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General Discussion  » History and the art of Storytelling, Why Elder Scrolls Online is the next big Success. Negative Feedback or Not

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86 posts found
  User Deleted
2/11/14 12:54:45 AM#41

OP, to be entirely honest you read like a bad shill. I do not write that to insult you only to inform you of the perception you have created by presenting a blatant falsehood marketing this game toward lovers of story, a weakness of this game. I would absolutely love to see you walk into a room full of TESO developers and tell them the AV3 PVP is irrelevant when clearly and in their own words it is what makes their game unique and worth playing. It is the entire focus of play with the PVE and story simply serving as a side leveling experience to introduce you into the conflict and provide some lore context that many will skip while naming their character something like BubbsDoButts or PVPUBrah. 

 

There is more than one reason many previews have described the story play as generic and bland. You are simply jumping hoops through the quest line without the ability to make important choices that have impact nor room to go do your own thing for a time which made Skyrim great in spite of some terrible storylines they actually forced on you. You have already noted how short it is and thank god it's not longer. If you want personal story then go play SWTOR which in many ways runs counter to the design of TESO.

  gestalt11

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6187

2/11/14 1:22:40 AM#42
Originally posted by Kyleran
If you don't realize that its supposed to be the players who make and live the story in a MMORPG, then you've missed the entire point and potential of the genre.

The stories the players have made in EVE in the past 10 years far exceed anything ever delivered in LOTRO, shame you've missed it.

Don't be so sure there was a lot player-made stuff on landroval.  There was an entire guild that did nothing but patrol the Shire as Shirrifs.  There was also an entire event in the north downs area where they formed an army and marched on the enemy there.

 

Course it was all RP stuff.

  gestalt11

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6187

2/11/14 1:27:00 AM#43
Originally posted by Seilan
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

 


Originally posted by Kyleran If you don't realize that its supposed to be the players who make and live the story in a MMORPG, then you've missed the entire point and potential of the genre.

 

This

That...I still don't buy. Player created stories are the fan fiction of MMOs, amateurish crap.

 

Or do you mean the organic stories like "Today I gathered 2,432 units of maple. By the end of the week I'll have enough to build the stairs to the 2nd floor."

 

People are so ready to embrace the new and experimental just because its new... there's a reason why storytelling by professional story tellers has been around for a couple of thousand years: they're good.

 

 

 

Afreakingmen.

No he's talking about months long protracted wars through 30 different systems.  He's talking about players running con-job's on each other to infiltrate a corporation through deceit and  steal billions of credits right out from under the noses of that Corporation.  He talking about people doing trade runs through parts of space infested by pirate-players.  He's talking about a corporation moving into a system, keeping control of it and building their own space station and defense emplacements. 

 

etc etc

 

He's talking about this:

http://oldforums.eveonline.com/?a=topic&threadID=172529

as a famous example.

  iridescence

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 1492

2/11/14 2:00:24 AM#44
Originally posted by Iselin
 

That...I still don't buy. Player created stories are the fan fiction of MMOs, amateurish crap.

 

Or do you mean the organic stories like "Today I gathered 2,432 units of maple. By the end of the week I'll have enough to build the stairs to the 2nd floor."

 

People are so ready to embrace the new and experimental just because its new... there's a reason why storytelling by professional story tellers has been around for a couple of thousand years: they're good.

 

I'd say most videogame writing is a lot closer to "fan fiction" than professional writing. How many game writers have had a book published (or could)? At least if you're chopping maple to build your house that is something that your character is doing in the game and what you make up in your head about it will be your story. Seems infintely better to me than reading someone else's fan fiction.

 

I love series like The Witcher or even LOTRO where they focus on the story and the story is actually interesting but those games are few and far between I find.

 

  otacu

Novice Member

Joined: 4/08/12
Posts: 552

2/11/14 4:03:04 AM#45

Op i hope you are prepared to have your rose tinted glasses delusions crashed!

It's interesting you didn't mention SWTOR in your post since it was the "next big success in hisotry and art of Storytelling" before ESO.

Mmorpg themepark and storytelling don't work well together. They don't work together at all. Because having thousands of players doing the same quest and saving the world is just plain silly.

Remember RPG pen and paper? how many people were around the table? 5? 6? or thousands? 

