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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do we need personal stories?

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68 posts found
  Eir_S

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4665

GW2 socialist.

12/23/12 12:30:28 PM#41
I like there being a basic storyline attached to an MMO, it gives it a sense of stability.  But personal stories don't much matter to me, I'm playing MMOs for their inherently addictive qualities (killing mobs, looting, collecting etc.).  I would rather play than hear people talk, hence my disinterest in some of the recent chatty Cathy MMOs.
  Scarfe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/21/12
Posts: 287

 
OP  12/23/12 12:41:12 PM#42
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Scarfe

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a story-driven single player game; I just don't need them in my mmo's.  I have three principal issues:- 

Firstly, it always seems slightly absurd that I am 'the' hero, when I know full well that the hundreds of people who completed the quest before me, and the ten people gathered around me speaking to my npc, are also the same hero. 

Secondly, the stories are generally too prescriptive.  My character is no longer my own, it is performing someone elses actions and speaking someone elses lines. 

Finally, it is bloody expensive.  Voice acting and cutscenes on every little 'kill ten rats' quest (SWTOR) drains money that could be better spent on more mmo-y features. 

They are my thoughts on the matter, please feel free to add your own.   

 

1, that's because some players have difficulty with the idea that there are two parts to these story driven games. That's the You are the hero" part which is for the benefit of the single player and the "you are in an mmo and once you start interacting with other players, the first part is soley about you and that's it".

This is also where the role play part comes in. Essentially you as a player know your character has done all these things but it's left unsaid. The real issue is that these stories are about engaging individual players (where applicable) or a small group. In many ways they fall outside the massive and multiplayer idea. At least how they are usually done in these games.

2, This is the fault of the developer. They don't allow for individual choices because that would mean developing many different outcomes.

3, I actuallly don't buy this. At least on face value. X amount of dollars are put aside for different parts of development. A budget is created for every aspcect of a project.

If 10 million dollars is set aside for voice acting (or whatever it costs) and the voice acting is completely scrubbed, you aren't going to then have an extra 10 million to pump into other aspects of the game.

Whatever costs were set for each game play element will stand until such time it is deemed necessary to add money (if available).

 

There are two separate things here. 1, why are other mmo game play elements not developed as well as some players would want and 2, Is it worth it to have a huge fully voiced story.

1. But this is kind of my point.  Any personal mmo story imo should take account of the fact you are in an mmo and not an individual snowflake in a single player game.  If you are going to have a story, just have a general story for the mmo, not a personal story about me becoming the hero and saving the world.  Have an arc or a theme, but rather than ramming it down my throat in a series of linear cutscenes, just explore it through general quests and events.

2. GW2 was terrible for this, it gave two options, neither of which would I ever do or say, and this would just end up irritating me.  By stripping back the single-player type story a little the developer shouldn't need to contend with this issue at all.

3.  I am not talking about some Progress Meeting midway through development.  All I am saying is that at a high level from conception, less emphasis needs to be put on personal story and more on an immersive, fun world to play in.    

currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

  Rydeson

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3132

12/23/12 1:04:07 PM#43
Originally posted by Scarfe

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a story-driven single player game; I just don't need them in my mmo's.  I have three principal issues:- 

Firstly, it always seems slightly absurd that I am 'the' hero, when I know full well that the hundreds of people who completed the quest before me, and the ten people gathered around me speaking to my npc, are also the same hero. 

Secondly, the stories are generally too prescriptive.  My character is no longer my own, it is performing someone elses actions and speaking someone elses lines. 

Finally, it is bloody expensive.  Voice acting and cutscenes on every little 'kill ten rats' quest (SWTOR) drains money that could be better spent on more mmo-y features. 

They are my thoughts on the matter, please feel free to add your own.   

 

+3 for a perfect observation :)  well done

  tollbooth

Novice Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 302

12/23/12 1:24:58 PM#44
I don't like personal stories.  I wish though that like 1 in 1k players had a personal story and we made our own stories based around that players actions.
  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4075

12/23/12 1:38:52 PM#45
Originally posted by Yamota
Originally posted by elocke
I think they should be necessary.  The best MMOs I've played:  FFXI and Lotro were filled with awesome storylines that made them different from the rest of the offerings in the genre and make me keep coming back for more and their updates.  Games without a personal storyline, even as a side option always end up boring me i.e. Eve, SWG, WoW, Rift(yes some of these have storylines, but they aren't reliant on my character to be told).

