| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (42)

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 8:08AM madcartoonist said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I like having a lot of lore even if I don't always spend the time to know every bit of it. I like it whenever something feels like it has a real reason for being in the game instead of just being there to fill space. If the lore is done well it also makes the game feel worthwhile and more individual which is important for mmos now that we are getting so many of them.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 8:33AM Bhagpuss said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I like the feeling that there's a vast iceberg of Lore under the surface of the virtual world I'm in of which I am only dimly aware. I don't need to know what I don't know but I need to know that I don't know it.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 8:35AM jonrd463 said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I like the Daggerfall/Morrowind/Oblivion approach to lore. Those games featured books that were completely optional to read, but added so much flavor to the games. Some of the books even started quests, or based on the information gleaned within, you could set out on your own quest to find hidden loot or pieces to a larger story. Personally, I don't mind verbose quest text as long as it's well written. I do understand that for some, it becomes a case of "tl;dr", so a good compromise would be to only give the information necessary to complete the quest while having more information available for those of us who like to seek it out. Exploration, after all, doesn't have to be limited to traversing the gameworld.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 1:03PM DevilSei said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Yeah, I really liked how The Elder Scrolls handled it. Though, I'll always stand by the fact that the naughty maid is the best book in all of Elder Scrolls, least from all the books I've stolen, read, and arranged on a bookshelf in my mansion.

As for me, I love lore, and if its interesting I'll jump into it. What I don't like, is when games start taking important CHUNKS of lore, and throw them out into graphic novels, books, manga, and whatnot, with absolutely no way to learn the same stuff while playing in just the game. WoW fails horribly with its lore because of this, while a game like Mass Effect handles it well by letting you see all the lore (from books as well) in-game through very, very cheap codex entries.
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 8:59AM alinos said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
i like lore so long as it's tied into the game's story and is actually useful

the one thing that pissed me off about WoW's lore is that it's in a book somewhere in the gameworld yet the main game kinda acts as if it doesn't exsist

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 10:59AM Solp said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is quite true, but at the same time they do put pivotal characters from the novels in the game world so you can interact with them, see them, and even quest with them.

WotLK and most likely Cataclysm will see numerous of the very important novel characters taking very important roles.

Fingers crossed!
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
yeah i heard WotlK and cataclysm had added a larger story component but i couldn't be bothered going back :D
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
yeah i heard WotlK and cataclysm had added a larger story component but i couldn't be bothered going back :D
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 6:26PM Solp said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
lol, I don't blame you. I have no high hopes for Cata in terms of story development, but it'll still be nice to see the big characters getting some spotlight.

That... and, well... I can't pass up the chance to kill Deathwing. Dude's nuts!
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 9:29AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
"Giving you a huge amount of lore for every part of the game does wonders for immersion, but it also can shackle you with either required reading to follow what's going on or huge blocks of quest text just to go kill 10 rats."

Why does it shackle you with required ready? If you don't care why you're killing 10 rats, you're not going to care if there's seemingly a deeper reason than whatever the questgiver told you. You probably didn't really read what the questgiver told you. It's not like there's any MMO's that issue a test to make sure you know the historical necessity behind making sure ten rats are killed.

Personally, I get bored fast in any MMO with no effort put in to the lore.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 9:33AM pcgneurotic said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I like deep lore, as long as it's integrated into the game and not just hanging around one page of the official website. The EQs, LoTRO and even WoW do this right. DDO is cool, because the game *is* the lore, kinda thing.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 9:36AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I am definitely pro-lore!

I agree with alinos's comment on WoW. They have such a wealth of lore and yet it is virtually redundant in the game. The game world does not reflect the game lore.

Lore is necessary for immersion. Among many other things ...

Though it's only a virtual illusion, players still their game world to make sense.
After all, what is an RPG without any lore?

There is a big misconception that MMORPG merely refers to any MMO game.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 9:41AM Irem said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I love a game with detailed lore. Yeah, all you really -need- to know to play the game is who to kill, and plenty of people are fine just being told which side to point their sharp sticks at, but when there's much more to the story it makes me feel like I'm playing in an actual world, as opposed to just logging into a game. Even when most of it is hidden away in obscure quests and the like; it's fun piecing together ancient history and current events and weird clues to get a hint of what's really going on in the overall scheme of things, instead of just being told, "You're a hero and the story is about you being awesome. Have fun."

Lore is usually considered fluff, but it's actually very good for developers to put a lot of time and effort into crafting a story and putting in a lot of details. The story fosters an emotional connection to the game. Even people who don't roleplay and would never consider it often have an "inner story" about their character that leads them to grind certain factions, wear certain pieces of armor, or do certain quests and avoid others. MMOs are going to be repetitive at times by nature. If the players feel invested in the game world, they're more likely to stick around when they're bored of the nuts and bolts gameplay.

Having a good story and recognizable characters also encourages player connections. In WoW I remember trivia nights in General chat, with prizes for people who knew the most obscure bits of lore. In-jokes spring up around historical events or popular characters, and it becomes part of the social landscape of the game.

Finally, it goes a long way toward convincing players that the developers actually give a damn about the game they're working on. I usually won't play an MMO if the story is transparently just an excuse to go kill ten rats, because it tells me that nobody cared enough about the world I'm supposed to be spending so much time in to ever want to breathe a little more life into it. In contrast, I've gone ahead and played games that require you to be a card-carrying masochist to slog through the gameplay, just because I was that interested in the story.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 9:42AM GumbyJD said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Lore is good - especially in quantity since in most games you don't have a single storyline that takes you from level one to the cap (and beyond).

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 10:36AM Audacious said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's all about how it's presented, told to you, and ultimately used to make the game more interesting, which is would a good story does to any and all forms of entertainment. Contrary to popular belief lore (I really hate this word, but whatever) doesn't have to be a detriment or stopper on gameplay options. I know I dump on it regularly but, as a good example, about all the lore in WoW is good for is an excuse for the developers to not let every race be every class.

The wall of text before you go kill ten rats? Replace the kill 10 X quest archetype with something that warrants the wall of text (ie: interrogate 5 enemy lieutenants, sneak into the enemy base without being caught, etc.), cutscene, or whatever else, and you're entertaining your player twofold: by making them feel immersed and by giving them something interesting to do.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 10:40AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As someone said above if you aren't into lore why care if there is seemingly a wall of text? Just hit 'Accept' and go on slaying rats and what-not. Others who like lore, well, LIKE lore so we read quest texts so we can see why Joe Bob wants us to kill 10 wolves because he has a fetish for wolf fur. The thing with lore is that it should all ways be there for people to want it, and optional for people who could care less, which is exactly has quest systems work nowadays.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 10:57AM Rayko said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
You guys just asked this question a few weeks ago and it is as dumb now as it was then.

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 11:55AM nearly nil said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
So are you
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 12:11PM Rayko said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
oh snap ! You got me. ::thumbs up::
Reply

Posted: Nov 14th 2010 7:37PM Rayko said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
ok let me qualify my remarks since I am getting voted down. Pen and paper role playing games are all about story and lore. MMOs were developed as an evolution of these. EQ was Dungeons and Dragons online with the lore changed up a tad. If you aren't interested in lore you need to take your @ss back to FPS or Hello Kitty Island. I am not suggesting everyone should pour over every piece of lore they find and be an expert but the noobs who say lore is pointless are the type of player that has made MMOs so faceroll these days, the devs are appealing to the lowest common denominator and the true MMO players are suffering for it.
Reply

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW