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  1. #1

    from а wiki friend

    Dramatic Storytelling (Discussion)

    Each Guild Wars game tells a story. Those stories are interesting and fairly well thought out. Unfortunately, they lack emotional impact. This is due to a number of factors. In some cases, it's mediocre voice-acting. Sometimes it's inappropriate music or just the limitations of the game engine. Prince Rurik's death? Sad, but there was no impact, no feeling. His unwilling resurrection by the Lich King should have been a tragic event, the fight joyless and the ending of his suffering by the player a tear-jerker. Togo's death? I liked Togo (apparently many people didn't), and it didn't hit me like it should have. Shiro's character was never developed. Is he insane? Is he actually a good person at heart, but possessed by Abaddon? Or is he just a psychopath taking advantage of an unusual situation? We don't know; there's no character there. Even super-characters like Abaddon lacked depth. All it would have taken was a cutscene backstory of his imprisonment, his twisted features screaming defiance as the chains Balthazar forged dragged him down, down, to the depths... that would have made him more real and far more impressive. As it is, there's no emotion at his death, there's no real impact in Kormir's transformation, and there SHOULD be.

    However, with the Bonus Mission Pack, Arenanet has shown that even WITH the limitations of the engine, they can write powerful scenes with both visual and visceral impact; who didn't cheer (at least on the inside) when Turai Ossa smacked Palawa Joko right off of the bridge in dramatic slow motion? Who didn't feel Saul's anguish, or the confusion and consternation of his companions when the Mursaat, their saviors, turned on the White Mantle's people and spirited Saul away to parts unknown? No, the writers and designers and programmers of Arenanet are perfectly capable of dramatic storytelling. They've learned over time, and now have the ability to make dramatic events carry the emotional impact they deserve. I expect to be crying over the loss of characters in GW2. I expect to be screaming defiance (at least on the inside) as I charge the Dragons' armies. There was more humor in Eye of the North, and I expect a bit of that, as well. All drama all the time isn't realistic, and genuine (that is, unforced) humor can help develop a character just as well.

    It will take extra effort, the kind of effort we see in the BMP, but sustained over the entire GW2 development process. It will take improved visual effects (the effects used in Turai's final scene are impressive and add to the impact), better voice synchronization (though dramatic storytelling doesn't need voice-acting; see any Final Fantasy game before X), more appropriate and thematic music, and tender loving care. It may involve implementing complex technical details, like facial expressions and additional scripted movements (though again, these are not strictly needed for good storytelling). It will certainly involve more cutscenes (though not necessarily longer ones). But Guild Wars 2 is an opportunity in so many ways, surely it deserves this level of attention to detail. GW2 could show that MMORPGs can have powerful storylines, too, breaking new ground in the genre. That in itself would make it well worth the effort.

    Why this is a good idea

    * In many cases it only take a few tweaks to a scene to dramatically increase its impact; a lingering camera shot here, a pause in a character's movement there... Joko's fall is enhanced by using that neat slow-down effect. Saul's loss is made more poignant by nothing more than good virtual camerawork and a few additional scripted motions.
    * More character history and motivations make for better and more believable characters; villians you can really hate, heroes you can really rally behind
    * Better storytelling draws in the player, increasing their emotional involvement with the game and encouraging them to continue playing.
    * It encourages more involvement from the developers, too. People like to create, and the better their creations the more they like to create them. An awesome, gut-wrenching, exhilarating and glorious plot with well-developed, believable characters will serve to involve the entire GW2 team in new ways. Who knows what the benefits will be?
    * Helps to enhance GW's Lore which keeps a lot of the players wanting more.

    Why it may not work out

    * It takes hard work and therefore time to make a game carry emotional impact. There simply may not be time to implement the tweaks and additional content it takes to make the game's storyline riveting unless it was planned in from the beginning.
    http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Arena...c_Storytelling

  2. #2
    Though my opinions may be biased, I had been thinking.

    Is it worth it to make a MMOG with a storyline that brings players to an emotional roller coaster? If so, in what ways?

    Online games tend not to end. As such, it is very difficult to keep the player base entertained via the storyline alone. Consuming story contents only take a fraction of the time it takes to create them, especially polished, engaging stories. If you want to keep the consumer's interest, you'll have to also add in repeatable game play elements that are engaging as well. Then it comes back to the question, if you're going to keep the customers happy with game play, why bother with the story then? It looks like a lot of extra work for little gain when you compare the two.

    If you're ambitious enough to also want to include emotional attachment in the game, then the question becomes - Emotional attachment to what? NPCs? the player's character? an organization in game? a concept? I find it difficult to think of something that holds mass appeal, engages emotionally, and lasts as long as the game itself (supposedly indefinite).

    Online games are not novels, nor movies, nor comics, nor whatever. Their market is different from those forms of entertainment. While novel readers could pick their romance or detective novels from the shelf based on their interests, online gamers don't make the same choice. Instead, they pick genres by the type of game (RTS, RPG, FPS). Storyline is not the primary focus, people who play RPG may or may not like any of romance, comedy, or horror, etc. So how do you decide what to develop, and what not to?
    Last edited by lavenbb; 27-08-2008 at 00:08.

  3. #3
    GWOnline.Net Member Lamuness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavenbb View Post
    Is it worth it to make a MMOG with a storyline that brings players to an emotional roller coaster? If so, in what ways?

    Online games tend not to end. As such, it is very difficult to keep the player base entertained via the storyline alone. Consuming story contents only take a fraction of the time it takes to create them, especially polished, engaging stories.

    Then it comes back to the question, if you're going to keep the customers happy with game play, why bother with the story then? It looks like a lot of extra work for little gain when you compare the two.
    Have you played GW1? It's more of an online multiplayer game than a true MMORPG. That being said, GW1, to me, is a story-driven online game, so having emotional moments is not a bad idea. I agree with the OP when he says the characters lack depth, the voice acting and scripts need work, and I've been complaining about the lack of special animations when there are cinematics. I hope they hire a better writer and a storyboard artist and a good animator for their cinematics.

    If you're ambitious enough to also want to include emotional attachment in the game, then the question becomes - Emotional attachment to what? NPCs? the player's character? an organization in game? a concept? I find it difficult to think of something that holds mass appeal, engages emotionally, and lasts as long as the game itself (supposedly indefinite).
    Even though a game is never-ending, that shouldn't be the excuse you should use when creating shallow characters. If you feel that any online game can't benefit from any kind of story or character development, you're better off playing an FPS or some kind of gameplay-oriented game. The OP liked Togo. I never cared for him. But I liked Rurik. I wished his death was more epic. There are ways of getting people to like a certain character the same way you do it in a single player game. Other NPCs and what they say influence it, what they do with you influences it, hell even what he does himself influences how you feel about a certain NPC.

    If you want to keep the consumer's interest, you'll have to also add in repeatable game play elements that are engaging as well.
    I had to seperate this line from the rest of it to seperately address it. You can have end-game dungeons that tie into the story somehow. You can have PvP that is repeatable. You can have quests that repeat. It's totally independent from the story. In any game, after you reach the end, what do you do? PvP? Start a new character? Do all the end game dungeons? It's all entirely up to the player. But all games end somehow because there is a time where the player would exhaust all of the content created. It's just up to the devs to create content that can flow into the end-game where people can just pick up and go in the next expansion pack. That's the beauty of an MMORPG. Why do you think WoW has so many different expansion packs? Why does GW1 have lots of expansion packs? If they can find a valid excuse to make your character venture to a certain map, people will be okay with it.

    Online games are not novels, nor movies, nor comics, nor whatever. Their market is different from those forms of entertainment. While novel readers could pick their romance or detective novels from the shelf based on their interests, online gamers don't make the same choice. Instead, they pick genres by the type of game (RTS, RPG, FPS). Storyline is not the primary focus, people who play RPG may or may not like any of romance, comedy, or horror, etc. So how do you decide what to develop, and what not to?
    It's all based on what the devs want. You can't cater to everyone. Think of what kind of clusterf- it would be to create something that had something for everyone. It's as you said, you don't have to play the story campaign, you can go straight to PvP. You don't have to watch the cinematics. You don't have to do anything but /dance in the main city. It's still there for you if you want to experience it. If it doesn't fit in your boat, you are always free to pick from another game, just like picking out the different books as you have said. Ultimately, you, as a dev, have to say, "Ok, we are going to make this sort of game. We have to have X, Y, and Z in it," then you run with it and hope for the best.

    Personally, I would like to see all of this in GW2. Better scripts, animations, and emotion that was lacking in GW1 would be a great addition to the next game.

    And mark, put a better subject title next time.

  4. #4
    I'm not gonna bother reading the walls of text, in full, at 2:30 AM. That'll wait till some other day.
    Why do you think WoW has so many different expansion packs?
    It has one, is about to get a second. WoW's entire approach to the end-game is also changing by the way, so you may wish to use a different example.

  5. #5
    GWOnline.Net Member Lamuness's Avatar
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    LoL it's 5:30PM here right now.

    It shows you how much I've played WoW since Burning Crusade. Hah.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by markparagon View Post
    Prince Rurik's death? Sad, but there was no impact, no feeling. His unwilling resurrection by the Lich King


    Quote Originally Posted by markparagon View Post
    by the Lich King


    Quote Originally Posted by markparagon View Post
    Lich King

  7. #7
    did you play Guild wars Prophecies to the ending
    Last edited by markparagon; 27-08-2008 at 17:18.

  8. #8
    His/her problem is probably more with the fact you called him the Lich King (which is the name of the antagonist in the WoW expansion 'Wrath of the Lich King') instead of Undead Lich or Lich Lord.

  9. #9
    GWOnline.Net Member Achievements:
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    Simply Kedde's Avatar
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    This guy is good stuff.
    (Not the ideas I mean)

  10. #10
    In my case I was heartbroken to discover Prince Rurik's fiance Althea was dead, and even more so when he died during one mission, I didn't expect him to die at all. Like I was upset when I discovered Gwen's broken flute among the ruins of Tyria. In Factions, I felt sorry for the manipulated Shiro who tries to fight his destiny. I've felt involved in the storylines but maybe less with Factions because the game rushes you ahead so fast (leveling) you can barely realise what is happening, I had to go through Factions a few times before it started kicking me in.

    I think personaly Anet has succeded well with the storylines, I like the complex one of Prophecies even though some complained it was too complex for them. I'd love it if they were to continue with GW2 but with even more so complexities since GW2 will be more open with more possible choices than we did with GW. We will decide more where we go in GW 2.

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