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Does an MMO need a story?


Gankdalf_

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An MMO should have enough story to get you started, beyond that it is a hindrance because it takes developer time away from doing what only an MMO can do (as opposed to a single player game) allow people to make their own stories.
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...

 

 

In the end, there is no way a development staff can keep up with players demand for new content because it takes far more time to write and code an instance or a quest than it does to play it out. As a result, because of the demand requirements of this sort of an MMO, it is inherently doomed to subscription failure as people just get plain bored of rolling alts. Development teams typically fail to grasp and often underestimate players abilities to churn through content.

 

I've been saying for years, The ONLY way to keep the players (i.e. Content consumers) happy is to turn them into content creators. Plop down a large (very large) piece of land, populate that world with NPCs/Mobs. And hand over the TOOLS to the players.

 

This way all the Devs really need to spend time developing are the tools they give players to create content with. Therefore, Once they have the atmosphere of the world setup, they should have ample time to test the hell outta those tools to ensure they can't be heavily abused/exploited beyond their intended use.

 

The only failure of this design is people are generally unwilling to think or act for themselves. Given that fact your server pop probably won't get very high. But the few that can and WANT TO think for themselves would be damn happy for a very long time.

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An MMo dosnt need a story no. TOR does because it isnt an MMo its an rpg multiplayer game.

 

An MMo has to give you a reason to interact with other players and make it meen something. TOR does not offer that mechanic. Players do not depend on other players for anything unless you want to do a hard mode flashpoint.

 

True MMo's let the player base use the tools of the game to create an eviroment that is unique to that server/world . It may be slightly differnt on another server where different rules apply due to player story lines.

 

EVE is the only true MMo left . You live and die by your actions towards others . You need other people to progress and get involved in the EVE universe.

 

To even call TOR, WOW or any of those games MMO's in the true sense of the word is just insulting to true MMo's. This is no more an MMo than call of duty is , Its a multiplayer game nothing more .

 

Not saying that I dont mind loggin in running a couple hard modes and logging off with my mates of course just saying dont confuse this game with an MMo . The again lots of you have never played a real MMo of course so I guess you wouldnt know. Hopefully one day someone will be brave enough to make one.

 

hehe.. true MMO.. hehe..

 

Massive: Large

Multiplayer: More than one player

Online: Through the internet or another form of data communication

Roleplaying: To play a role, or to play as a character in a story

Game: To do fun or competitive activities.

 

MMORPG, in it's definition, does NOT need any of those things you define 'True' MMO's to NEED to be an MMO. Heck, by just calling it MMO you are suggesting it only needs to be massive, multiplayer and online. All the things you mentioned are a sub-market of MMO's of interactive sandboxes. Also known as: Second Life put into a specific pre-defined world.

 

If you want Sandbox, 'play' Second Life or other sandbox MMO's. In my experience though.. any Sandbox MMO loses the whole Game aspect of MMORPG though, as your action after a while become so tedious and repeating to keep the world going that it really becomes a Second Job, and a Second Life.. if not the First.

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Does an MMO need a story? No. No game does.

 

Bioware has blurred the distinction between games and movies. This is a trend in all Bioware games, not just TOR. Bioware always had games with great stories to tell, but with more recent games the focus has shifted far too much into the story telling direction.

 

When creating a game the first and most important aspect is gameplay. Story telling always comes second. Bioware seems to have forgotten about this.

 

actualy most games do have a udner lining stroy, dom, wolf 3d did to KoTOR and eve the most of the FPS these days ahve a basic stroy line like " in the year 20## terriost/badguy group/orginzation has done something, your/your team being sent in to clean/recover/kill/etc.

 

it mostly the unser based games that have the weakest stroy optoins, since it the users that got to come up with a idea and if it a multi player type hope the other players play along or if does not really work.

 

Now i am personaly ahving a ahrd time thinking of a non-sandbox-ish game that id not ahve some story to give it a gernal idea to why you playing it. but if someone can tink of one please feel free to tell me.

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Can't say I'm surprised by that. It's an unfortunate fact that artificial imagination hasn't been invented yet, so endgame content will inevitably start to repeat itself sooner or later. And since this is still a relatively new game, it's more likely to be sooner than later. I'm hoping that with time, the storylines will be extended with new human-created content and the variety of endgame content will be increased to offset the onset of boredom.

 

Anarchy Online has a mission generation system that supposedly produces unique content on demand, but in reality it's based on a very limited set of rules. There's five different basic types of missions, but the gameplay in each of them is mostly the same, with the only difference being the action needed to complete the mission. Each type has two or three different backstories (with randomly filled names, serial numbers and such), but these are irrelevant and not really worth paying attention to after you've seen them once or twice. It's a fairly similar system to SW:TOR's crew skills in fact, except that you get to run the missions yourself instead of letting your crew handle them while you concentrate on something more important.

 

I think you missed my point, after playing a story based levelling system from 1 to 50 (taking approximately a month at 3 -4 hours a night), not having to repeat a single quest the only way to obtain your equipment for the PvE Operations ect is to do dailies.

 

Dailies are 10 quests that take between 5 and 10 minutes per quest that you repeat each day. This is for someone that followed the story through the complete opposite of the levelling process and designed to repeat and grind every day.

 

My complaint with Flashponts, warzones and Ops is not that there is a limited number and that you have to repeat them (that is to be expected) but that they are instanced and placed outside of the context of the levelling.

 

The Flashpoints should begin at least with the same sort of context as "The Jedi Prisoner" quest line, a lead in and a conclusion once completed. Not go to fleet, talk to a droid and enter.

 

Why, for example, is eternity vault not on Balsavis with a quest line leading to it?

 

Why are all Operations instanced and no open world dungeons with bosses to raid? It makes the whole end game and PvP fell like the space combat, a mini game to play when I have nothing to do in the game world.

Edited by Lazzer
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The reality, OP, is that I have no idea what an MMO is. I am sure me and my companion have conquered every last class quest the theme park that is SWTOR presented us, but that doesn't make me an authority on MMOs...it just makes me another shortsighted consumer with an opinion.

 

SWTOR actually has provided so much less than recent MMOs have in terms of ACTUALLY being an MMO...but we wouldn't realize it because we have been busy playing a VERY small part of the MMO experience with no RP or no group content and calling it the whole. That and pretending we were the next Alexander the Great every time we beat a solo class quest.

 

I am pretty sure everyone who thinks like me could play farmville as well and it would still make money for cheap developers. Unfortunately I am sure you will be subjected to many, many more posts by self informed "pros" like myself, who believe their fishbowl view of gaming is the only valid perspective.

 

Fixed.

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Heck, by just calling it MMO you are suggesting it only needs to be massive, multiplayer and online.
Actually the first M is "Massively", an adverb that modifies "Multiplayer" -- Massively Multiplayer. It doesn't refer to the size of the world, but to the number of players in the world -- much larger than the typical multiplayer game that has maybe 12-20 players, usually in some sort of team against team play. Massively-Multiplayer implies number that are much larger than a group (but not precluding some of those players from grouping).

 

All the things you mentioned are a sub-market of MMO's of interactive sandboxes. Also known as: Second Life put into a specific pre-defined world
The problem with a sandbox approach to Star Wars is that you need some sort of "story" to ensure that players act consistently with history. Nobody can be "King of the Universe" because that isn't one of the choices in the official Star Wars timeline.

 

That said, there is probably room within the Star Wars lore to have some more individuality added to the game. I'm sure there are a lot of less-than-Galactic factions that have controlled areas or whole planets from time to time that never get mentioned in the Galactic History Books. What if they added new planets that were empty and let people add stuff to them. You wouldn't have to go there if you are happy running solo quests on the regular planets. Would enough people be interested to make it worth dedicating developer time?

 

The game we have is the game we have. Changes and additions will come, but I don't see them ripping out the storyline to make a sandbox game at this point.

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Players, unfortunately, lack any imagination or creativity, thus they must be lead by the nose or bribed into doing something or they just won't do it.

 

Plop down a piece of land, give them tools, populate it... they stand there wondering why they are there and what they should do. If there isn't a reward attached, they don't see a reason to do it. Will I get XP for killing this creature or not? No reward? I won't kill it then. Will I get something if I climb to the top of this mountain? No reward? Then I won't climb it then.

 

WoW added all the useless achievements to encourage people to do what they always could do long before achievements existed. You could always grind rep with useless factions for nothing more than the self-pride of having done it. Now it's an achievement, so instead of something unique that you did, now it's common because everyone and their brother does it for some stupid achievement... and it's a 1000 times easier to do to boot.

 

Yes, MMOs need a story... its why they fall apart at end game so easily... because there is no story left... it's more like a broken record repeating itself. The leveling process has the most engaging content in the game... THE MOST ENGAGING CONTENT... dailies, flashpoints, operation, hard modes... this is just the broken record left playing to keep you around until the next expansion in which, get this, you are given new story as part as your leveling again. Rinse repeat. All MMOs follow this same formula. All of them.

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sorry if someone's feelings will be hurt, that's not my point.

i just wanted to say, that actually i Expected it to be voiced game and I could not imagine a cRPG being non-voiced. Yes, it satisfies me, it suits my playing style. And the story I can play actually at least 16 times, due to possible stances one can take.

So this is a game for looong time. That's the only thing I care about. The whole discussion whether" PvP is balanced" or "we need more MMO content" is not bothering me at all, because i am NOT MMO player. If this game would be another WoW or whatever MMO was made before I would not play it. Not my cup of tea, so to say.

 

Real game MUST have a story and environments to enjoy and character to build.

 

And SWTOR actually has it.

My only question is why it is made the MMO, but since it does not disturb me whether certain MMO factors are there or not, I am fine with the game, I actually enjoy it a lot!

 

Naah the abonnament, that is weird, I am not used to pay for play, once I BOUGHT the game.

But maybe this is "sign'o the times".

Edited by Przemo_No
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Players, unfortunately, lack any imagination or creativity, thus they must be lead by the nose or bribed into doing something or they just won't do it.

 

Plop down a piece of land, give them tools, populate it... they stand there wondering why they are there and what they should do. If there isn't a reward attached, they don't see a reason to do it. Will I get XP for killing this creature or not? No reward? I won't kill it then. Will I get something if I climb to the top of this mountain? No reward? Then I won't climb it then.

 

WoW added all the useless achievements to encourage people to do what they always could do long before achievements existed. You could always grind rep with useless factions for nothing more than the self-pride of having done it. Now it's an achievement, so instead of something unique that you did, now it's common because everyone and their brother does it for some stupid achievement... and it's a 1000 times easier to do to boot.

 

Yes, MMOs need a story... its why they fall apart at end game so easily... because there is no story left... it's more like a broken record repeating itself. The leveling process has the most engaging content in the game... THE MOST ENGAGING CONTENT... dailies, flashpoints, operation, hard modes... this is just the broken record left playing to keep you around until the next expansion in which, get this, you are given new story as part as your leveling again. Rinse repeat. All MMOs follow this same formula. All of them.

 

Great post.

 

But one of these days someone will make a MMO that has a satisfying theme park (story) content and near endless sandbox allowance together.

 

We'll have to do with the million dollar trashes we have until that day comes.

Edited by Farho
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Having played all major MMOs, I can conclude that yes, an MMO does indeed need a story. And it needs to present it in a graspable way.

WoW has loads of story, well written and interesting, as does SWTOR.

The difference is that SWTOR presents the story like potato chips - well fried and in small bitable chunks (dialogue lines), whereas WoW shoves the whole potato in your mouth and tries to slam it down your throat with a broomstick.

Edited by Gradivus
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I find Tor has allot of immersion for me, wow had 0, swg had 0, you had to make it up yourself it had almost 0 content, the story here is what drew me in after playing Bioware Games, for years. thats my opinion, we all have different opinions, just as long as I am having fun, I don't care about allot of other stuff.
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It's a great game, but its important that players express their dissatisfaction with elements of the game they aren't happy with. In this way, the development staff can get a feel for what players want or don't want and balance that against what is good for the game and what isn't.

 

My aunt used to have a saying-- when you get offered food at a relative's house, and it's lousy, you should always say so. Otherwise you'll just get it served to you again.

 

There is a difference between suggesting something that can be fixed vs just rambling on because something isn't created the way you want it.

 

It is obvious that SWTOR is not the MMO for the OP. SWTOR is a STORY DRIVEN MMO and the OP obviously doesn't like that. His suggesstions is basically to take the story out of the game which would kill what the game stands for.

 

That is like me suggesting the developers of Gran Turismo to take out the car customizations and make it more of a linear arcadey racer like Crus'N USA.

 

Or like me telling Naughty Dog to make Uncharted a 1st Person Shooter with no cover system because I hate 3rd Person Shooters and cover system games.

