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Reader Comments (40)

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 7:13PM Holgranth said

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"""Not only will one player lead the conversation, but others in his group will be able to chime in as well, thus intensifying the story"""

In my opinion this is going to be the thing that either makes or breaks the whole much hyped "STORY!@!@!one! eleven!" when it comes to multiplayer.
To have the same level of immersion as KOTOR or DA every player needs to be able to interact with the story not just the party leader.

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 7:22PM Larry Everett said

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I totally agree, and I think they are concerned with that as well. Erickson said in the post:

"Nobody wants to sit there in a multiplayer game while their party member begs an NPC for more backstory."

I believe that hints to it being very interactive. At very least it tells us they do take other members into consideration when designing the dialog system.
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 7:22PM (Unverified) said

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I find that I actually stopped reading quests after my main in WOW 4 years ago. I did that because I was tired of the same generic story plus kill ten *insert random mob here*. I'm very excited to see some real plot arcs and good story telling in an MMO. I am very optimistic about SWTOR!

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 8:03PM MattJG said

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Oh, thank [Insert fictional deity here] you're here! [Oppressive overseer] has tasked me with [collecting/killing/escorting] X number of [consumable/monster/friendly NPC]. However, [Oppressive overseer's assistant] already has me looking after the [fictional livestock]! Can you help me!?
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 7:54PM Kalex716 said

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"How this system works has not been defined, yet players have high hopes for it."

This has been the summary of every SWTOR news blurp since the game announced. I'm starting to think they really don't have a solid definition yet either, and are going to market the "hope" until its released and the subterfuge no longer lasts. Singleplayer RPG features + your friends sharing a quest is not equal to a good MMO.

I am not impressed at all so far.

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 8:10PM Kalex716 said

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I want to take a moment to illustrate some of my greater concerns with a bit of a thought experiment. In this game, the choices you make might not matter at all, in which case you can say or click whatever you want and your results will always be the same in a quest. In my opinion, that implication is unlikely, and it would make most sense that any choice you make is designed to have substantial differences in how your character progresses and is rewarded.

Lets for an instant, presume you have a character who's been playing for a while and you come across someone who has a particularly awesome looking light sabre or something. You ask him where he got it and he told you it was from a specific quest line that you haven't yet done. Now, you've been playing long enough now to learn that quests have varying rewards based on how you choose to work through them. do you:
A. Take on the quest, answer and choose things that you naturally would as the character you've chosen to play so far because you value keeping that experience and do not want to compromise that in any way even though you want that light sabre.
B. Wiki the quest, find out what mechanics and choices you must do in which order to get the desired item.
C. Skip the quest, or click through it as fast as possible/ go grind levels cause you know at high levels the game "really starts" anyway and that light sabre is pointless in the meantime.
D. Go buy gold online and buy it from the marketplace at a ridiculous markup.

Remember, if we assert that rewards are not linked to how you make choices, can we even bother asserting that they're meaningful anymore? I also realize that I am subscribing to many notions and conventions and lines-of-thinking that are indicative of the modern day MMO and how they typically play, reward, and stimulate the players but that can ONLY be the case until they really start talking about how they're changing these conventions.
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 8:32PM Larry Everett said

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I liked your response, although I may not agree with it.

I do have a follow up question: Have you played either of the Mass Effect games? If so, did you play it through more than once and why?

I know for myself, I played it through about 4 times, and not one of those times did it have to do with rewards. Generally, it had to do with playing out a different story. I was just curious if that's good enough motivation for someone to make different choices, or if you believe that most MMO players need the shiny or need to fill up their little bar better/faster/stronger.
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 9:24PM DancingTaco said

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I think many will play their first toon through and pay attention to the story more than the rewards.. Most will probably not even realize that their choices matter vs. rewards (if that is the case.) After that I think alts might go different directions if its worthwhile, but you will probably start to see more lean towards the reward. Thats how I will do it anyway. When I play a new game its all about me, me, me.. I am zoned out in my own little world.. I might as well be playing a single player game. I want to learn everything for myself. I am not looking at guides, wikis, or quest helpers. I stay out of ADVICE channels and only ask questions in the forums on things I have taken time to think about. I have a feeling with this game I might actually play a 2nd toon pretty close to the story as well just to see how different it can be. Maybe by the 3rd I will start making elite gear choices vs. what I would normally do. Only those who are more worried about the destination will be gear-happy, skipping the story. Those are the same ones with the short attention spans....
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 12:23AM Kalex716 said

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So far two people have said A. for the most part, they seem like their main drive for playing this game is to experience those stories and the way that content is going to emerse them just like other bioware games. Thats good to hear.

To answer your question Larry E. I've played mostly all of the Bioware library, and I've never played through more than once on any occassion. I don't feel the compulsion to do so because I can't honestly see the point in purposefully deviating from the original play through choice wise. You are right though, the "rewards" have never even entered in my mind as far as the singleplayer game goes, but thats typical of the genre. Multiplayer is a completely different beast though.

