Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Storytelling

Syp has a post up about some issues he sees with ArenaNet's storytelling technique—or lack thereof—in Guild Wars 2. Slurms says they're working to rectify the problems.

I'll admit that even having come back in to the game recently, I am avoiding the living story elements like the plague. I am so far behind, that it doesn't seem worth even trying to catch up. For a world so obviously steeped in lore and history, Tyria's current events lack a certain je ne sais quois. It just doesn't grip me.

The hearts of GW2 and beer-battered boar rib runs of World of Warcraft are where my interest lies. The Secret World's faction leaders keep saying to keep the big picture in mind. But the PCs keep helping the little guys, beating back the darkness one zombie—or one ancient demoness—at a time.

I am far more involved with the "personal lives" of the NPCs in TSW than with any figure in GW2. I think the problem starts with GW2's personal story and spirals from there, with the players becoming less and less the focus of the game story. However, I believe WoW has suffered in a similar way, mistaking "adventurers" for "Heroes." And then having done so, still shoving them aside in favor of Beings that "truly" matter.

I've said it before, but part of the appeal of TSW for me is that the player character is so much a blank slate. Everything about their personality—up to and including their voice—is in my imagination. GW2's PCs are not really mine, any more than SWTOR's PCs are, despite the illusion of choice those game systems attempt to convey.

Perhaps it is fitting that TSW's latest Halloween mission series deals with decidedly "personal" Urban Legends, rather than some Mad King out of the world's past. One Dark Pharaoh is enough.

2 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about the Living Story. I've been jumping into GW2 and messing around with different characters, but all in normal content. I tried the Halloween zerg for about a half-hour the other day and that was more than enough for me.

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    1. Scooterz and I tried a round each of two games. They were OK, but a lot of confusion.

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