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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Story in mmorpgs

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51 posts found
  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2702

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

1/23/13 1:20:59 PM#21

Stories have their place in MMOs, but they are very limiting. Most of the time, you have two choices, agree to partake in the story or not. Sometimes, when factions are involved you may get three or four choices.

I am more for the short story (simpler side quests) versions then the long, drawn out epic stories many MMOs have come to adopt. In these major epic stories, the game is playing me, not the other way around.

Stories are becoming cut-scenes and voice overs that take "me" out of the game. I dislike immensely standing in a frozen state while things are happening around me and the cut-scene plays out. Great idea for movies (a passive activity), not so great for gaming (an active activity).

[EDIT]
Quote was answered by others :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  dave6660

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2264

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

1/23/13 1:30:20 PM#22

I haven't followed the story of a video game since the days of text based games.  I can't say I miss the stories either.

 

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  Trudge34

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/08/12
Posts: 385

1/23/13 1:37:01 PM#23
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

Stories have their place in MMOs, but they are very limiting. Most of the time, you have two choices, agree to partake in the story or not. Sometimes, when factions are involved you may get three or four choices.

I am more for the short story (simpler side quests) versions then the long, drawn out epic stories many MMOs have come to adopt. In these major epic stories, the game is playing me, not the other way around.

Stories are becoming cut-scenes and voice overs that take "me" out of the game. I dislike immensely standing in a frozen state while things are happening around me and the cut-scene plays out. Great idea for movies (a passive activity), not so great for gaming (an active activity).

[EDIT]
Quote was answered by others :)

I would be all for implementing a series of sidequests much like in Elder Scrolls games with the different groups and factions.  Give them a long quest chain to learn about the faction, their place in the world, a bit of the history of the land and how they came to be, ect. Give some smaller rewards like exp, +faction for that group that would give you things like better merchant prices, additional quests for better rewards, unique (to the faction) armor enhancement or armor / weapon skin, home world or whatever depending on the race, -faction for the opposing faction if there is one maybe at the conclusion a clickable port to their HQ or home lands. Things like that which add flavor to the game without feeling like a needed check on your list of things to do that has plagued many MMOs as of late.

After writing that bit...almost feel like I'm just restating how the Velious expansion worked in EQ....

Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
Currently Playing: GW2

Nytlok Sylas
80 Sylvari Ranger

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 5745

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

1/23/13 1:40:00 PM#24
Originally posted by PWN_FACE

These days a few games have come out touting their story, or their "personal story." Those that have played this card most heavily are Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, and Guild Wars 2. 

 

Games are stories.

 

Some games are better than others at conveying their stories and at engaging the player (the gamer) in the story to a greater or lesser extent. Some games are very open ended and players create their own stories. Others are very heavily scripted. When I think about the question of story, I think about the old dictum for novelists:

 

Show, don't tell.

 

What is the place of story in an mmorpg? What makes good story iWhich mmorpgs do you think are truly the best at story? Why?

 

What are the elements of good story in mmorpgs? 

 

 

While I do enjoy them to a certain extend. I am still not sure why story should be placed in a MMORPG. Story atleast with current tech can not and will not mimick how story is done in a singleplayer game. If it's done that way then the MMORPG already turns more into a singleplayer game with co-op options, looking at you SWtOr even though you have me enjoying you, your definitly not on a MMORPG lvl I would have wished you where.

Unless story is really capable of effecting the ingame world to see for everyone in that ingame world, till that time I really see no us for story other then to be lore for those who like games to tell them what to do. Sorry I already play that in other genre's.

So for me the only element that would make story fit in a MMORPG is when it effects the full ingame world and not just for you in your instance, and the next person to takes the quest/mission.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17882

1/23/13 2:39:28 PM#25
Originally posted by Reklaw
 

While I do enjoy them to a certain extend. I am still not sure why story should be placed in a MMORPG. Story atleast with current tech can not and will not mimick how story is done in a singleplayer game. If it's done that way then the MMORPG already turns more into a singleplayer game with co-op options, looking at you SWtOr even though you have me enjoying you, your definitly not on a MMORPG lvl I would have wished you where.

That is the point. Do a SP game with co-op options. Then put end-game raids & pvp and you have a MMO.

Why do that? Because you can reuse the class mechanics and get essentially two games (a SP leveling co-op game, and a raid/pvp endgame) out of one.

In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

1/23/13 3:54:43 PM#26
Originally posted by nariusseldon

In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

I absolutely agree with you on this one.  If Bioware had done this at release (along with cutting out about 90% of the filler content) people would have gone nuts over SWTOR.   TSW is another game that would have been amazing as a single-player game with optional multiplayer.  The lure of subscription revenue has led publishers to a lot of bad decisions in recent years.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17882

1/23/13 4:16:48 PM#27
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

I absolutely agree with you on this one.  If Bioware had done this at release (along with cutting out about 90% of the filler content) people would have gone nuts over SWTOR.   TSW is another game that would have been amazing as a single-player game with optional multiplayer.  The lure of subscription revenue has led publishers to a lot of bad decisions in recent years.