In my opinion, MMO's, always seem to have that carrot and the stick in terms of how it keeps a playerbase as an institution. Character progression in stat form is a staple of what people consider the primary goal of playing an MMO long term, I don't see how Story-centric content alone can mitigate the mentality that stats, gear, levels, builds etc. supercede making "in-game" meaningful choices for the sake of story. If all that stuff is more important, in my opinion, everything else will crash down like a house of cards. People just won't care that much past the first few weeks.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 10:03AM Lethality said

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@Larry

But the thing is, playing this out again is only going to get you a different class story (or, the same story if you roll the same class!) The world story arc isn't going to change no matter how you come out of your class story.

BioWare is giving the illusion of choice, not real choice like the could in a single player game.

Also, and this is my opinion, I don't see the appeal in seeing "different endings" so to speak. I'm much more in tune with the idea of a great story and being part of it. Once.

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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 10:14AM Cendres said

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@ Larry

I love Mass Effect, have played through both games at least twice, the first title more then that. Anyway I'd like to point out that no matter how many 'choices' you make it's all flavor, there's maybe one of two choices who MAY actually have a significant effect in ME3 and then again.. But no matter what you do the end is always the same thing, sure you may be rewarded with different dialogue but it doesn't change the course of the game or the story at all.

So with an MMO how many times can someone go through the same thing? In this case probably a lot if the dialogue is a bit different from class to class, then again that depends on how many players actually care.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 12:22PM Larry Everett said

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@Lethality and @CindyL

I have to disagree with you, especially based on games like Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. The choices made in ME have an effect on ME2, and it is obvious the choices made in ME2 will have a great effect on ME3. If that is not impacting the game world, I don't know what is. (Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.)

This can be carried to the MMO space, too. We have seen player choices impacting the game world on minor scales, EVE and PotBS, for example. Guild Wars 2 is attempting to try it on a grander scale. Who's to say SWTOR isn't going to make an attempt at it, too?

It is all speculation at this point, but it does make for good conversation. :-)
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 6:48PM Cendres said

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@ Larry

Choices in ME don't change the ending or anything major ever, what they do is carry extra stuff over and change certain dialogue, they are all minor twists not essential to the main story line and thus only changes the flavor and nothing significant.

I'll bet TOR will be the same, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's MORE then what you get in any MMO (didn't we already kill that purple wyvern comrade? Why is it lurking in that same cave, again?) But it is changing the mmo landscape in either a good way or a bad way.

Yeah we'll have to see. I'm playing this either way.... ^_^
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 7:16PM Larry Everett said

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@CindyL

I'm definitely not being confrontational here, I'm just trying to understand what your definition of "anything major." You do know there is an ending in ME2 where Shepard dies, right? Also there are an endings where any or all of the crew could die. It is also possible to give the Illusive Man the collector tech, and one where you don't. If that's not something major in the next ME, I don't know what will be. Granted you fight the same "big bad" at the end, but the results are quite different based on your choices.

I will admit the only real outcome-changes I noticed between ME1 and ME2 was if you appointed Anderson to the council you could get your Specter status back which made a few things easier, and if you didn't kill Wrex you got a little more support for Grunt.

What would you consider "anything major"?
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Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 9:52PM Aquaryon said

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Can. Not. Wait.

Everyone is making great points about the dialog choices but I have full faith in Bioware. If anyone can do it, they can. Their games thrive off of choices... which is absolutely awesome.

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 11:40PM Alex Oglitchkin said

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"I was just curious if that's good enough motivation for someone to make different choices, or if you believe that most MMO players need the shiny or need to fill up their little bar better/faster/stronger."

Me personally I care about the rewards over the story. Then again I could care less about story unless I'm just playing a single player RPG. When other players are involved in a game then I want all the edges/advantages I can get.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 12:49AM niakori said

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And that's totally OK, but hopefully we can agree that a story driven MMO isn't for everyone and may certainly not be for people only interested in rewards.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:55AM Alex Oglitchkin said

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Ya different is good and when new ideas get expanded on. I can't really say a story driven MMO is a good thing since I have yet to actually see one that SWTOR is supposedly going to have. If it works out then the fantasy and lore might be yours to make and that is great for a player who decides how and who he wants to be. Me personally I am still on the fence on the game from a gameplay point of view, but with Bioware behind the scenes it most likely can't go wrong.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 12:07AM (Unverified) said

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this game is actually starting to become TOO ambitious. I mean, so many revolutionary features...but if there's one company that can do it, it's Bioware

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 1:37AM (Unverified) said

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Anyone know yet if we will be able to choose a voice for our characters and be able to hear them (a little like NWN even though you rarely got to hear your character besides when your getting stabbed in the face) in the game or do we get stuck with a default or no voice at all?

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