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MMORPG.com Discussion Forums

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

Spoilers  » So..... About that Storytelling

12 posts found
  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

 
OP  2/21/12 9:15:01 PM#1

So I decided to download the demo for ME3 today.  Based on what I've seen, it looks like come March 6th I'll be having tons of makeup sex with Bioware.  That being said, I found more story in the first mission of the demo than I did in all of TOR.  Bit o spoiler coming up

During one part of the mission, you are heading to another area, and you come across a little child hiding.  (Only played paragon part so far.)  You ask him for his hand so you can guide him to safety.  He says nobody can help him, and sneaks off through the duct he was hiding in.  Amidst all this death and chaos is an innocent child.  He didn't deserve this. 

At the end of the mission, you see him again boarding a shuttle.  You feel a sense of gladness the boy escaped harm..... until the camera pans out and a Reaper is in view.  You can see it in Shepherd's face.  He wants the kid to run.  You are probably saying it yourself.  The kid gets in the shuttle fast, and they try to zoom away.  at that point, the camera pans out even further, and you watch the Reaper blow up the shuttle.  If you needed a reason to hate the Reapers, I suppose child murder will do!  Yet it also pans back to Shepherd.  He feels like he has failed.  A real sense of failure comes over his face.

Now what does this have to do with TOR? Two things.  In TOR, you character, all the way from level one, is meant to be an unstoppable force of nature.  The only way your character "develops" in the story is he becomes even more implausibly badass.  There isn't much failure in the story lines.  There isn't much room for personal development of your guy.  It really is the most boring story in the world:  where the "hero" always gets it right.

The second way is in the way they used characters.  They used the environment to make you care about the kid.  He wasn't there to serve your every need, or have you do something for him.  He was just there, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  You identify with him being terrified.  He only says maybe two sentences.  Yet you see him again when you are about to leave the planet, and it might be your one sense of accomplishment.  Earth is burning, I'm fleeing to do the impossible, but at least my actions helped save a child's life.  Then all for nothing.  You identify with the kid, but also with the villian, you really come to hate the Reapers.

I haven't seen that in any of the storylines TOR has. Instead, characters other than you exist to serve your every need.  You rarely fail (only minor setbacks), and everyone treats you like you are the force made flesh.

  Kakkzooka

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/06/11
Posts: 602

2/21/12 9:23:21 PM#2

This is what happens when good storytellers aren't under the thumb of Lucas/EA.

Re: SWTOR

"Remember, remember - Kakk says 'December.'"

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

 
OP  2/21/12 9:29:22 PM#3
Originally posted by Kakkzooka

This is what happens when good storytellers aren't under the thumb of Lucas/EA.

And it proves Bioware still has the ability to weave together compelling stories, even if the "storyline" lasts just 20 minutes.  We need to see more of this kind of stuff.  Some might say "well people won't buy a character that isn't the unstoppable long prophesied force of nature" but I say give it a shot.  Think they will be surprised.

  DeaconX

Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/05
Posts: 3072

Stand up for what you believe; Even if you stand alone.
-==X==-
SHH, my COMMON SENSE is tingling!

2/21/12 9:38:15 PM#4

Personally, I'm still wondering about that storytelling a little bit...

 

- spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't played the demo -

 

Reapers arrive... start  destroying earth.  NOTHING has really been done by the galaxy to prepare for this.  Shep goes off to get help for earth... How long is it going to take for the reapers to tear earth apart?

Am I to believe that Shep can leave, go around the galaxy, collect some friends, convince aliens to join up now and come back in time to stop the reapers?  Least efficient master race of world devouring creatures ever?

 

Given the size of the enemy armada and the amount of destruction they're doing every second... by the time shep gets back to save the world, reapers ought to be long gone, leaving behind a very dead earth, no?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to start ME3 directly after ME2 with Shep and crew going out to do the best they can to unite the galaxy into one giant army, all the while learning more about the reapers and possibly finding a way to defeat them?

 

I'm interested in how they'll justify Shep saving Earth after all the time that passes with you actually out there getting all the races to ally up.

 

All that aside, I'm sure ME3 will have some awesome writing... but that one aspect is buggin the writer in my mind.


Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

2/21/12 9:46:38 PM#5
Originally posted by DeaconX

Personally, I'm still wondering about that storytelling a little bit...

 

- spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't played the demo -

 

Reapers arrive... start  destroying earth.  NOTHING has really been done by the galaxy to prepare for this.  Shep goes off to get help for earth... How long is it going to take for the reapers to tear earth apart?

Am I to believe that Shep can leave, go around the galaxy, collect some friends, convince aliens to join up now and come back in time to stop the reapers?  Least efficient master race of world devouring creatures ever?

 

Given the size of the enemy armada and the amount of destruction they're doing every second... by the time shep gets back to save the world, reapers ought to be long gone, leaving behind a very dead earth, no?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to start ME3 directly after ME2 with Shep and crew going out to do the best they can to unite the galaxy into one giant army, all the while learning more about the reapers and possibly finding a way to defeat them?

 

I'm interested in how they'll justify Shep saving Earth after all the time that passes with you actually out there getting all the races to ally up.