As you seem to put so much weight on single player storylines I think you need to ask yourself why are you playing an MMO instead of a single player RPG?

Not really.  Today's MMORPG are the newest and best type of RPG I grew up loving.  Games like FF1-10, Legend of Zelda, The Pool of Radiance type games, dont exist anymore.  Next best thing I have is MMORPGs.  Which, by the way, present a few caviats that Single Player Rpgs do not:

1.  They never end.(for the most part, due to content updates and expansions I can play these games for years)

2.  Playing alongside other people is awesome and makes the "worlds" feel more alive.

3.  Constant bug fixing, content patching and maintenance keeps my game remaining fresh and alive.

4.  Personal story can actually continue!!

So, please, get off the high horse viewpoint of "well go play singler player games if you want story so much".  I'm tired of hearing that, as if someones sandbox could possibly be ruined by adding a personal storyline to it!  ROFL!

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  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4075

12/23/12 1:41:42 PM#46
Originally posted by Mike-McQueen
I want memories not stories. Let a players story be told through his or her actions. Ill say it again, not everyone's a hero.

Who says you can't have both?  Seriously, stop thinking in one dimension people.  As if a personal story ever hurt ones freedom to make their own stories in these games.  If any of you even mention one game that does this, I bet I can show which aspect you are confusing with hindering your own made up story and it's not the storyline in the game.  It's the build/design/tools  or lack of, the world you are playing in. 

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  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16940

12/23/12 1:48:20 PM#47
Originally posted by Scarfe
 

1. But this is kind of my point.  Any personal mmo story imo should take account of the fact you are in an mmo and not an individual snowflake in a single player game.  If you are going to have a story, just have a general story for the mmo, not a personal story about me becoming the hero and saving the world.  Have an arc or a theme, but rather than ramming it down my throat in a series of linear cutscenes, just explore it through general quests and events.

3.  I am not talking about some Progress Meeting midway through development.  All I am saying is that at a high level from conception, less emphasis needs to be put on personal story and more on an immersive, fun world to play in.    

But that's an opinion. And as we all know all opinions are like ...      mine yours and everyone else's.

Point being that there are many people who enjoy personal story in an mmo. I'll be honest, my first mmo was lineage 2. When I tried wow beta I hated it BUT I absolutely LOVED the quests because for the first time ever there was a storied reason why I was going out and killing these things.

The main quest, personal story is just an extension of the mmo quest but it allows the quest to be something more than a few minute jaunt into the forest.

As for #3 see above. If the developers are interested in cultivating a story then they are going to do what it takes to make that story come alive.

Of course this is the difference between thempark and sandbox mmo's. Theme park mmo's are about the ride. Main story is just one part of that ride.

 

edit: if i was going to do story in an mmo I would have a "server story". meaning I would have a large story with things that need to happen, be discovered, etc. Some of these things would be up to individuals and small groups and then those thigns would spawn events that were more server wide. This way someone CAN be the one who discovers the plot to kill the queen, someone CAN be the one to thwart that plot and larger events can be done by the regular server as they happen.

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

12/23/12 1:59:38 PM#48
Originally posted by elocke
Originally posted by Mike-McQueen
I want memories not stories. Let a players story be told through his or her actions. Ill say it again, not everyone's a hero.

Who says you can't have both?  Seriously, stop thinking in one dimension people.  As if a personal story ever hurt ones freedom to make their own stories in these games.  If any of you even mention one game that does this, I bet I can show which aspect you are confusing with hindering your own made up story and it's not the storyline in the game.  It's the build/design/tools  or lack of, the world you are playing in. 

And themepark players arent one dimensional? lol

I dont want to craft

I dont want to decorate a house

I dont want to pvp

I dont want to buy stuff i want all loot

I dont want to travel more than 3 feet to content

I dont want large worlds

I dont want puzzles, using ym brain, or solving things

I dont want to level up outside quests, i need the guidance

I dont want death penalty

I dont want player based economy

I dont want player content

I dont want to group

I dont want.................... you can add yours here. I could go on for hours.

 

In all honesty, themepark players and their linear thought patterns are so much more one dimensional than any sandbox player. We want all features and to take part in all or have the choice not to. Themepark players just want to kill stuff, hitt max level, and come on the forums to complain about the game.

 

Story is not everything and isnt the only thing that makes up a mmorpg............. role playing is killed in your story driven games and should stay in single player console department. And yes games like TSW,TOR, and others with your personal story makes it nearly impossible to make your own up or content for such a story.

  toddze

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2195

I am not a hater, I call it like I see it.