 

The OP basically wants just another MMO with walls of text.....

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I find Tor has allot of immersion for me, wow had 0, swg had 0, you had to make it up yourself it had almost 0 content, the story here is what drew me in after playing Bioware Games, for years. thats my opinion, we all have different opinions, just as long as I am having fun, I don't care about allot of other stuff.

 

Yep

 

I tired playing some of my old MMO's after playing SWTOR

 

They feel flat, lifeless, and I have no connection to my characters, I have canceled all of them.

 

I am not sure any future MMO can compete with what Bioware has done here without the same level of story

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And I'm going to challenge you... you claim much more than recent MMOs have in terms of actually being an MMO.

So which part of TOR is more MMO than any MMO currently on the market? You're examples should stand you well if that's the case.... but we all know there are none, because this really is a SPG with tacted on MMO elements, and poorly done at that.

 

I thought single player games only had "1" player. Everyones flavor is different. Personally, I like TOR. Some things I could see done differently, but largely its exactly what I thought it was going to be and exactly what they advertised it to be. The only fail here is the part of the community that expected things that were never promised.

 

the first dev vid doc I watched said pretty matter of factly it was going to be like kotor 3/4/5/6/7/8/9. Which is pretty much what they have given us. You can play it by yourself if you like. That doesnt make it a single player game. I'd like to see you clear all the flash points/heroic 4's AT LEVEL solo, then I'll agree that its a single player game.

 

People can qoute me all you like and try to provide logical arguments. Not gonna change the fact that some of us like it, some of us dont. The sooner the ones that dont like the game leave, the sooner bioware can focus on the needs/wants of the people that actually like/care about the game.

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Yep

 

I tired playing some of my old MMO's after playing SWTOR

 

They feel flat, lifeless, and I have no connection to my characters, I have canceled all of them.

 

I am not sure any future MMO can compete with what Bioware has done here without the same level of story

 

I know what you mean I hear people already complain about it in WoW and I also hear people talk about how abysmal the story and voice acting is in GW2......I just don't see the Genie being put back in the bottle. I think what we will see in a year or tow despite all of the teeth gnashing now is people complaining why X MMO didn't have the same things TOR had at launch.

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I actually feel like the story is what is making people more annoyed at end game. You finish up the most amazing leveling experience ever and are presented with the standard MMO end game, and the stark contrast between them hits you a lot harder than it does in other MMOs.

 

That doesn't make SWTOR bad, just the opposite. There really isn't any way around the problem though, aside from doing some kind of "prestige" mode where you can go back through the story content at a harder difficulty level to unlock exclusive titles or something. People would complain about that too. Really people will complain about just about anything.

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Players, unfortunately, lack any imagination or creativity, thus they must be lead by the nose or bribed into doing something or they just won't do it.

 

Plop down a piece of land, give them tools, populate it... they stand there wondering why they are there and what they should do. If there isn't a reward attached, they don't see a reason to do it. Will I get XP for killing this creature or not? No reward? I won't kill it then. Will I get something if I climb to the top of this mountain? No reward? Then I won't climb it then.

 

I do agree with the general principle of your reply, but not the part where you claim that players have no imagination or creativity.

City of Heroes proves you wrong (players get to create their own stories there with pretty much the same tools as the developers have and some of them are really good). Similarly many of the older games, especially the text based ones, relied much more on player community than on developer driven content. There used to be entire genres of games where there was no interactive content unless players created it. Even SWG, for those players that stuck out the bugs, design flaws and the fact that they had to create their own meaning and story inside the game, did show imagination and creativity aplently.

 

The sad truth is, though, that it is only a small subset of the players that is drawn to such an open ended game system. Worse is that Sturgeon's Law applies (with the youtube corollary).

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To funny! This is an example of why MMOs fail and get so screwed up! Here is the final paragraph of my write up that covered multiple topics and concepts.

 

 

TOR did ALLOT right in concept but also showcased that MMOs need to be a social affair. Im not talking forced grouping either, you can have socialization, interaction, community with out forced grouping. EA completely missed the boat in that aspect though and continue to miss the boat in their patchs and updates.

 

This is one of the first responces!

 

Players like Kalfear want forced grouping. One can only speculate why. I certainly have no trouble grouping when I want to, with the players I want to group with.

 

And people wonder why long time experienced players like myself tell these companies to ignore their forums for the most part!

 

Shameful

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