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Stuff, Mainly Ryzom

Thus, I don't have to rewrite my explanations and opinions of stuff because of losing them to the bowels of the forum.

Author: katriell

Storyline Implementation

Posted by katriell Friday July 18 2008 at 7:32PM
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My opinion is that "storyline" quests and roleplaying don't mix. Storyline quests usually only make sense if just one person ever does them. But the reality is that thousands of people save the same town over and over again. They get the same speeches, the same experiences, and the same gratitude. Storyline quests are for single-player games, not least, not MMORPGs that actually care about roleplay-conducive consistency and logic.

This opinion might not be understandable unless one places it on the foundation of a particular definition of roleplaying: in a massively multiplayer online environment, playing a role is not sufficient - instead, in-character interaction between players, the game world, and each other is the primary factor.

In replacement of "storyline" quests, I suggest live storyline events that have persistent effects on lore that evolves over the course of the game's existence. This isn't a new idea, it's been done in Horizons/Istaria and Ryzom, just to name two (there have been others no doubt, but I'm less familiar with them).
In Istaria, for example, two playable races and a racial capital city were unlocked in events.
The lore on Ryzom's website depicts the playable races' perspectives on what they think they know about their world, not necessarily the truth of the backstory. From there, that lore would've been updated to reflect the state of the races' knowledge as they uncovered fragments of their past, understanding of their present, and inklings of their future. Furthermore, the lore progress would differ between servers.

With live storyline events, your character has unique experiences that they can tell stories about to their metaphorical (or literal) grandchildren. Epicness is justified and genuine, requiring no exorbitant suspension of disbelief. Though not everyone gets to participate in every event, there are always more to look forward to (unless, as in the cases of Ryzom and Istaria, bad companies take over and neglect the game; note however that Istaria is now under the care of a fine company who are already getting their feet wet in running events, releasing more lore, and providing lore-grounded explanations for mechanics changes).

Ultimately, what I want, as a roleplayer and a sandbox enjoyer, is a storyline implementation that fits in the persistent massively-multiplayer environment instead of being an ill-conceived port from the single-player realm.

samuraislyr writes:

Live storyline events are cool but there is one little problem with it that make quests and other things just that much better....not everyone can experience it. If the game started in 2005 and you decided to start playing in 2007, you've missed out on goodness knows what.

Now I think there is a very easy way to fix that and make live events even better. Really all the devs would have to do is "film" the live event and create some sort of instance out of it say where the player that missed the event gets to play as one of the characters in the event.

If that can be done, I think live events are awesome...if not, sadly quests are just a bit better because I like to experience as much content as I can and if I miss something then I really don't want to play anymore. Course this could just be me.

Fri Jul 18 2008 8:14PM Report
katriell writes:

Recording live events into a replayable form is an acceptable solution to that problem.  But there should be some kind of RP explanation, i.e. a "Cave of Time" for a fantasy MMO or a holographic reenactment in a sci-fi MMO.

Fri Jul 18 2008 8:49PM Report
samuraislyr writes:

Aye, that would just about do just need a developer that would actually do it. :P

Fri Jul 18 2008 9:09PM Report
killx writes:

I have to say that its that reason why I don't stay on any one mmo for long. the story line just.. fails and it can't help to for that reason. one's that do have acctul live, evolving storilines would be awsome, to bad its so rarely done. and as for the you'd miss out on things. just think like real life. if you were born after ww1 you missed out on getting killed. but that doesnt mean you dont know about it, nor that another one's not just around the corner. a reinactment could kind of work, except it would be all npc's and then no better then a singplayer game, defeating the purpose. as well as being kind of hokey.

Sat Jul 19 2008 3:55AM Report writes:
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