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

Reader Comments (87)

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 3:28PM Dblade said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Most MMO novels are nice to have as mementos of your favorite game, but the writing is on par with your average star trek novelization-usually pretty bad, sometimes tolerable. There's quite a bit of them: EQ, GW, star wars galaxies, EVE, COH, WoW, and even dead ones like Hellgate: London.

I like the MMO inspired manga much better. .hack and 1/2 prince get the feeling of MMOs right while having an interesting story.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 3:37PM oxlar said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 4:15PM Sam not Spam said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I read the City of Heroes novels, and thought they were fun. For COH it would be nice to see more to fill in the backstory.

I go in expecting a fun little read, nothing more, and I'm fine ^_^

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 4:55PM Valkenr said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No I don't, they are a horrible idea along with pre-designed Lore, they lock games into certain rules and it ends up ruining them. The majority of MMO players don't read the backstory, and therfore don't care. The lore is also a waste of valuable production $$ that no studio seems to have enough of.

Novels can be made a year after the game is released on content that was from a year earlier.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:15PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Absolutely not. I've never even heard a rumour of the existence of a "based on a game" novel that was good enough to even compare to a mediocre novel by a real author.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:31PM Stormwaltz said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I've read a few game-related books, including many written by the actual developers. Sadly, the skills needed to tell a good story in a game rarely seem to cross over into writing beautiful prose. A writer who produces excellent dialogue in games can trip up on narrative, pacing, and place-setting. The only game novel I've actually enjoyed was Hjalti Danielsson's "The Burning Life" (EVE Online).

I think many game novels "aim badly." They should be providing things we can't get from the game experience - what the world smells, tastes, and feels like; what everyday life is like. Instead they tend to narrowly focus on the same things we can experience more viscerally in the game itself. They waste time on what things look and sound like. They pack the book with combat that we would see in-game with dynamic animations and bursts of eye-popping particle effects, but reduce it to clunky prose and internal monologues that would make the writers of Dragonball Z roll their eyes and check their watches.

If you want to read a truly bad game-to-novel adaptation, check out Brad Wardell's novel for Stardock Systems' "Elemental: War of Magic." For reference, Brad is Stardock's CEO and lead programmer.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:52PM PacketBurner said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Hi deathboy728
Thanks for replying with that handy insight, sadly kindle is region specific and delayed in the uk i believe (could be wrong) so not everything is kindle friendly on day one.

i'm an old man who likes to feel the paper under my fingers, and the cats prefer me on the couch with a book than on the pc... god help em when SwTor lands! lol
Reply

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:46PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
While a lot of the game-related novelizations aren't the best writing in the world, I tend to pick them up if I really like the game. That said, the last ones I read prior to the SW:TOR ones were the Star Wars: Republic Commando novels by Karen Traviss.

With both the RC and TOR novelizations, the books take the base setting and expand it, filling in backstory and flavor. I played in three of the weekend betas and the fact that I'd read the novels that had come out at each point really made me feel more like a part of the setting. I got some subtle references to the novels, and vice versa. They matched up well with what I saw of both Imperial and Republic in-game lore.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 5:48PM DancingCow said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
A game needs to be able to stand on its own merits.

"I certainly don't think I'd appreciate Lord of the Rings Online quite so much if I hadn't read Tolkien."

I love Tolkien. Have read those books many times. But the game is totally bleh to me. And we know from subscription numbers that a good IP doesn't guarantee MMO success...

As for the other way around, I'm an avid reader and too much of a snob to stoop to reading MMO-spawned titles. Though I did end up reading the free novel that came with WoW when I found myself with nothing else to read and it wasn't awful.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:57PM mysecretid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@DancingCow

Cow, your opinions on LotRO are your own, and you're entitled to them.

However, to imply that the LotRO game was or is any sort of failure, simply because you don't like it, is not exactly a fair call.

LotRO was doing solidly well before it went free-to-play, and it's made even /more/ profit since the transition.

Don't take my word for it, search out the facts for yourself; some of the corroborating articles and links are right here on Massively.

Cheers,
Reply

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:18PM deadborder said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
MMO fiction falls squarely under the rule that 99% of franchise fiction is crap. The fiction for MMOs just varies as to how crap it is. Anyone who goes into a licenced MMO novel expecting a good read is fooling themselves.

With that being said, I have enjoyed more then a few licenced MMO novels (Chiefly Christine Golden's WoW ones). However, at the same time, I was also openly aware of what I was getting myself in for, and had no illusions as to their actual literary value.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:46PM LtSwiggles said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
ive read 10 or little more of the WoW. I loved every one of them so much because of the imagery i get from them. and im grateful i did read them. they got me through my sophmore and junior year by giving me something to do other then listen to the teachers.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:50PM mysecretid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Not usually, because they're typically not all that well-written.

Even the decent books seem to be marketed at as wide an age-range as possible, which means that the baseline reading level, and the complexity of the plots can suffer.

The editors want to ensure that your average (very) young kid can still follow along.

My opinions, anyway.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 11:52PM Graill440 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I dont read, i listen to audio books or have Sofia Vergara read them to me.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 12:56AM uberman3000 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
yup

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 2:08AM stamps79 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I read the GW series and really loved them, can't wait till Guild Wars: Sea of Sorrows release. I'm also looking forward to purchasing the SWTOR books in a few weeks. I usually don't care for MMO novels, but I've been really into the GW series and I am of fan of Bioware's TOR series.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 4:34AM Fuzzz said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think the question and what you are referring to is off a bit, like the LOTR aren't mmo novels, an mmo novel is something that is commissioned by the developer, WoW novels for example. Well I'll reply to the question that poses it itself first.

I tried reading a WoW novel once, but it was just too bland for me, maybe cause I'm not a fan of the game, on the other hand I found the two GW novels quite superb. I'm a fan of GW which might be it, I enjoyed seeing the gamemechanic of skills used in a "real" environment, and the lore that just tied together.

I guess it comes down to you being a fan or not, although I have borrowed my GW novels to some friends who despite of their lack of GW trivia still found them extremely catchy,

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 8:20AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I've read and enjoyed most of the WoW novels and all 3 SWTOR novels aswell. With or without the MMO, the novels were good, faster than average reads. Might read the GW@ novels aswell.

Being a huge KotOR fan aswell the REVAN book was golden and will reread again and again! ^^

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 11:18AM Bloodlet said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Deceived is pretty good. It was the first star wars novel I ever read. I read it because I loved the Erevis Cale Trilogy (Forgotten Realms) from Paul S. Kemp.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 1:56PM Sean D said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I've read "The Burning Life" by Hjalti Danielsson, "Ghosts of Ascalon" by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb, and part of "Edge of Destiny" by J. Robert King. I couldn't get through "Edge of Destiny" for the repetetive plotline. My expectations were low when I picked them up. In general, I wanted to learn more about the setting than what is available through the EvE and Guild Wars games. I would say I enjoyed "The Burning Life" the most.

Featured Stories

WoW Archivist: A Glyphmas story

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 12:00PM

One Shots: Top 10 best player screenshots of 2014

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 10:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW