BioWare: MMORPGs Have "No Point"

MercenaryCanary

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FargoDog said:
Is it just me or are BioWare being extremely controversial recently?
There is a difference between controversial, and having a decent point.
Bioware has the latter.
 

X-07

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While I still feel that this MMO was a huge copout so they wouldnt have to make KOTOR3, I have to somewhat agree with what theyre saying here. I actually had this discussion with a friend of mine not to long ago. I asked her what was the point of WoW, she told me the the whole point was to go around completing quests and leveling up. "That's it?" I asked. She was angry at me for phrasing it in such a way but she had no other real argument.

This shocked me because she is huge on reading books and looking into character development and plot on stuff, yet she was playing a game with hardly any story with no memorable characters nor a reason to care about the world.
 

daftalchemist

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I love pretty much all MMORPGs, but I cannot wait to see what Bioware can do with one. if any game company knows storytelling, it's Bioware. I'm so excited!
 

Summerstorm

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Hm... this may sound a bit weird BUT:

I think he is partially wrong.

FIRST: Yes, he is right about MMORPG having nearly no point. You shuffle around having IMMENSLY boring "Raids" for example... waiting for 40 people to get their heads out of their asses to mechanicaly and totally unrealisticaly kill some weird boss. Most MMORPG have no atmosphere, no logic (internal consitency) and the only things entertaining are:

1. Talking with friends while doing "stuff with your hands"
2. pleasure your primitive Hunter/Gatherer caveman part of your brain with: MUST KILL MORE RATS... OHHH SHINY NEW SWORD
3. figuring out the rules (Even though you find out that they are sickengly balanced and you never will be any different than one of the other 500 million-billion nightelf hunters... or whatever)

BUT: he is wrong with trying to emphasize good written story in an MMORPG too. NOW, don't get me wrong: I LOOOOOVE me some good story. It is one of the two essential great things needed for a good game (The other is "Atmosphere"). But the story in an MMORPG has to be written by the players. What most MMORPG's do not do is: Having the players change the world... have them feel rewarded for controlling something ( a Road, a village, a Planet.. whatever. Form their own alliances, betraying people, becoming friends. Not just "Go do some quests together"

Quests has to be authored by the players themselves. Of course there should be NPC's with some agendas too. Maybe have some GM play out story parts, involving the players.

But coming back to story: They cannot make the decisions so complex. The potential stories so manifold, the choices, options and COINCIDENCES so vast that everybody has THEIR experience, THEIR virtual "life" in there. Just this one example: All people will start off on some "Newbie Island" there they will bring back the lightsaber of some Padawan/NPC-Friend. And he will be happy. How can you bring it to him if he JUST GOT it... a FEW THOUSAND times from a few thousand people in the last hour? And all of them are right THERE, telling you where to find it, or teaming up to get it? It just destroys the atmosphere (The thing which i called the second important ingredient of a good game)

Ah well, rant over... Hm, Maybe i should really write that ranty-essay thingy about MMORPG-design already.
 

GodKlown

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So people are complaining about the potential for a story in an MMORPG? REALLY?! I wonder what the hell is the reason why anyone plays MMORPGs. Just to pwn noobs? Gather stuff for crafting?
I fail to understand the logic of paying to play a game just to kill people when you can do that for free.

But at least there is hope that BioWare can change the game by bringing stories back to MMORPGs. More power to them.
 

Dobrev

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wasalp said:
we can only hope they succeed.
They cat'n succeed. Or more to they don't want to. An MMO to be true RPG they need to give players the freedom to make permanent changes to teh environment. NPCs that once killed stay dead forever, towns shifting control, growing cities depending player economy, destuctible and rebildable cities. - any mark on the world. But that is impossible in an MMO, because the problem is in money. Current MMO's run on a number of server shards. Players are able to change differen't assets on different servers makes future balancing and adding new content nightmare. Here is an example:
Players are given a choice to protect a town from incoming horde. On sever-A players kill the enemies and teh town prospers. In another server-B the players just don't care and let it burn. Trom this point on the developer needs to make new assets and content for each specific server. The current solution is implement both and make the town attack as repeting event (say every week). Thus players on every sever can experience every outcome. But there isn'r any real choice, no permenent outcome of your actions.
As another example is the unqiness of experience. A quest that a man asks you to deliver love leter to his beloved. I a proper RPG only one player needs to complete teh task. And depending on wether he actualy completes it should result in a diferent behaviour by both NPCs. Currently the lover spend all day writing the same letter over and over, and his belovered is verry surpriesed everytime a player delivers it to her. Again it is repetition as implemeting different outcomes and scenarios based on teh first player to undertake the quest takes too many resourses.

Now don't have any foalse hopes that The Old Republic will be any different than the current MMOs. Sure it might have more intresting stories and varoius endings depending on your action. ut as long as the next player can have do same story arc without any consecuences from your actions then it's not RPG.

The only MMO that has come closest to aciving realy player driven persistent world is EVE-Online. And it is much to teh fact that is based on a single server. This alows teh developer to adapt to teh players actions even if there is no such build-in functionality in the game itself.

But for me the only proper MMORPG I've played are teh persistent worlds of Neverwinter Nights. These player created, and managed by played DMs realy hold some unique experiences for me. And it is all due to the fact of handlin the creator controlls to the users. As only love to teh game and dedicaion can achive the amount of work to make an MMO an RPG.
 

Kungfu_Teddybear

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If a developer can pull this off it's Bioware, here's hoping they succeed.
 

Lonan

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I stopped playing World of Warcraft, it really is designed to keep you playing so they keep making money. There's not much more to it then that.
 

FinalHeart95

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Talk about missing the point. I don't even like MMORPGs, but the whole "point" behind them is the social interaction. No MMORPG is fun by yourself, with or without a story.
 

Danpascooch

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The more news that is released, the better this sounds.

This could catapult Bioware to godlike status.
 

IxionIndustries

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I must agree that many MMO's have no real story for the players, and most of the time, if they do have any, you have to dig it up. But still, saying they have no point could easily apply to games as well. For example, though Dragon Age had some nice background to it, lots of character interaction, etc, I still couldn't help wondering "What's the point to this?" and sometimes I even started to think it was grindtastic, killing Darkspawn after Darkspawn. Hell, even killing the Ogres wasn't fun anymore because they stopped being difficult.

So the moral of this story is, everything is essentially pointless, it just depends if you want to make a point of it.
 

Fr]anc[is

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Who the hell is against making MMOs better? I don't personally care for them, but it's not a stance that makes any sense to me.
 

elricik

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monkeypants said:
i hate bioware
Thanks for that enlightened idea and thought process, mind telling us why you hate Bioware?

OT: I'm so excited about this game, I just hope Bioware doesn't pull a Peter Molyneux and promise more than the can deliver. But I think there track records speaks mountains, and I doubt thats its even possible they'll screw this up. I'm going to put my money on the table and say that the old republic is a WOW killer, and will be the best MMO ever made.
 

DarkDain

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How do stories give a game a point? to tell a story? what about the fun of playing the game? If a game stops being fun you stop playing the game, so mmorpgs have a point until you want a different point.