You can compare it to a single player game.... a co-op game. Not a mmorpg.

 

It doesn't work. Look at ESO and all the phasing. The leveling and the PVE experience is just solo playing.... it's like a single player game. That's not a mmorpg. When people will cap they will ask themselves "ok now i have finished the leveling...it was subpar compared to other single player games.... the story was really weak... why should i pay a sub for this?" 

And they will leave in droves. Storytelling doesn't work in mmorpg themeparks.

Brace for impact OP

  boxsnd

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/04/12
Posts: 449

2/11/14 4:13:47 AM#46
Didn't we agree that a great story wasn't enough to save SWTOR? What makes you think it will save ESO? You still need a good endgame and as of yet we have seen absolutely nothing about it.

DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

  Notimeforbs

Novice Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 302

2/11/14 4:29:25 AM#47
Originally posted by Kyleran
If you don't realize that its supposed to be the players who make and live the story in a MMORPG, then you've missed the entire point and potential of the genre.

The stories the players have made in EVE in the past 10 years far exceed anything ever delivered in LOTRO, shame you've missed it.

While I agree with this, I have to say that story in an MMO doesn't just have to be generated from the players.  The sort of story you're speaking of - that develops between player interactions - will happen organically anyway.  I might also add that it can only happen in a game that allows for a strong meaningful PvP element and not simply empty arena bouts.  The only stories I've ever heard about EVE, as epic as they are, all deal with PvP sort of situations and the drama therein.  But, I do agree that allowing these sorts of stories have to be the absolute back-bone of the design, no matter what.

At any rate, these sorts of stories can theoretically happen in any online game which has Open-World PvP as a major feature, but I'd argue it would require a similarly deep economic system as a catalyst.  Back in SWG - there was similar drama between the Imps and the Rebels.  I've never experienced so much living story in an MMO before or since.

There is actually a lot of theory I could discuss here to further extrapolate what I am speaking about, but I won't get into it.

Either way - dev generated story can create memorable moments all the same.  Have MMO's reached the level of Single Player story experiences?  I've never had that pleasure... but I believe it can happen.  SWTOR got close a few times with some of its class stories.  But even then... they were just "good for an MMO" and couldn't be compared to something in say Mass Effect or The Witcher.

  Notimeforbs

Novice Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 302

2/11/14 4:37:47 AM#48
Originally posted by boxsnd
Didn't we agree that a great story wasn't enough to save SWTOR? What makes you think it will save ESO? You still need a good endgame and as of yet we have seen absolutely nothing about it.

Why do you think people spent thousands of hours in Skyrim just running around exploring?  Or Oblivion?  Or Morrowind?  Do you think it was because of cool end-game?  No.  It's because of the sense of discovery and exploration.  There's no reason to think the same can't apply to an MMO.

I think if ESO just sticks to the strengths of the series... it will be able to afford to cut loose a lot of shallow bloated ideals about what an MMO is supposed to have.

 

  Cures80

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/07/14
Posts: 31

2/11/14 4:38:12 AM#49
stories will be told in RvR - by the players. any other stories in mmo's are completely unnecessary.
  Varrax

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/13
Posts: 9

2/11/14 5:47:01 AM#50
Originally posted by SEANMCAD

ok here is an example that might help people understand 'player created stories

Devs didnt have to make a story line, didnt have to construct quests or any of that. 

I cant agree with you, cause players aren't skilled in making the plot. Yes,  the more choices player has - the better, but such story, or plot based on players choices is going to bee poor and gray. That's why people enjoy games - they're vivid and thrilling, and  you're proposing to make it closer to life, more realistic. 

Someone likes storyline, others like endgame PvE, someone enjoys massive PvP, as I see you're fond of realism in games, but I doubt you're going to like ESO then. 

As for me, right now ESO is more of story-based MMO with average PvE mechanics, and average combat system.

Can't say bout PvP, I wasn't able to test it enough, but also looks more average then perfect, but overall effect of game is above  average and closer to success.

 

  Varrax

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/13
Posts: 9

2/11/14 5:51:26 AM#51
Originally posted by Cures80
stories will be told in RvR - by the players. any other stories in mmo's are completely unnecessary.