12/23/12 2:01:03 PM#49

The personal story you guys speak of is a single player RPG story aspect. A game that pushes you along  a little story from point A to point B is not an MMO, its an online RPG.

In MMO's a personal story is something completly diffrent. Are you that well known crafter on your server. Are you that douch thats been kicked out of guilds for ninja looting. Do people see you and say "hes a good player" You make your own personal stories in an MMO. A personal story can never be scripted by a dev. If they try your not playing an MMO your playing an online RPG.

There can be world lore and a world story, to make whatever your doing feel like its worth doing. But it should never be the driving factor in the game. Why? because even the best stories END.

Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
Now Playing: N/A
Worst MMO: FFXIV
Favorite MMO: FFXI

  Scarfe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/21/12
Posts: 287

 
OP  12/23/12 2:04:58 PM#50
Originally posted by toddze

The personal story you guys speak of is a single player RPG story aspect. A game that pushes you along  a little story from point A to point B is not an MMO, its an online RPG.

In MMO's a personal story is something completly diffrent. Are you that well known crafter on your server. Are you that douch thats been kicked out of guilds for ninja looting. Do people see you and say "hes a good player" You make your own personal stories in an MMO. A personal story can never be scripted by a dev. If they try your not playing an MMO your playing an online RPG.

There can be world lore and a world story, to make whatever your doing feel like its worth doing. But it should never be the driving factor in the game. Why? because even the best stories END.

Semantics.  We all know what I mean. 

currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

  Gravarg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3027

12/23/12 2:07:45 PM#51
They're generally good the first time you go through them, maybe even the second time, but the best times I've had in MMOs always come to me doing something on my own without a quest telling me to do it.  My favorite archetype is a carpenter or blacksmith if the game doesn't have carpentry.  I really don't like fighting and all that business.  In Ashen Empires (old sandbox from late 90s) and Dransik (the earlier 2d version the game was based on) I really never got into going and fighting demons and all that.  I spent all day just hanging out in town, milling logs into planks or crafting mixing bowls or staves or bows or arrows for my fellow adventurers to buy from me.  My main character in that game still has alot of gold even by today's standards. I go back from time to time to get my crafting fix, or I play skyrim.  In skyrim my "main" would be my orc blacksmith.  He does nothing but goes about gathering ores and making items to sell to vendors.  I hope in ESO that they will have something in the way of a crafting character.  In FFXIV, I think I'm one of the few people that played a sole crafter.  I spent all my time crafting, I love doing so.  Raids and all that are fun the first few times you do them, but they have no staying power with me.  Crafting is where it's at.  Nothing beats the rush I get when I get a mail, tell, or call for someone to use my crafting expertise to make them a grand item, build them a house (Ashen Empires has the best housing imho), or to gather materials for them.  My guild loves me for it as well, our vaults are always full of herbs, ore, and leather since after my dailies all I do is craft, except for my weekly guild raids :)

Best Game Ever? Highest game rated on Metacritic!

  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4075

12/23/12 2:08:12 PM#52
Originally posted by Onomas
Originally posted by elocke
Originally posted by Mike-McQueen
I want memories not stories. Let a players story be told through his or her actions. Ill say it again, not everyone's a hero.

Who says you can't have both?  Seriously, stop thinking in one dimension people.  As if a personal story ever hurt ones freedom to make their own stories in these games.  If any of you even mention one game that does this, I bet I can show which aspect you are confusing with hindering your own made up story and it's not the storyline in the game.  It's the build/design/tools  or lack of, the world you are playing in. 

And themepark players arent one dimensional? lol

I dont want to craft

I dont want to decorate a house

I dont want to pvp

I dont want to buy stuff i want all loot

I dont want to travel more than 3 feet to content

I dont want large worlds

I dont want puzzles, using ym brain, or solving things

I dont want to level up outside quests, i need the guidance

I dont want death penalty

I dont want player based economy

I dont want player content

I dont want to group

I dont want.................... you can add yours here. I could go on for hours.

 

In all honesty, themepark players and their linear thought patterns are so much more one dimensional than any sandbox player. We want all features and to take part in all or have the choice not to. Themepark players just want to kill stuff, hitt max level, and come on the forums to complain about the game.

 

Story is not everything and isnt the only thing that makes up a mmorpg............. role playing is killed in your story driven games and should stay in single player console department. And yes games like TSW,TOR, and others with your personal story makes it nearly impossible to make your own up or content for such a story.

