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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 4:15PM Dblade said

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Not everyone likes Bioware's focus on "Wheel of Morality." Especially when it's not story for the sake of story, but metagaming the wheel to get the preferred rewards for your class. FFXI's story was divorced from gameplay, and that was a strength.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:40PM JuliusSeizure said

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@Dblade

That's somewhat mitigated by there being other options to affect your morality scale.

Even more so, it's the meaninglessness of your choices in SWTOR that rankle. The vast majority of dialog options change nothing other than how your character sounds. The ones that do matter in the moment, which are almost always whether to kill someone or who of two options to betray (and probably kill) mean nothing once the mission is done. The only lingering effect seems to be which side you gain points for. Otherwise, you're just railroaded down the same general direction of the plot.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 4:53PM Lucidus said

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Gameplay is more important in MMOs. Content gets chewed through so fast that when you still want to keep people subbing, you need compelling gameplay to keep them.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:14PM deadborder said

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@Lucidus

This!

Let's be honest here; most MMO players don't give a crap about story. They're here for progression, killing monsters and getting loot. Story is a nice optional extra, but it's hardly going to be a majority selling point.

Me? I found most of SWOTR's interaction scenes as boring ass bats poo.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 5:32AM (Unverified) said

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@deadborder

And that's where most MMO's lose me is their total lack of attention to story. I guess I'm one of the few on that end of the stick though. Even though I'm not all that fond of FFXI's gameplay direction recently, (Abyssea is not my cup of tea) I'm still constantly thinking of resubbing because the story was just that good and I know I haven't seen it all. There is still plenty of missions and cutscenes and dialogue I haven't seen, and I love the story and the presentation. Probably why the FF games are really the only MMO's I've played.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:04PM Irem said

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I'm actually really fond of the way XI and XIV do story and I wish more MMOs would proceed that way. FFXI never pretended your PC was the center of the universe. The NPCs were pretty clearly the main characters, and while you as a player were treated as a confidant and valued ally by the heroes, they primarily got to do the cool stuff and their characterization and place in the story rarely if ever suffered from the game needing to have them step back so that they could ego stroke the player and hand out gold stars.

I complain about this a lot, but when an MMO tries to set me up as THE hero, I don't feel heroic. I feel like I'm at a children's theatre production where the characters call a kid at random up on stage and have them "strike the decisive blow" against the bad guy for them so everyone can clap and the kid feels special. I'm fine with carrying the MacGuffin around or being there while my good buddy Aphmau talks about her feelings, but I'm interested in the story because of the characters, not because I want my PC's name inserted in a pre-written narrative. In FFXI, it sucked to have Halver always giving me crap about the state of my wardrobe or whatever, but I felt like my character had an organic and realistic role in the story--a hero, but not THE hero--and it allowed for better development of characters I really loved. Because the story didn't hinge on my character having been at the center of everything, it also made the world feel like it had a coherent history.

Posted: Dec 3rd 2011 6:38PM (Unverified) said

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Having a "choose your path" story work well in a single player setting. For example, You are to rescue the princess, but in your game you let her die. Now your game world is forever changed. Works great in a single player game. In a MMO how do you live in the same world with people who saved the princess when for all intents and purposes she's dead to you? The game is fractured, and even more so for every other choice you make down the road different from someone else.

While like Eliot suggests gameplay wise you end up in the same spot, it's poor for continuity.

the story in FFXI was fantastic; while you didn't have to take part in it, if you so choose, When you did your were part of a common goal. You aided the main characters (npcs) through the adventure, in the end you were part of the same world as everyone else.

You didn't get a choice to spare the shadowlords life. You didn't let Promathia destroy the world, You prevented Ragnarok when you defeated Alexander.

Thats the type of story I like.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 10:42AM Bramen said

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@(Unverified)
You didnt get a choice to spare the shadowlords life, nor did you get the choice in how he died. But in SWTOR you may not be able to save the shadowlords life, but HOW you kill him is up to you. That part of the story makes it yours. The story has continuity because everyone ends up with the shadowlord dead.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 11:21AM (Unverified) said

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@Bramen

So in SWTOR if you are presented with two options:
1)Let the rebel ship through the blockade to deliver the much needed meds to the colony.
or
2) blow it to bits, and the colony dies of ebola.

If something like this is presented to players, after their choices they are now in two different worlds.

or does it play out like this:
1)Let the ship through and the colony is saved.
or
2) attempt to blow it up, but an escape pod gets trough and delivers the meds?
Now all players end up in almost the same world where the colony survives the ebola outbreak. What about that crew on the ship?

Does it make much of a difference on the over all game? No, but either way players don't exist in quite the same world.

At least in linear story once players progress through a story they all live in the same world. Not one thats fractured by any extent from "choices" made.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 2:13PM JuliusSeizure said

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@(Unverified)

You think they'd let you blow up an entire ship as a story choice? Hah. You can blow them up by the hundreds in a single space combat mission, but there's no way they'd allow a dialogue choice to destroy just one. Dialogue is for killing ship captains, not the entire crew. =P
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 3:16PM (Unverified) said

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@JuliusSeizure

Even a different outcome, unless the captain dies in any path taken, players are now in different virtual realities.

scenario A)
Player 1 kills captain
Player 2 saves captain

Player 1 and player 2 team up. Player 1 lives in a world where the captain is dead and is given quests based around that. Player 2 is given quests based around the captain living. Neither of the quests lines make sense to the other player because fundamentally they are experiencing a different timeline within the same world.

If choices aren't that meaningful to the game, why even have them if the outcome doesn't change the gaming world?

They work great in a single player game where your choices effect the world around you. You partake in that timeline.

However in a MMO setting it's hard to implement w/o players choices having no effect in the over all game. Such as SWTOR. Does it matter if the captain lives or dies? NOPE!

How would this work if say, In my game world Darth Hitler lived, in yours Darth Hitler died. In Tommy's game Darth Stalin won the war. How would our game worlds co-exist?

I would love to see a truly dynamic MMO where actions of the players changed the world around them for everyone.

Destroyed that rebel medical ship? The quest hub with all the NPS who were sick and waiting for that medical aide vanishes. Not to be repopulated until the next colonization ship lands *IF* that wasn't destroyed by some player.

Big bad dragon thats tough to beat keep terrorizing the village until one day you triumph over evil and slay the beast, now that city is available to the player community, until one day a hatchling dragon is born and seeks revenge on the player base.

If you're going to add "choice" to a game make it count. otherwise stick to telling a story where everyone is on the same page.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 10:14AM Laren said

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Comparing the so called "story" of FFXIV with SWTOR is pretty ballsy. Not even in the same league. That other MMO you all like to cut up has a better story than FFXIV.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 12:56PM Celtar said

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In my opinion voice overs are over rated. Do they add to the game? Sure but they are still just fluff. Fluff that takes a lot of developer resource and money to implement.

Watching now crazy the hard core SWTOR fans react anytime anyone down plays voice overs amazes me. I agree with others that good game mechanics, and a good user interface are much more important to whether I stay or not with a game.

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 2:20PM (Unverified) said

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@Celtar Your entiltled too your own opinion but I STRONGLY disagree. Hearing and seeing the emotions in the NPC's made me care a THOUSAND times more about them then a wall of text!!
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 2:50PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

Go play The Lost Odyssey, then tell me that a wall of text isn't just as or more moving then some animated CS with VO.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 5:29PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) Thats not a MMO is it?? Good try though ;]
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 8:34PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
Doesn't matter the genre of game. A MMO can have powerful writing to convey a sense of emotion. Like "The Lost Odyssey" But just having animated CS with VO doesn't = emotion, thats fluff.
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 3:26PM (Unverified) said

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"This just in! Sith outpost raided and Hutt Mob boss killed!.........wait....break..... Disregard that last statement, Hutt mob boss saved from the brink of death!...... getting another report....what?..... Jedi storms sith outpost forgives hutt mob boss for all wrong doings! Well i'll be....MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....hold on...... Bounty Hunter infiltrates sith outpost and kills the Hutt..... WTF is going on?"

Posted: Dec 4th 2011 5:28PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) Ha! Like that! Hehe
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Posted: Dec 4th 2011 5:47PM Tizmah said

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No wonder I didn't like FFXI. Using story as a reward certainly is not satisfying at all. Is that how you guys got through the monotonous grind? Is that how you get through FFXIV?

I'd rather just read a book...

Anyway, I don't see how FFXIV is changing, yet SWTOR is constant. I really don't understand that comment from Elliot. SWTOR can have additions to the story later on just like FFXIV. And if FFXIV has permanent change, doesn't that make it the constant, rather than SWTOR?

I think that has always been a terrible thing and a hated flaw of MMOs, where people can't experience things that happened at the beginning of an MMOs days. It's unfair to newer players who would like to experience everything from the beginning.

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