Kinda nihilistic statement. As I already said stories told by players are chaotic, poor and gray. Its only aspect of entire game, not the main feature. Players are in need of some epic adventure, full of blood, mayhem and fantasy :)

 I'm fond of RvR too, but anyway, you need a strong storyline to direct people's choices, or they'll loose interest to the game very quickly.

  otacu

Novice Member

Joined: 4/08/12
Posts: 552

2/11/14 6:52:52 AM#52
Originally posted by Notimeforbs
Originally posted by boxsnd
Didn't we agree that a great story wasn't enough to save SWTOR? What makes you think it will save ESO? You still need a good endgame and as of yet we have seen absolutely nothing about it.

Why do you think people spent thousands of hours in Skyrim just running around exploring?  Or Oblivion?  Or Morrowind?  Do you think it was because of cool end-game?  No.  It's because of the sense of discovery and exploration.  There's no reason to think the same can't apply to an MMO.

I think if ESO just sticks to the strengths of the series... it will be able to afford to cut loose a lot of shallow bloated ideals about what an MMO is supposed to have.

 

 

DUH,

because those were single player games that offered MUCH more freedom and exploration (not to mention mods) with no subscription fee.

Tell me why people should pay monthly to get an inferior experience.

 

That was the same logic that Bioware thought it would work with SWTOR. "Hey, people just love our single player games! The storytelling! the voiceovers! the immersion! The plot! So why not make an inferior version of that with a sub fee .... there is no reason to think the same can't apply to an MMO!"

Well.... it didn't work past the first month. And it won't work for ESO.

Sorry.

 

 

 

  Cures80

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/07/14
Posts: 31

2/11/14 6:57:02 AM#53
Originally posted by Varrax
Originally posted by Cures80
stories will be told in RvR - by the players. any other stories in mmo's are completely unnecessary.

Kinda nihilistic statement. As I already said stories told by players are chaotic, poor and gray. Its only aspect of entire game, not the main feature. Players are in need of some epic adventure, full of blood, mayhem and fantasy :)

 I'm fond of RvR too, but anyway, you need a strong storyline to direct people's choices, or they'll loose interest to the game very quickly.

yes? tell me about EVE's storyline. im not sure there even is one - at least it has zero influence on any player-created stories that make EVE EVE. Same for DAOC. i cant even remember if there was a storyline.

  Varrax

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/13
Posts: 9

2/11/14 7:51:35 AM#54
Originally posted by Cures80
Originally posted by Varrax
Originally posted by Cures80
stories will be told in RvR - by the players. any other stories in mmo's are completely unnecessary.

Kinda nihilistic statement. As I already said stories told by players are chaotic, poor and gray. Its only aspect of entire game, not the main feature. Players are in need of some epic adventure, full of blood, mayhem and fantasy :)

 I'm fond of RvR too, but anyway, you need a strong storyline to direct people's choices, or they'll loose interest to the game very quickly.

yes? tell me about EVE's storyline. im not sure there even is one - at least it has zero influence on any player-created stories that make EVE EVE. Same for DAOC. i cant even remember if there was a storyline.

I can't remember it too, because it's not EVE's strongest side, but it's not the only way for game to be, as you already stated.

  Uhwop

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1698

2/11/14 8:00:32 AM#55

So two game with an emphasis on story telling, that released as sub based, are now free to play or freemium.  

The OP is clearly onto something.  

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5268

2/11/14 9:16:50 AM#56
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by GeezerGamer

 


Originally posted by Kyleran If you don't realize that its supposed to be the players who make and live the story in a MMORPG, then you've missed the entire point and potential of the genre.

 

This

That...I still don't buy. Player created stories are the fan fiction of MMOs, amateurish crap.

 

Or do you mean the organic stories like "Today I gathered 2,432 units of maple. By the end of the week I'll have enough to build the stairs to the 2nd floor."

 

People are so ready to embrace the new and experimental just because its new... there's a reason why storytelling by professional story tellers has been around for a couple of thousand years: they're good.

 

 

 

The older MMOs have what is called a "Meta-Game" This is the "virtual world" so many are after. It's the after effect players have on the play of the game and on on each other. It became the difference in an MMORPG from the way it was at release to how it evolved over time. It was from this Meta-Game that players operated from every day.

