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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How important is the story/lore in an MMO?

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54 posts found
  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1961

3/01/13 3:08:25 PM#41

Since I always put lore and story in the first place in every game, it was an obvious choice to vote yes, it's THE key point for me. If they're good, I don't mind bugs or weaker gameplay elements, and if they're bad / nonexistant, then I just leave even if it's a perfectly made game.

Maybe it's the love of books, or the many years of p'n'p rpg (with good GM's) I don't know, but I do play rpg's (both single and mmo) for the lore and the story. And to be honest, while I know "accept and follow the quest tracker"-kinda players too, this whole "quests are just excuses to kill stuff" attitude is beyond me...

 

Originally posted by h0urg1ass

I remember when AoC came out, there were several quests near the mid game that had a lot of back story.  You'd walk up to the quest giver and he'd have at least a minute or two of dialogue to read to understand exactly why you were going to kill so-and-so.  I remember reading the entire quest and thinking to myself "Am I the only one even bothering to read this?". 

Same with me, even my buddies just quickly take the quests, I was the only one to digging deeper. Npc's in AoC have great backstories, funny and sometimes witty, connections to the books, etc. They're very well written, not just cardboard cut-outs. (c) :)

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

3/01/13 4:01:03 PM#42
Originally posted by Po_gg

Maybe it's the love of books, or the many years of p'n'p rpg (with good GM's) I don't know, but I do play rpg's (both single and mmo) for the lore and the story. And to be honest, while I know "accept and follow the quest tracker"-kinda players too, this whole "quests are just excuses to kill stuff" attitude is beyond me...

In a good pencil and paper campaign, there is an objective state to the world.   When you kill a dragon, the dragon is dead.

In a pencil and paper module, every GM is running a parallel version of adventure.  What happens in one GM's game doesn't affect what happens in another GM's game.

When you try to take these two different notions of a pencil and paper game and scale them up to thousands of players continuously playing with an automated GM, something wierd happens: you end up with a world that seems to have the scale of a campaign world and the polish of a module, but to make it practical the dragon has to return to life every few minutes.  The world has no objective state and it doesn't change over time.   So monsters became a resource that could be farmed endlessly and story became an excuse to nudge a player across the map rather than to stand in place.   That's why people talk about story being an excuse to kill stuff. 

But as for the story ...

I can be entertained by a book, but at the end of the day I have to admit they also annoy me.  Books and scripts are dead words, frozen in time.  There's nothing I can do as a reader to change the outcome of a book.  A role-playing game gives me the chance to put words in my character's mouth, allows me to choose which road to travel, to plan how I want to fight the dragon ... the best pencil and paper games are the ones where the story takes a left turn because of a player choice or roll of the dice that neither players nor the GM anticipated and the consequences spread out across the campaign.  An MMO questline takes that control away from me again - it's telling me what my character has to do, it's fixing the outcome of the events and not allowing the unexpected to happen.

I hope that helps to understand attitudes that seem beyond you ... I realize that not everyone (perhaps not anyone) shares my preferences and sensitivities and that the sort of living worlds I would like to see created are much, much harder to do than a static story (even if I believe they scale better in the long run).   In the end, I can't help but wish for what I want :)

  monochrome19

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/09/13
Posts: 317

3/01/13 4:09:24 PM#43
Well, I never really care for lore or story that much (hardcore pvper). But there have been many exceptions.  There have been times when I'm like wow im going to halt everything to see where this quest is taking me because its that interesting. But i suppose its has its importance, because after your done doing whatever it could be reallt interesting to pickl up a quest but only if it has a good storyline behind it, but they rarely do until endgame.
  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6501

"I fight so you don't have to."

3/01/13 4:09:51 PM#44
Poor poll as it mixes lore and storyline together where as, in an mmorpg specially, they are very different. Lore is the context for which all the players are in, where as story lines are, almost always, a single player which has been shoehorned into mmorpgs to cater to single player gamers.

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1961

3/01/13 4:43:31 PM#45
Originally posted by maplestone
 

Great post, mostly agree (books never annoyed me, ok, maybe the bad ones :) )

We've never played modules, our GM had lots of stories in his head all the time and we could roam free, if we chose a different path or method he just simply adapted and dropped an another story beginning in, but kept the first one on hold too. (once we got attacked by bounty hunters sent by an npc we crossed months ago - he gave us a mission but we chose to help his opponent :) and it took him some time to find us.) Our GM wrote a living world and we played in it as we liked. Sadly, you can't do that on pc.

Respawning dragon - that's why I don't play much "endgame grind", with one character I usually play things only once, and with alts I love to try exploring different ways and playthroughs. I can accept though the controlled story in crpg's - it'd be too tough to implement total freedom (even in Elder Scrolls games you have limits, and in mmo's there are multiple players as well to complicate things)

  tupodawg999

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 571

3/01/13 5:13:08 PM#46

"In a good pencil and paper campaign, there is an objective state to the world.   When you kill a dragon, the dragon is dead."

 

I think this sums up the difference between story and lore in an mmorpg. Lore is stuff that has already happened or is fixed in some other way so it can provide motivation for multiple actors whereas story has to try and pretend you're the chosen hero who stopped the orcs blowing up the dam when you can see another twelve players doing the same thing. Even if the story is good it's still silly unless it's logically repeatable.

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

3/01/13 7:42:53 PM#47
The lore rarely ever means anything to me....Even moreso cutscenes and voice acting....I jsut don't need any of that in a MMO.
  greenreen

Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1422

3/01/13 10:48:56 PM#48

What? No one here had choose your own adventure books? I had some of those in the 80's. Maybe they still make them.

Someone commented that books are static, those were books that when you chose a way to continue the story it would send you to another page to read. You could have done well or found yourself at the story's end. While the pages are static text, the path you chose was up to you.

Get one of those used somewhere if you haven't seen them :)

  Magiknight

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/10/09
Posts: 720

3/01/13 10:52:56 PM#49
If I want a virtual world to play in then it has to be built with a story. If there is no story there is no world. Most MMOs do terrible stories.
  Emrendil

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

3/02/13 5:08:35 AM#50
Originally posted by Magiknight
If I want a virtual world to play in then it has to be built with a story. If there is no story there is no world. Most MMOs do terrible stories.

World and story are not the same thing.

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3477

3/02/13 5:22:04 AM#51
For some lore and story is why they play mmos. I am one of those players.

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

  Eir_S

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4694

GW2 socialist.

3/04/13 2:22:45 PM#52
Originally posted by DamonVile

If the lore/story is good I follow along and become interested. If it's just a " we couldn't pay good writers so here's a blah blah the bad guy is bad " story....I ignore it and kill stuff.

SWTOR the sith warrior story is the last time I remember actually being very interested in what was going on. I couldn't wait to get to the next part to see what happened. As much as I didn't like large parts of that game. The story in it was a 10/10 for me.

I have to agree.  And I usually don't hold much hope for the story being worth a hill of beans.. the problem with SWTOR was that the gameplay was bland.  Not many companies receive unanimous praise for creating both a vibrant story and tight gameplay under a single MMORPG.

  Lovely_Laly

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 736

game is also real

3/04/13 2:30:02 PM#53

I like to play MMO with nice story line, it keep me excited to see the rest.

try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.
Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2

  Nanfoodle

Elite Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 3366

3/04/13 2:34:30 PM#54
Story is like great costumes in a movie. Ya want them but its not why you went to see the movie. Better have a good one but everything comes second to combat and content quality. Games like SWToR missed that. 
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