You just lost your own argument.  Way to generalize one type of player.  I prefer a hybrid of themepark and sandbox and none of what you stated in your "I don't want.." list ever crossed my mind nor have I really seen any of those except the pvp one, which is why most games have distinct pvp/pve servers.  Anyway, moving on.

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  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

12/23/12 2:22:53 PM#53

Wasnt an argument to begin with. Its whats in almost every post on these forums. Cant lose something when im quoting other people lol. Not my statements to begin with, its theirs.

And they are very one dimensional statements

  VincerKaden

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/06
Posts: 459

12/23/12 2:27:16 PM#54

Coming from traditional tabletop RPGs, when I first arrived in an online RPG (SWG), I did so with a character concept in mind already, complete with a backstory and a general idea of where I wanted to go with development (both skill-wise and "profession").

The path I envisioned took interesting twists along the way. I reached some goals, ignored others, and found new ones. I brought along friends and family, and made new allies, too.

I formed a squad, built a city, and allied with neighboring towns. We took to the spacelanes, and expanded our reach in the galactic civil war, by supplying intel, troops and goods.

At no point did SWG give me my personal story. It gave me a world and all the tools I needed to tell my own.

And it was truly "personal".

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

12/23/12 2:29:26 PM#55
Originally posted by Vayman

Coming from traditional tabletop RPGs, when I first arrived in an online RPG (SWG), I did so with a character concept in mind already, complete with a backstory and a general idea of where I wanted to go with development (both skill-wise and "profession").

The path I envisioned took interesting twists along the way. I reached some goals, ignored others, and found new ones. I brought along friends and family, and made new allies, too.

I formed a squad, built a city, and allied with neighboring towns. We took to the spacelanes, and expanded our reach in the galactic civil war, by supplying intel, troops and goods.

At no point did SWG give me my personal story. It gave me a world and all the tools I needed to tell my own.

And it was truly "personal".

 

Felt good too i bet :)

  drivendawn

Elite Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 857

12/23/12 2:32:53 PM#56
Originally posted by Onomas

Wasnt an argument to begin with. Its whats in almost every post on these forums. Cant lose something when im quoting other people lol. Not my statements to begin with, its theirs.

And they are very one dimensional statements

Well themeparks are here to stay because people have different opinions, and every other post wow what a exaggeration. Alot of people I know want a mix of sandbox and themepark.

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

12/23/12 2:34:20 PM#57
Originally posted by drivendawn
Originally posted by Onomas

Wasnt an argument to begin with. Its whats in almost every post on these forums. Cant lose something when im quoting other people lol. Not my statements to begin with, its theirs.

And they are very one dimensional statements

Well themeparks are here to stay because people have different opinions, and every other post wow what a exaggeration. Alot of people I know want a mix of sanbox and themepark.

Whole bunch of them coming ;)

Just not fast enough.

  User Deleted
12/23/12 2:37:17 PM#58
I think there are a lot of ideas out there that could have a place in MMO's, like personal stories, if done well.  The problem is that if it's implimented in a half-assed way, then it doesn't matter how good the idea is in the first place.
  shirlnt

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/06
Posts: 354

12/23/12 3:21:11 PM#59

When I hear "personal stories," I think of a story I create for my character, which is what I want.  Some companies create or change their games based on the idea that everyone wants to play the hero.  Not everyone in a story is the main character.  There are lots of supporting characters too.  Maybe I don't want to be the person that goes out and slays the dragon.  Maybe I want to be the one that makes the equipment used by the person that slays the dragon.  Maybe I want to be the friend waiting at home to hear the stories of the person that slayed the dragon so I can go around telling the story to others.  Sometimes I want to have two characters playing the game, one that goes and slays dragons and one that is a supporting role.

Also, in an MMO, there can be multiple stories combining together.  While I may not want to be the "hero" or "main character" of the entire game, I may be the main character in my own story but my story might be different than that intended by the game designer (I'm not a hero out to slay the dragon and save the world, I'm a thief looking to be the richest person in the world or a doctor set on helping the most people or an entertainer making a name for myself....point is whatever my story, the choices should be MINE, not forced upon me as the only storyline available or one storyline out of a few choices, perhaps determined a choice I made in character creation).

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

12/23/12 3:28:39 PM#60

I like a "personal" story - but you don't get those in games with a developer-written scripted story.

The studios can brag a million times about the "personal" story in their games - but there's nothing "personal" in their "personal" stories. It's canned food for the millions. 

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