WoW does some good story telling. But even WoW's story runs out very soon. Even if you do raid progression, the story ends, and you are just repeating the same stories every day. That is the reason for......"This" in my post. 

It doesn't matter if the stories are good or not, in today's games, they run out in a few weeks depending on how you play. Weeks? That's not even months. and yet MMORPGS are supposed to be played for years. Today's MMO cannot keep it going and so players leave after a few months. They've been reduced to single player stories where other people are in your game.

In SWG, I build my own little world. THAT was my "personal story" the things I did every day that carved out my own little niche in an environment here everyone was doing the same. And where you had the ability to leave your mark on the world. Those players who chose non-combat professions in SWG actually had this going in their favor. Opening shops and running player made cities that were permanent marks in the world. As a player, I had a "buisness" trade relationship with a particular Artisan who I befriended on day one. I would go to his shop for all my needs. He recognized me as a loyal customer etc etc. SWG had a huge Meta-Game. I haven't really played EVE much beyond a free trial......twice. (LOL) but It is the current MMORPG with the largest Meta-Game.

 

You guys entering into the genre within the past 5 years or so, have no idea how far that kind of set up in a game can take an ongoing story. Instead, you guys will play through a game like this one and once the story runs dry, it looks like it will probably be remembered as a mediocre single player game that wasn't as good as the previous ES titles.

 

I have to agree with Kyleran. I don't think you understand what this genre was originally about because you havent really experienced what a game with a REAL meta-game can be like.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

2/11/14 11:31:24 AM#57

Originally posted by Kyleran
If you don't realize that its supposed to be the players who make and live the story in a MMORPG, then you've missed the entire point and potential of the genre.

The stories the players have made in EVE in the past 10 years far exceed anything ever delivered in LOTRO, shame you've missed it.

This is a nice theory, but the reality is that the kind of "story" most players are capable of creating is of a far lower quality than what most professional writers, even the ones working in gaming, can manage to come up with.  Would it be great if everyone was always in character, we were all good at inhabiting our characters, and we got to participate in epic, dynamic player crafted narratives as a result?  Sure, that sounds great, but it literally never happens in a MMO.  You might be able to select your group of players carefully enough in a five to six person table top game to make it happen, but in a game with thousands of other people over whom you have no control?  Good luck.

Originally posted by ihaveabeard
MMO's are generally...hell, UNIVERSALLY known for having poor storylines compared to single player games. If Zenimax is trying to change this with ESO, kudos to them. But I think most people know going into any MMO that the story will be mediocre compared to just about any offline game. Come to think of it, the combat and gameplay in MMOs is mediocre as well.

Universally?  This just isn't accurate, you should have stopped at generally. Can't comment on ESO because NDA, but TOR and TSW both have substantially better stories than the majority of single player RPGs that get released.  I'm not saying either provides fine literature, but everything is relative, and the average quality of single player narratives isn't exactly that high either.

Originally posted by iridescence

LOTRO has a good story. That is one thing I agree with you about. It gripped me as soon as I entered the game.

SWTOR sunk a lot of money into their story and it is well produced but not well written. It is riddled with adolescent cliches and I didn't find it very gripping.  

Likewise Skyrim's story is ridiculously bad. One of the worst I've ever seen in any RPG. Skyrim is very good at world-building though (not the same thing as story telling). When I and most people I've talked to have fun in Skyrim it's from exploring the world, doing your own thing, not doing the main quest. 

I don't think ESO writing is on the level of LOTRO which it would at least need to be if it wants to be a story-driven MMO. 

 It is worth noting that in popular entertainment, the appeal of the story tends to matter more than the technical quality of the writing.  In that vein, we have to remember that while quality of writing has some objective ways you can evaluate it, quality of *storytelling* is a thing which depends primarily on the tastes of the individual doing the evaluating. 

LotRO has a story consistent with Lord of the Rings.  TOR has a story consistent with both Star Wars storytelling, and with BioWare storytelling.  Which approach is more appealing is going to vary from person to person, I for one don't find the story in LotRO even remotely appealing, because other than the greatest adventure story ever told (the Hobbit) I find Tolkien's work to be incredibly boring, and I find the writing in the game more Lord of the Rings than Hobbit.  TOR however I enjoy enough that I have leveled six characters to the end of their class stories, with two more on the way, despite that fact that in most MMOs I never get even a single character to the level cap before quitting.

I tend to agree with you about Skyrim though.  While some of their guild questlines are occasionally interesting, I find Bethesda's storytelling to usually be pretty generic and boring, and just made worse by the terrible voice acting.  There are some people though who seem to love the approach.  ESO isn't made by Bethesda though, so it's entirely possible both the story itself and it's presentation will be substantially more polished.

Originally posted by SEANMCAD

All they have to do is not make the rewards so large to quest. Make it so if I go out and kill 10 rats its basically the same as if I went out and killed 10 rats without a quest.

The ironic thing is here is that this is EXACTLY how Elder Scrolls Single player games work. Its not like the MMO space is a magical place where this is not possible.

So, what you are saying is that the game needs the ability to advance through grinding?  It's a fair view to have, but developers have (reasonably so) reached the conclusion that most of the potential player base doesn't consider the grind to be a worthy method of character advancement.  And if your goal is the supporting of multiple play styles, why would you need them to reduce questing rewards?  Does every potential play style have to be rewarded exactly the same, so that nobody is ever motivated to choose ones you don't prefer by the desire to advance more quickly?

Originally posted by ihaveabeard

That basically brings me back to my first point, "Are modern gamers that creative?" The better question might be, "are they even remotely interested in creating their own storylines?" A few are, definitely. Sounds fun. The majority... not even close.

Agreed.  The "players create the story" approach only works when you have some way of controlling the population so that only players who are both interested in and *good at* roleplaying are allowed into the game at all.  Without the ability to exclude people who can't hack it, it ends up being a substantially worse experience than most static narrative content provides, because of the lack of any kind of quality control.

Originally posted by otacu 

That was the same logic that Bioware thought it would work with SWTOR. "Hey, people just love our single player games! The storytelling! the voiceovers! the immersion! The plot! So why not make an inferior version of that with a sub fee .... there is no reason to think the same can't apply to an MMO!"

Well.... it didn't work past the first month. And it won't work for ESO.

Sorry. 

Welcome to 2014, when TOR is a massive financial success, making so many buckets of money that any MMO developer would be thrilled to reach it's level of success.  It doesn't matter whether you personally enjoyed it's approach.  From a business standpoint, it's a product that works.

Originally posted by Uhwop

So two game with an emphasis on story telling, that released as sub based, are now free to play or freemium.  

The OP is clearly onto something.  

You might have a point here, if it didn't appear to be the case that virtually the entire genre of major subscription only games appears to be converting to Freemium.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

2/11/14 11:34:43 AM#58
Originally posted by CazNeerg

 

So as I understand it in Elder Scrolls online you get more experience points for doing a quest then you would not doing a quest. So my question is, what is the player experience for someone who decides not to do quests?

 

Its not about grinding. Its about providing options to players

Correlation does not imply causation

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

2/11/14 11:48:37 AM#59
Originally posted by SEANMCAD 

So as I understand it in Elder Scrolls online you get more experience points for doing a quest then you would not doing a quest. So my question is, what is the player experience for someone who decides not to do quests? 

Its not about grinding. Its about providing options to players

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but the specific option you were advocating for them to provide was essentially "I want to be able to level just by killing boars in the forest," the very definition of a grind.  I'm not even saying I necessarily disagree that it would be nice in theory for there to be an option to advance solely through PvE killing, I am just pointing out that it isn't unreasonable for developers to think the audience of people who prefer PvE grinding as a playstyle isn't very large.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

2/11/14 11:52:10 AM#60
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by SEANMCAD 

So as I understand it in Elder Scrolls online you get more experience points for doing a quest then you would not doing a quest. So my question is, what is the player experience for someone who decides not to do quests? 

Its not about grinding. Its about providing options to players

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but the specific option you were advocating for them to provide was essentially "I want to be able to level just by killing boars in the forest," the very definition of a grind.  I'm not even saying I necessarily disagree that it would be nice in theory for there to be an option to advance solely through PvE killing, I am just pointing out that it isn't unreasonable for developers to think the audience of people who prefer PvE grinding as a playstyle isn't very large.

yes you are wrong.

progression and 'leveling up' is not the same. I just provided an example that was easy for everyone to understand

Correlation does not imply causation

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