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Reader Comments (2)

Posted: May 17th 2008 9:56PM Jouka said

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Warrior Epics first few hours is a refreshin spin on the MMO genre. The problem with tryin to "hook" someone at the first few hours is that everyone seems to look for something diff that they make there views on about a game. Graphics, game machanics, social interaction, art style, imersion in the Lore, gameplay, and the small to big rewards; all of which you exp. the first few hours is looked at diff. by diff. people. I personally think if you need to play over a course of a week at least to get a good impression, the problem is really now adays people are exp new mmo's and makin there impression's on BETA's, which is so wrong on so many lvl's. To fix this I would say go back to inhouse BETA's, but then to test server stablility would be lackin wich will result in unseen server lag. I personally think its us, as players, that need to change how we view new mmo's. /rantend. If we all just chill the phrack out we might acually injoy new mmo's.
~Natas

Posted: May 17th 2008 10:54PM Jeromai said

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The trick, which some MMOs are finally getting the hang of, is to imbue every level range with their own mini-stories, to have story arcs in quests and so on. Rather than just treat the whole "level 1 to max level" journey as the ultimate hero's journey story.

Even City of Heroes was guilty of this for a long time. Fighting small gangs at the low levels before finally upgrading to save-the-world threats at high levels. Its saving grace - some memorable story arcs at the 15-30s. Frostfire. Various task forces. Freakalympics, etc. City of Villains improved on this tremendously. And their later issue upgrades have wrapped stories around their new zones.

I've been considering playing WoW lately. Then I think about the "kill 10 animals" "kill 20 animals" lowbie grind, and I cower and run in the opposite direction. WoW's quest text is so plainly written, it's hopelessly forgettable. No wonder people skip through it.

LOTRO has the same basic quest types as WoW. They've put a bit more effort in the quest text to make it sound Tolkien-ish, and rely quite heavily on lore (or making it up so that you can't tell the difference) and it helps my immersion, personally. The starting tutorials make heavy use of drama and short tales with beginning, middle, and end.

I also found myself enjoying some of the Angmar quests in the later issue upgrades - even though I was mainly hunting wargs and hill beasts and collecting items, it was well wrapped up in the guise of winning respect from a tribe and becoming their champion to defend them in a one-on-one combat challenge with another tribe.

Age of Conan has an interesting spin on beginning stories. Daytime makes use of the standard "go fetch 'em, go kill 'em" MMO quests, night time brings the player into solo mode with a big 'destiny/you have been marked' storyline. How many people like this, versus how many hate having their background dictated for them, we'll have to see.

I think the ultimate story award still has to go to Guild Wars. From the very beginning, they built in an epic quest storyline that used cinematic cutscenes, and let you experience an entire prologue as tutorial, before shattering the world to start your journey proper. Add in two more standalone chapters with their own storylines, and a sequel and mission pack that brings in recurring NPCs, explores some of their pasts, and what-do-you-know, that ancient red tapestry you picked up from that little girl in the prologue...does have a use years (both real and fictional) later.

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