Thursday, July 9, 2009

Redefining MMOs: Story and Lore (focusing on SW:TOR)

Having recently just completed KOTOR, one thing about Bioware's stated features for their new MMO is that they want to include companions in the game. Sure the companions in KOTOR told engaging story and often times held a mirror up to the motives of the player character but that was to be expected from playing most of Bioware's previous solo RPGs. But what's bothering me is this seems a crutch for actually trying something new and socially orientated...(in reply to the Massively article)

Would love to see them develop a system of approval/disproval, and trust/distrust. Say two player's party up and enter a scenario, like the one aboard the Sith ship described at E3. One player taking the lead and initiating dialogue, is the other player just going to sit by listening, or can they have the ability to interject into the dialogue or even break off the dialogue for some action? Could there be some way to show your approval or disproval for this injection or interuption, and as a result your trust in the offending player drops. And if trust drops so low, it bans the offender from entering into further dialogue, having agressive abilities neutered or left outside the area where important dialogue occurs. It does seem unfeasible but how else are two or more players going to be able to shape the dialogue and events in SW:TOR or any such future story-orientated game? This trust/distrust system could also affect each player's powers or combined abilities in a meaningful way, say distrust hampers them from reaching their full potential.

From what has been seen in the comic and that scenario mentioned, a pair of players might be the most important group in the game, and that might be a necessary decision that Bioware decides because as soon as you add in more players it's going to become a muddle. Someone else in the Massively post said they foresee the rise of small group over raids, and I'd definitely agree with that, especially in story and lore orientated games as Bioware promises.

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