I had no knowledge on making games or modelling... then I married a programmer. I got lured in by easy stuff like level design on a bubble shooter, and worked my way up to be able to make a model from scratch. Now I'm working on a mmo rpg: Legends of Strife.

Report article RSS Feed Writing for a MMORPG

Posted by Raqual1990 on Feb 7th, 2013

While writing for my MMORPG I started thinking about the differences between writing for a MMOas opposed to a single player RPG. Since the stories are such an important part of any RPG I gave it lots of thought and decided to write some of what I came up with here. I'll be focusing on the MMO elements mostly because that's what I was primarily dealing with. I appreciate all input as many opinions are better than one.


The greatest benefit of writing for a mmo is the diversity of the plots. There's something for everyone. You can write small side chains or long plots that span zones. You can write sad stories, humorous stories or pretty much anything, allowing your players to choose what sections they like and want to play through. In a single player game I'm sure that you have at least a bit of this freedom too, but you have to adhere to the style more, and they normally have only one huge plot
down the middle.  


The biggest issue with the MMOis the fact that lots of people are playing. While good in every other sense, you do get the feeling nothing you do is too important, since 5 000 people have done it before you anyway. Well, this was the feeling I got when I played them. This means, for realism's sake, that all “chosen one” quests are out of the question. Or else we are all “chosen ones”. This is a pity, because people like to feel important in the game they are playing, and achieving that feeling without being fake is quite a task. It can be done easily enough with instancing, but you lose the actual MMOpart if you do that too much.


Another element you have to overcome is the lack of back story the player has. This rules out: restore your memories quests, save your lost lover quests and the like. Having a NPC tell you his fiancée is missing isn't nearly as dramatic, or involving. Building up relations with NPC's is also tricky since, all to soon, the player will be moving to the next zone.


I'm still working on a way to overcome these issues efficiently but I might be exaggerating the severity a bit. Do players think that much about a story while they are playing or am I overthinking this? Hmm, I
wonder.

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GamerKnight
GamerKnight Feb 13 2013, 5:23am says:

I often feel as though when I am playing an MMO that the actions I preform have no meaning. Fighting my way through a dungeon, or even completing a story line quest just gets reset ten minutes later. It is very disconcerting.

Dungeons and Dragons Online had an interesting concept. After completing a series a story lines quests and you freed the dragon, the weather in the whole area would change from dim and snowy to a bright summers day.

The only issue was people who had not gotten as far in the story line quests as you would not see the bright summers day, and also could not join your party. Its not a great idea but a step in the right direction.

You make some solid points about flaws in modern MMOs, I look forward to reading your suggestions on fixing these issues.

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