 

I agree. These two games will be better .. not as MMOs. May be bioware will learn, if they are not sunk by this. I played TOR a little .. the biggest problem is two:

- filler .. as you have pointed out .. it is frustrating to have to spend time on uninteresting stuff before i can get to the good story parts.

- combat .. i dont understand why they have to follow the MMO convention of tab-targetting combat. That is just not Sith like .. i want to kill a bunch of warriors .. not 3 workers standing in an ancient ruin :(

 

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5348

I dare you to pin a label on me.

1/23/13 6:01:24 PM#28
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Onomas

Problem is humans are less intelligent these days

*stops reading*

Its not going to be worth reading with a premise like that.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 5745

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

1/25/13 3:03:01 PM#29
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Reklaw
 

While I do enjoy them to a certain extend. I am still not sure why story should be placed in a MMORPG. Story atleast with current tech can not and will not mimick how story is done in a singleplayer game. If it's done that way then the MMORPG already turns more into a singleplayer game with co-op options, looking at you SWtOr even though you have me enjoying you, your definitly not on a MMORPG lvl I would have wished you where.

That is the point. Do a SP game with co-op options. Then put end-game raids & pvp and you have a MMO.

Why do that? Because you can reuse the class mechanics and get essentially two games (a SP leveling co-op game, and a raid/pvp endgame) out of one.

In the case of TOR, since they are so much story focus, it would be a better game if they just get rid of the virtual world, and make it into a online RPG. The "MMO" part is not always needed to make a good game.

Agree, because it feels like that for me said. They could have put more depth into it's story as that's normal practice in singleplayer games and even make the world more alive due to not having to worry about thousands of people running around on the same server. As a singleplayer co-op game and perhaps even half if not more then half the budget, they could have done so much more to and for the game.

 

  jpnz

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3394

1/25/13 3:19:07 PM#30

A good story makes me care for the chars I'm playing / playing with.

Other than SWTOR, I haven't had an MMO that gave me that.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Ice-Queen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2423

"Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won't expect it back."

1/25/13 3:22:42 PM#31

Honestly, I have 0 interest in story with an mmorpg. If I have the option to skip over it, I do. If I don't, I afk til it's over or I just won't play that mmo. If I want to know what's happening with the lore in an mmorpg (which I never do), I could ask my husband, as he loves the lore in mmo's.

I'm more interested in logging into an mmo, chatting with friends, family, and guildies, while we go adventuring.

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
Dark Age of Camelot

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 5734

1/25/13 3:25:39 PM#32
Originally posted by Quirhid
A good story makes you care, makes you invested, and entertains.

This. the only reason I want to go back to WoW right now, is to see whats going on in the new awesome story that WoW has.

Rift doesnt give me that kind of attachment to the lore. thats a problem. But SWTOR and GW2 do storytelling wrong. thats why attachment is never met. They need to learn how good story telling works in video games by looking at not just what single player games did, but how they did what they did to gain a fanbase.

  Rossboss

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 238

1/25/13 3:56:03 PM#33
Yeah, it's really in the lore where games draw you in. Nobody likes getting to the one page in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book that gives you only one option of where to go next. Set stories are the ones where people beat the game and leave. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure is when people come back to see all of the endings.

I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  User Deleted
 
OP  1/25/13 6:38:28 PM#34
Originally posted by Reklaw

Unless story is really capable of effecting the ingame world to see for everyone in that ingame world, till that time I really see no us for story other then to be lore for those who like games to tell them what to do. Sorry I already play that in other genre's.

So for me the only element that would make story fit in a MMORPG is when it effects the full ingame world and not just for you in your instance, and the next person to takes the quest/mission.

I tend to think along these lines, as well. I have to admit that while I play and enjoy themepark games, I also love sandbox freedoms. So if I understand this correctly, the world is a story and you the player have freedom to do what you want within that context. For example, the world is going through a major upheaval (like World War 2) and you find yourself at the start of the game as a refugee in country X.

 

What do you do? Do you join the partisans and fight against the invaders? Do you become a black marketeer and profit off of peoples needs by price gouging? Or are you simply supplying things to people that they would otherwise be unable to get? You have the chance to create your own story here. 

 

There are so many possibilities -- you are a gunrunner getting weapons for gangsters or are you supplying weapons to freedom fighters? Which is it? How do you see  yourself? How do other players see and react to you?

 

You are making you own story at a more "human" level. To me that is more engaging. While you are doing your thing, larger forces are in motion. Armies are marching, politicians are cunning, dictators are dictating, etc. Of course, it wouldn't have to be World War 2, specifically for a sandbox. But it could be a major event/historical process/meta-story affecting the full ingame world and you create your own story within that context.

 

I think LOTRO is a themepark game that is doing this in their own way. Games could be made from this themepark end of the spectrum or opened up into a more sandbox direction kind like the World War 2 idea I gave as an example.