 

All that aside, I'm sure ME3 will have some awesome writing... but that one aspect is buggin the writer in my mind.

you really trying to apply "time" logically to an RPG? really?  for example any standard console style RPG you get to the point right before the final boss or sometimes right before the final area then you can generally teleport off and spend as much damn time as you want exploring, finishing side quest, ect while the big bad boss sits and waits for you. Sometimes you need to just sit back and remember it's just a game.

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

 
OP  2/21/12 9:48:24 PM#6
Originally posted by DeaconX

Personally, I'm still wondering about that storytelling a little bit...

 

- spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't played the demo -

 

Reapers arrive... start  destroying earth.  NOTHING has really been done by the galaxy to prepare for this.  Shep goes off to get help for earth... How long is it going to take for the reapers to tear earth apart?

Am I to believe that Shep can leave, go around the galaxy, collect some friends, convince aliens to join up now and come back in time to stop the reapers?  Least efficient master race of world devouring creatures ever?

 

Given the size of the enemy armada and the amount of destruction they're doing every second... by the time shep gets back to save the world, reapers ought to be long gone, leaving behind a very dead earth, no?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to start ME3 directly after ME2 with Shep and crew going out to do the best they can to unite the galaxy into one giant army, all the while learning more about the reapers and possibly finding a way to defeat them?

 

I'm interested in how they'll justify Shep saving Earth after all the time that passes with you actually out there getting all the races to ally up.

 

All that aside, I'm sure ME3 will have some awesome writing... but that one aspect is buggin the writer in my mind.

I wonder it as well.  Just as I wonder how they will have the Reapers scale.  Before, one Reaper basically took on half the Citadel fleet and didn't flinch.  Now you have hundreds of them, maybe thousands.  And there were sections of earth left standing after the initial assault?

I also think, if we are following storyline, Shepherd was intending to do exactly that, then the events of Arrival came, where he turns what was supposed to be a simple rescue mission into planetary genocide.  :p

But this is really just nitpicking.  Based on the demo, the story is going to be good.  Not as gutsy as killing off your main character out of nowhere when you start a sequel, but I think you can only go to that well once.  :)

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

2/21/12 9:53:02 PM#7
Originally posted by iceman00
Originally posted by Kakkzooka

This is what happens when good storytellers aren't under the thumb of Lucas/EA.

And it proves Bioware still has the ability to weave together compelling stories, even if the "storyline" lasts just 20 minutes.  We need to see more of this kind of stuff.  Some might say "well people won't buy a character that isn't the unstoppable long prophesied force of nature" but I say give it a shot.  Think they will be surprised.

i'm guessing the actual overall story was probably written all together and spread to 3 games.. just a guess though but many times these trilogy stories are written from the get go and just takes awhile to get them all out in  game form.

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  Trionicus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 488

2/21/12 9:59:11 PM#8

The little kid didn't follow so he was dumb and derserved to die?

  pierth

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/06
Posts: 1515

2/21/12 10:02:05 PM#9

When have MMOs ever had quality of story or gameplay greater than their single-player, offline counterparts?

  The_Dhampir

Novice Member

Joined: 2/06/05
Posts: 61

2/21/12 10:05:57 PM#10

The entire sequence with that boy is full of cheese. It's an obvious attempt to force emotion and shock. It's corny and saw his death coming a mile away.

Looking back at ME2, Legion and the Citadel/Migrant Fleet. They missed so many opportunities for good writing to basically write itself. Stuff like the prothean beacons were never even mentioned again. They went for thermal clips, which sheperd metions right after waking up from being dead for 2 years, and did not exist in ME1.

Bioware has always been cheezy, but Drew Karlastnameican'tspell's work is usually better than this stuff.

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

 
OP  2/22/12 2:27:41 AM#11
Originally posted by pierth

When have MMOs ever had quality of story or gameplay greater than their single-player, offline counterparts?

Well Bioware wants to change that.  And I say good on them.  but actually do it.  It will of course break a lot of the MMO conventions that exist nowadays.  First and foremost, that the character you play must be an "iconic" badass for whom everything always goes right.  Which is sort of what a lot of us were expecting when you had over 200 mill in the bank for the game.  Challenge some conventions.  hell, you might even make a few of your own.

Which was more the point of my original post.  When it comes to storytelling, how does one make the story more compelling, if that indeed is to be a way forward in an MMO?  I say first and foremost, drop the prophesy to greatness BS like you had with the Inquisitor.  Or introduce several others who themselves feel are the fulfillment of said prophesy.  Whatever happened to being someone who made their own way, through their own power and mastery of the darkside, what others said be damned?

Me, I'm skeptical it works.  And when it does, it really only works to a point.  In the end, you provide the great story in the MMO.  Your achievments that a company cannot think of.    In games I played, I was an economic overlord.  Worked my way up from no money to drowning in it, making markets adjust at the mere thought I would be doing this or that.  That kind of content you can't script, and its a way more compelling story.  Why?  Because ultimately, it is your story.

But, if we are gonna go this way, at least do it right, and aim high in the expectations department.

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

 
OP  2/22/12 2:29:03 AM#12

And seriously MMORPG.com mods?  This got moved to the Spoiler Room?  I didn't even talk about spoilers in TOR.  LULZ