Storylines in mmorpgs

The other day I was reading the newspaper and came across this reviewer commenting on a movie. He claimed it had the storyline of a computer game which I can only judge to be pretty poor in his opinion as the movie was give only 2 and a half stars. It made me wonder how much story really is involved in a mmorpg and what it means to the player. I have to say that for the most part I don’t particularly care about the story of an average mmorpg but I do like some like LOTRO. I loved the book system and the way it really drew the player through the story while rewarding him. But for other systems I really got no sense of a storyline and therefore really didn’t seek it. Perhaps it is just me but if they do not ‘force’ the story on me then I don’t pay it much attention.

Dungeon Runners had no defining, overarching storyline and this caused me to feel confused and wonder exactly why I was dying constantly against massive mobs and watching a stupid shoe ad, while as for WoW I also got no sense of a storyline and yet did not care. I was happy to run around and do my thing perfectly ignorant of everything around me. Storylines are incorporated into mmorpgs in 3 different ways;

1. There is little obvious storyline and the gameplay sucks, therefore the game sucks such in Dungeon Runners.
2. There is little obvious storyline and the gameplay rocks, therefore you do not notice the absence of the story and have a great time anyway such as in WoW.
3. There is a fair bit of storyline for the player to enjoy but the gameplay suffers a little such as in the end-game of LOTRO.
4. There is a fair bit of storyline for the player to enjoy and the gameplay is great leaving a warm fuzzy feeling inside you, but I have not found a game yet that does this, although hoping that WAR achieves this feat.

While this is a rough generalization I think it covers the basics. Storyline is not essential to the quality of the game unlike a movie (making the comparison/argument of the reviewer obsolete} as what people really want is great gameplay.


Thallian said...

is WAR planning to have a storyline? Like one you play through? This is the first time I've heard that brought up. All I hear about it so far is RVR and PQ's and stuff.

Chappo said...

I am not really sure. This was really just a hopeful post. I know that Paul Barnett and the team have basically said the game is all about war, and I would like to assume that there is a detailed background to these wars.

SANE said...

WAR would be the perfect game for stories I think. Being that the races are all WARRING with each other and such.

I tend to believe that MMORPG's don't need stories though, the only thing that matters to me is the gameplay with these games. Story is nice, but story doesn't doesn't keep me playing if the game is lacking. (I'm talking to you MR. LOTRO, I require a group for everything) Story belongs on stand-alone RPG's.

Nidaime_2 said...


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