 

Basically, I'm not a fan of "canned stories" in an mmorpg. I don't like cut scenes in mmorpgs. I DON'T want to be the savior of the galaxy. Yes, I used all caps. I rarely do, but in that case, I stand by my decision. 

 

I believe cutscenes are not "showing," though we are literally watching them. They are "telling" you a story, but not letting you have the freedom to make your own story. That makes the player an empty vessel to receive the story handed down by the developer. I believe that is more suitable to other genres than mmorpgs. As others have mentioned, there's nothing wrong with co-op games. 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17882

1/25/13 7:25:27 PM#35
Originally posted by Reklaw
 

Agree, because it feels like that for me said. They could have put more depth into it's story as that's normal practice in singleplayer games and even make the world more alive due to not having to worry about thousands of people running around on the same server. As a singleplayer co-op game and perhaps even half if not more then half the budget, they could have done so much more to and for the game.

 

The ironic thing is that bioware already knows how to make good SP games well.

  Onomas

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1138

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

1/25/13 7:32:27 PM#36

Developer stories in mmorpgs is like a roll of toilet paper, you keep pulling away at it until it finishes, then toss it out for a new one.

They can not ever make enough content to keep up with the player base, and it starts to become a single ply roll of tp, if you know what i mean.

 

  Warmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 2233

1/26/13 12:08:40 AM#37
A good story provides a nice backdrop.  But for me with MMORPGs, it's all about "What can I do in that game?  What can I do in that world?"  Not much?  Then I move on.

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  Valentina

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/06
Posts: 1651

1/26/13 12:19:57 AM#38
story is very important in a MMORPG, in a game that isn't focused on that sort of thing then no...But anything labeled MMORPG should have a very strong story element not only in the environments, and things that show the lore, but also in narrative. It makes you care, for all it's shortcomings...I cared more about my characters and was more invested then I have ever been in an MMO with SWTOR. GW2 gave a similar sense even if their storytelling wasn't as good, I still feel more connected than I ever have in any other MMO's I've ever played in my life. There's something to the storytelling thing, but it can't be all that drives the game, the game needs to become something more than stories and quests at some point...You can continue to add new ones of course and I think that would be important, but the game world itself has to be broad and expansive too.
  birken

Novice Member

Joined: 12/07/08
Posts: 123

1/26/13 12:52:14 AM#39
Eq was my first love of mmorpg , PLayed awhile then i found Vanguard it the only other game that has the same feel people hate onn it cause it just to hard for them. They are so stuck on the walk u hand to hand games now. Eq2 i tried that game is so bad it not really what it should have been. Vanguard should have been eq2. I t is very sad to see people wanting to play game too raise to max lev not doing any of the content and complain about no content.  Vanguard it would take a year or more to finish all the game has to offer even then u will miss certain  places. There a stoy line but it is open where u make your own path.  I hope people wake up and go back to the old ways, I like to try and get lost and find stuff new or stop and  talk to a fellow playing on the path and chat alittle, Maybe find a waterfall way out in no where and fish for a little while, or maybe attack a mob u cant beat but tell story about it. I camped a mob for 4 hours in Vanguard for it to spawn and had fun talking about it with random people that walked bye. I hope and have faith people will see the light and enjoy the game to the fullest and not what the end is.
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OP  1/26/13 6:10:54 PM#40
Originally posted by birken
Eq was my first love of mmorpg , PLayed awhile then i found Vanguard it the only other game that has the same feel people hate onn it cause it just to hard for them. They are so stuck on the walk u hand to hand games now. Eq2 i tried that game is so bad it not really what it should have been. Vanguard should have been eq2. I t is very sad to see people wanting to play game too raise to max lev not doing any of the content and complain about no content.  Vanguard it would take a year or more to finish all the game has to offer even then u will miss certain  places. There a stoy line but it is open where u make your own path.  I hope people wake up and go back to the old ways, I like to try and get lost and find stuff new or stop and  talk to a fellow playing on the path and chat alittle, Maybe find a waterfall way out in no where and fish for a little while, or maybe attack a mob u cant beat but tell story about it. I camped a mob for 4 hours in Vanguard for it to spawn and had fun talking about it with random people that walked bye. I hope and have faith people will see the light and enjoy the game to the fullest and not what the end is.

I started playing VG about a week ago and I've been having a lot of fun. Yesterday, I was riding a long distance to go find someone in a city I hadn't been to yet (another way they tell story in VG). For example, some NPC will say "I heard there is someone named __ in __ who is looking for __." So you go out to the place you haven't been before. It's not just another quest hub. When you get there, you have to find this person. Then they might request something from you and you might need to find some other people and get some other stuff. I think that's a cool way to bring story and exploration together.

 

For example, on that ride I started with, I was going along the bank of a waterway and I met this Djinni who was shackled on the shoreline in the middle of nowhere. He needed my help to free him from the spirit captors guarding his bottle at the bottom of the river. After I helped him he gave me some coin and a strange orb (quest item) that I haven't figured out what do with yet. I like little suprises and mysteries like that when I'm out exploring. And I've only just scratched the surface of the area near where I started. The world is pretty big.

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