Maybe you want to try an alternative build/specialisation of your favourite class. Maybe you want to simply do some flashpoints, some PvP and then the planets in your current level range. Why do you need your own spacecraft to get to other planets? You can enter the spacecraft from a party member but only after you have unlocked your own spacecraft. Why can't you simply buy the spacecraft or pay another player to transport you to a certain destination?

Especially this last aspect breeds a feeling of linearity and lowers replayability.

  Konfess

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 753

11/14/12 12:05:57 PM#14
SWTOR is a KoTOR game, quite possibly the KoTOR 3 game everyone asked for. It is a KoTOR game with a persistent MMO world. KoTOR always had a linear story, true you had option as to order of planet progression. But there was an optimal path. The single player story had either the light or dark ending based on dialog choices.

Listen ALL games are linear, when a programmer looks or thinks about it. Games create the illusion of randomness with random number generator, which are in fact just illusions of randomness. Either because of space, time, or cost the number of choices are slim. The greatest never ending “sandbox” games really only have at most the same five choice given over and over again.

What can you do in a game?
1 Kill somthing
2. Use something
3. Talk to something
4. Go to something
5. Make something

Yes you can do Anything so long as it fits into this list. Maybe this is all that life really is. But I don’t think so.

Pardon any spelling errors
Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
Mom: We don't talk to Priests.

  azzamasin

Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2805

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

11/14/12 12:08:11 PM#15
Originally posted by Ahnog

Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary.

Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories.

Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well).

Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.

Linearity in an MMORPG is a very bad thing regardless from where it comes from.  Linearity stiffles freedom, inhibits exploration and dulls the senses!

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  keithian

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/06
Posts: 3000

11/14/12 3:51:22 PM#16
Originally posted by grimal

Story was pushed to the forefront in this game in a way that had never been done in an MMORPG before.  This was actually the first MMORPG I played where I actually cared about the story.  For me, that is not a simple undertaking.  So it was a big deal for me.

I think a lot of people just got bored with it rather quickly and outside of story, the saw "WoW with lightsabers" (not a perception I hold, mind you).

 

I totally agree with you. The problem was for me that by the time I hit around the mid 30s, now Im level 43 I think, I found that it was too linear and not alive enough. I also wish it would remove all options for everyone with regard to knowing the alignment choice upfront when you respond to the branching story. I think you can toggle that off, but it should be the same for everyone and would make things feel less scripted. Anyway, I just resubscribed, so I'll be curious after focusing on GW2 how I feel about rejoining. I see myself bouncing back and forth between both games as they each have their strength. 

There Is Always Hope!

  darkhalf357x

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1110

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

11/14/12 4:02:14 PM#17

The story was the core of the MMO instead of being a premiere aspect of it.   I started MMOs with SWTOR and its initial impression was excellent.  Where the game fell flat, and where many of us have said many times, were the activities (I call systems) outside of the story. 

If the goal of the game was to play through the stories and then quit (console style) this game would have done really well with replay value (8 stories) to boot.  The issue was that was not the goal.  The goal was to have an MMO and that definition has meaning, one of which is the ability to live in an environment or even more basically just giving me other things to waste my time with.

There were many chances for this to occur.  The cantina is the best I can think of.  It just screams social scene for characters to hang out in, and when you visit one in the game it desolate.  I felt they spent some much of the resources on the story they didnt focus enough on the environment.  While the planets were large they lacked character and passion and didnt scream for me to explore them.  Crafting felt like an afterthought.

So the question came down to.  Now that I completed a story (if you were able to get that far).  What else was there to do?  On rails shooters? In an MMO. Not for me.  Flashpoints?  I'll admit some were fun but not enough to get me to stay logged on.  Warzones?  Never tried them, no interest to.

But notice how the opinion changes as soon as the game goes F2P.  Now all of a sudden the rest of the stories sound more interesting.  Not because they are better now than before, but I wont feel like Im *wasting* 15/month for something not equal to the quality.  If I play half way through a story and I dont like it... I lose nothing but time, which for me is something I can easily afford.

  Zekiah

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2540

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

11/14/12 4:07:05 PM#18

A defense of linear gameplay? Really?

Heh, I suppose some people prefer Skinner Boxes over freedom. Baffling.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  SuperXero89

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2610

11/14/12 4:09:00 PM#19
Originally posted by Ahnog

Several crisize the linear storylines in SWTOR. I think they are necessary.

Each storyline was completed by an unamed individual and is part of the story of TOR. Characters are reliving that story. This demands linear stories.

Linear stories are not a bad thing. WOW has many zones with no story at all. Their best zones are story line zones (which are linear as well).

Story is one of the best things about SWTOR. There are eight solid stories to experience, and then you write your own story in the end game.

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

11/14/12 4:47:28 PM#20
Is for people who don't need much in a game. If SWTOR was a great game for you after you leveled to 50 and completed the quests, then you should be safely entertained to the limit of your desires by any title, past, present, or future.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

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