Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Bigdeadbug

MMORPG storytelling survey

This topic is 2492 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Well i need to gather some information on what MMORPGs players think about the state of storytelling within MMORPGs. The goal of the project is to try and improve those methods currently used using the information i have gathered from other sources and this survey, if you have any more questions feel free to ask here. The survey itself shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to fill out and most answers require about a sentence to complete.

Heres the survey:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RVC2LRC

Thanks in advance to anyone who manages to fill it out. :D




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I would like it if you would post the results when you are done. There's a lot of material there which is totally on topic for this forum and could spark some good discussions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I should be able to, just need to clear it with my moderator. Will probably keep it up for a couple of weeks so will try and post something when i take it down.




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's my motivation? :P

#1 Issue I have: Shouldn't the players be experiencing the stories rather than having them forced onto them?

World history is a great thing to have in a game, but should that be how players live their lives within the game? By some artificial control? Provide the means to create your own stories and you will be better suited. Not player created content per say, but content that allows players to create.

For the record, I did fill out the survey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@Caldenfor. Well thats precisely the problem at the moment. Theres a certainly popularity with the idea of focusing a lot more on players creating their own story, i will admit i personally love the idea, and less on the developer made story. The thing is you need, or so convention would have you believe, to first give some back-story to the player to spark their imagination. Whats the best way to get that story of that world to the player so they can "role-play" within the world?

Also an interesting thing is the fact that although the designers may like the idea of not "forcing" a story on a player what do the players themselves think? Look at WoW and the countless games that copy it, the majority of them are successful. At best they provide no encouragement for players to create their down story at worst they seem to discourage it. Espen Aarseth argues (in [font="Arial"]A Hollow World: World of Warcraft as Spatial Practice) that this almost "theme-park" design is why WoW is so popular. What I'm trying to get at is that in the end maybe the majority of players would rather have the story "forces" upon them than create their own story. [/font]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Caldenfor. Well thats precisely the problem at the moment. Theres a certainly popularity with the idea of focusing a lot more on players creating their own story, i will admit i personally love the idea, and less on the developer made story. The thing is you need, or so convention would have you believe, to first give some back-story to the player to spark their imagination. Whats the best way to get that story of that world to the player so they can "role-play" within the world?

Also an interesting thing is the fact that although the designers may like the idea of not "forcing" a story on a player what do the players themselves think? Look at WoW and the countless games that copy it, the majority of them are successful. At best they provide no encouragement for players to create their down story at worst they seem to discourage it. Espen Aarseth argues (in [font="Arial"]A Hollow World: World of Warcraft as Spatial Practice) that this almost "theme-park" design is why WoW is so popular. What I'm trying to get at is that in the end maybe the majority of players would rather have the story "forces" upon them than create their own story. [/font]




They are successful because they are new. They want something else to play, but people keep spewing out games like WoW because WoW was so popular. People find that the games don't offer anything new/fun, except the same old gear up and fight in battlegrounds mess, then quit. Well, some, like myself, do. I don't foresee many of these games being considered truly good games, but that doesn't meant hey didn't make money.

I think just having a description of the world I am entering on the back of the box/start of the game is enough to get me started. Once there you will need to further develop the history a bit, but I don't think quests, as they are in games of late, are the way to go. Perhaps some monuments with plaques that you can read can give you a bit of history about the people of the world. Books could be able to be found/etc. Let players discover the history, don't force it. Like I say about current politics in the US... maybe we have the wrong type of people designing games. Then I say... maybe it isn't the people, but the system, of which they work within. So... down with the system?

Aspire to make good games, not money, is how it should be. Good games will sell on their own merits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have very rarely felt like a game was forcing story upon me (and I've played a dozen MMOs of different types), so I have difficulty seeing that as a major problem. What I want to see is players given more options to make choices _within_ the game world, not outside of it or meta to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have very rarely felt like a game was forcing story upon me (and I've played a dozen MMOs of different types), so I have difficulty seeing that as a major problem. What I want to see is players given more options to make choices _within_ the game world, not outside of it or meta to it.


I felt that all of the mundane quests, primarily starting with WoW's release, were forcing info. I stopped reading, solved that problem. I really wanted to care what they wanted me to do, but I just... couldn't. The stories had no meaning to me. I most recently tried it with RIFT and I stopped reading those quests within the first 5 levels. There were just too many of them and they didn't bring anything to me as an individual as I knew everyone else that walked through had the quest too.

I never got a chance to complete my EQ Druid Epic, I started just after Kunark release, but it seemed like a really great thing. People really really wanted their epics, not necessarily for the item itself, but for the bragging rights. A quest that was actually a quest, not a task. It also made me feel special to own one of Quillmane's cloaks. It wasn't meant for the Druid, but I was able to track him down, no Mages wanted at the time, so I pounced. Things have just been watered down and less individualism is available in the more recent games.

I think a coalition needs to be formed. Get a committee together from the various game creative fields and develop more than just a good game, a great game. Use the expertise of those on the committee to plan it as best possible, establish the concept, get feedback, and then finally round up like minded folks with the qualities to see it through and make a demo then go from there. Not one person's game, truly a game developed by the people, for the people. Gosh I am such a homer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caldenfor, do you read novels much? I think the ability to get into quests is much like the ability to suspend your disbelief to get caught up in the story of a character's life in a fictional world. The quests are pretty much the story of your character's life within the game. Whether it's a game or a book, it really shouldn't matter how many other people experience the same story. Or it should even be a positive thing to know that others are having a similar experience to you - like the communal feeling of watching a movie with friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you have one of the main problem of quests right there. Since the western market is adversed to a lot of grinding quests have been used to mask it and give purpose to the whole thing. The issue is then that you have to make a huge number of quests to stretch out the time it takes a player to do X thing (say get to max level) and then obviously those quests become monotonous, theres only so much you can do with them using the hot-key style game-play design most MMORPGs follow. But is the solution to remove quests all together? I personally don't think so, as sunandshadow said a good quest is like a good book if you find one you can really get into it. But there aren't many good quests out there and thats probably more down to not knowing exactly how to design them effectively for an MMORPG. I could write an essay on the issues i have with quests in current generation games but I'll spare you that.

As for the story in general theres a lot of techniques being proposed by people in the industry as too how to improve the story telling methods of a game (check out "writing for mmos: your doing it wrong" if you haven't already). The style of storytelling your advocating is something similar to Mortal Online and from my short experience of playing the game one of its major failing was that is provided no general history to the world beyond what was written in the intro section. That to me is the worst way of telling a player the story since your not using all the resources available to you.

You may love that style of game but in all honesty other may not. My point about WoW being popular is that style of storytelling must be appealing, or at least not objectionable, to a huge section of MMORPG players. The projects goal, and sorry for not explaining this sooner, is to not only see how/if current storytelling techniques withing MMORPGs can be improved but also what effect they have on different kinds of players. By that i mean whats (if indeed there is) the best way to tell a story to say a PvE player and get them engaged in the world compared to a PvP player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!