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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 8:32AM Aganazer said

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The only MMOG that ever successfully got me involved in the story was The Chronicles of Spellborn. It was something about the way it was presented, the writing, the way the story arcs carried on as you level up and how you got in-game messages reminding you of things. It was all very well done even if the game had so many other unrelated problems.

The only other way to get me into the story is to read some books about the game in parallel with playing the game. I did this while playing WoW and it added a lot to the game. Now I am doing the same thing with Gemmel's Jon Shannow novels that are so similar to Fallen Earth. Sometimes its easy to mix up some of the subtle differences between game and book.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 8:45AM Meagen said

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This can sometimes happen with the high-level storyarcs in City of Heroes made in the game's first year. They can have more than a dozen missions, half of which are filler, which gets very tiring. So you decide to take a break and work on some lowbie alts instead. And then after weeks or months you come back to the character and can't remember which major criminal is it that you were hot on the trail of.

Fortunately, if you're in the middle of a storyarc you always get a "story so far" in your Clues tab, so catching up is only a minute or two of reading.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 9:06AM (Unverified) said

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The only MMO that I cared for the story was Asheron's Call. Probably because it was my first MMO, and that it's so weird. DDO does an OK job of it because they're in small packages so I can pay attention. Other than that, meh.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 9:36AM NeoDodge said

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what about those other fish men ?
http://championsonline.wikia.com/wiki/Lemurians

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 10:29AM njlg said

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My problem with quests is that I do not want to take the time to read a huge chunk of text. I want to play the game, and sitting and reading a block of text takes away from that game play.

I would rather a cut-scene that is acted out and narrated. I think SWTOR is doing something like that, to keep the game going even though they are giving you a new quest.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 10:31AM (Unverified) said

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I suck at following stories. Just give me my target, let me go kill it, and when I get back you can tell me why I did it. I guess I'm kinda of a mercenary/bounty hunter in that way, but aren't we all?

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 11:40AM Pingles said

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While I enjoy good storytelling I have to admit that I have certainly glazed over on plenty of storylines.

The worst part is when the quest just says something like "Now go back and tell him the good news" and your first thought is "Who?"

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 12:32PM (Unverified) said

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When most of the audience doesn't understand or isn't interested in a writer's intentions in the literary world, the author takes blame. Perhaps rather than looking to ourselves for our lack of interest in an MMO storyline, we should be looking to the authors, who may not have provided a compelling experience on par with single player or smaller multiplayer games.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 12:47PM Sente said

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The majority of MMOs which are mission-driven allow a lot of missions to go on in parallel anbd have a mission-hub design where people picks up all the mission they can find until their mission log is full. This behaviours has a tendency to become the norm especially when some missions seem to have the intent to be time sinks rather than tell something interesting.

It is thus hardly a surprise that people lose track of whatever storyline there may be. I generally read and follow the stories and to some extent try to limit the number of them I pick up at any time. City of Heroes/Villains is rather good in that sense that the number of story arcs to follow at any given time is limited to three.

Guilds Wars is also nice in that there is one main story line basically, with some side quests for flavour and some additional content, but not essential.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 1:04PM Anatidae said

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I miss the days like UO where the stories were mostly created by the players. Sure, they were mostly sob stories on how some PKer killed them and took all their loot.

Posted: Oct 26th 2009 1:41PM Sonoran said

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I don't think most people play MMO's to follow a storyline. I think that, for the most part, that aspect of gaming was lost when games became primarily graphic.

For those who do want to follow the story, it can be tedious. A written story presented in somewhat disjointed chunks, often with parallel subplots being unwound simultaneously, where the reader waits a significant amount of time between each written installment makes for confusion. Also the type of mental activity associated with the action part of gaming, and that of reading text online just don't seem to meld well. Once your brain has run your toon through a few mobs, soaking up all the sparkly action effects and tuning in to the quick act react of the fight, stopping to quietly read a passage is just not what you're gonna be attuned to.

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